Tag Archives: Soil

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Sweeten Your Soil To Get The Most Out Of Your Lawn Care

If you talk to any lawn care professional, he or she will tell you that the content of the soil dictates how well everything grows, if it grows at all. Most people are aware that if they want to enhance the quality and rate of growth of their lawn, they need to have their soil tested to discern it’s pH, or acidity, level.

If your soil’s pH is too high, you will need to apply sulfate and sulfur to bring the level to a more neutral status. Sulfate will deliver more immediate results because the aluminum within it will dissolve rapidly and produces the beneficial acidity. Sulfur treatments will take a bit longer to get the soil to a more desirable level. In fact, it may take months to reach any noticeable difference.

No matter which route you decide to take regarding sulfate or sulfur, both should be sufficiently mixed into and throughout the soil after it has been applied to boost the effectiveness of the treatment. If you are applying the sulfate or sulfur yourself, take care not to get it on any surrounding plants and consult with your lawn care professionals first. If you do happen to get any of this material on surrounding plants, wash the leaves of the plants off as soon as you can to prevent leaf burn. You should also be aware of how much you’re applying and take measures to not over-apply either.

The best solution is to contact your lawn care company and let them handle the process.

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Why soil tests are important to optimal lawn care

Most homeowners know what services are necessary for good lawn care: proper mowing, aeration, overseeding, adequate hydration and fertilizer. Aeration is one of the most beneficial lawn care services, especially if you live in an area that experiences episodes of little to no rainfall. Aerating your lawn will allow the water from your irrigation system to reach the grass roots directly and be immediately absorbed. However, even though aeration ensures that your lawn and soil are manipulated, you should go one step further and also have your soil periodically tested by a lawn care professional.

A soil test is a fairly simple procedure and many lawn care companies offer the service for free in conjunction with their programs. The technician will take a small soil sample and have it sent to a lab. A qualified soil expert will examine the sample and look at the pH level (acidity); the presence or absence of such macronutrients as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen; the presence or absence of such micronutrients as iron, calcium, zinc, boron, manganese, copper and other nutrients that deter weed growth and enhance the lawn’s resistance to insect and disease infestations; the soil type, which can help your technician create a preventative plan to reduce the incidence of compaction; and levels of decomposed plant material, also known as thatch.

Once the results are back, we can consult with you on what the best plan of action is regarding your lawn care regimen. To schedule a soil analysis, call us today.

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Soil Testing

Any recipe is only as good as its ingredients and that goes for lawn care too.  If you don’t have good flour and shortening (soil and pH level), it doesn’t matter how much frosting (or fertilizer) you add, your recipe (lawn) isn’t going to turn out well.  That’s why it’s important to get a soil test and start with a good foundation.

A soil test can measure many things like soil fertility.  Elements like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc are removed from the soil to determine nutrient and contaminant content.  One of the most important things a soil test measures is pH.  Experts say if a soil is too acidic or too alkaline it can be toxic to plants.  The acidity in the soil can limit plant growth to such extremes that the plants won’t be able to utilize any fertilizer applied.  So, the soil test can help determine the best lime and fertilizer recommendations.  It’ll help save you money in the long run and help the environment by limiting the over-use of fertilizers.

Basically soils in moist climates tend to be acidic while those in dry climates are generally alkaline.  A soil pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil, anything higher is alkaline.  The soil has to be adjusted to fit the needs of the particular plants planted in the area.

There are do-it-yourself testing kits available in many areas at reasonable prices or you can hire a company to do the testing for you.  Either way you’ll be getting important information that will help your lawn and garden grow and will make you look like the expert with the green thumb without all the effort.

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