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Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer
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Author:  brownthumb50 [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

I have done multiple tests on my lawn soil. Both home soil tests and used professional labs. The potassium level is extremely high in my yard. This is most likely from my over use of synthetic fertilizers. I have heard that the clay soil in the Dallas area builds up excess potassium from fertilization and that this creates issues for lawn grass (bermudagrass in my case).

I have searched the forums and haven't yet found anything addressing this issue.

Is anyone aware of an organic fertilizer that has either zero potassium or extremely low potassium relative to nitrogen? Hopefully available at a retail store in the Dallas in the area. There are synthetic fertilizers with zero potassium, but I have been trying to switch to organic fertilizers.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Author:  northwesterner [ Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

Where did you have the soil tests conducted? What labs gave you these results?

Author:  brownthumb50 [ Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

northwesterner, thanks for getting back to me.

I used the Texan A&M Agrilife Extension Service. I sent 2 samples and both had similar results. N/P in the normal range and K extremely high.

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

To start, here is an article posted in the organic library about K in the soil.

Howard recommends using the
Texas Plant and Soil Lab
5115 W. Monte Cristo Rd
Edinburg, TX 78541
956-383-0739
ngarcia@tpsl.biz
http://www.tpsl.biz

This lab actually tests for the levels of these nutrients that are available to the plants, not just in the soil. This is the blurb that describes what the lab looks for:

Quote:
Have soil tested, by a lab that gives organic recommendations, to learn the total and available levels of organic matter, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphate, potassium, sodium, chloride, boron, iron, manganese, copper and zinc. Tissue sample tests are important to see what nutrients are being taken up by the plants. Check for life by counting the earthworms in a square foot of soil - should be at least ten.


There are also things you can do that will mitigate the effects of past synthetic fertilization. Look up "soil detox" (here is one article) in the Library of Organic Information. Zeolite and activated charcoal along with some of the biological products like compost tea (Garrett Juice is a commercial variety if you don't make your own), Thrive, Bio SI, and more.

Author:  brownthumb50 [ Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

Thanks for the tip on the Texas Plant and Soil Lab. I'll get some samples to them and see what they recommend.

I am familiar with Howard's detox recommendations. The one nagging question that I have always had is how does an absorptive media such as activated charcoal applied to the soil surface absorb toxins that are several inches below the surface.

Thanks for the link to the article on Potassium.

Author:  user_48634 [ Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

I think you're overthinking your lawn care. Just pick an organic fertilizer and use it for a year. See what happens. If the grass looks great, you're good. If the grass looks awful, then worry about your soil.

Author:  brownthumb50 [ Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
I think you're overthinking your lawn care. Just pick an organic fertilizer and use it for a year. See what happens. If the grass looks great, you're good. If the grass looks awful, then worry about your soil.


A year later ...

In the end you were correct. I had Texas Plant and Soil Lab run a test, and in a nutshell the advice was don't worry about the potassium level in your soil -- just use a fertilizer with the appropriate NPK ratio for Bermuda and in the amount that Bermuda typically requires annually.

(In my defense, the reason for over-thinking the problem in the first place was based on advice from a plant disease lab on ways to deal with a patch of take-all root rot that I had.)

Thanks for your help, it was appreciated.

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Help finding a zero/low potassium (potash) fertilizer

And thank you for taking the time to report back on this topic! It's good to see that the advice worked!

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