It is currently Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:13 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: KILGORE,TEXAS
I got my TPSL report back and it stated that my lawn fertilizer recommendation would be as follows (lbs/1000 sq.ft.) 2.00 S, 4.25 N, 0.00 P2O5, 5.73 K2O. Are these numbers typical for a fairly new organic lawncare program? I have an approximate 10K sq. ft. yard and these numbers seem quite high. I know a 20lb/1000 sq. ft of dry molasses wouldn’t even touch these numbers. By my calculations I would need 17.7 bags per year of an organic fertilizer with a nitrogen rating of 6 to get my full 4.25lb of N within the year. 6% of 40lb bag = 2.4lb N 42.5lb of N required for my 10k yard. 42.5/ 2.4 = 17.7 bags!

your thoughts?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:06 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
clintj wrote:
I got my TPSL report back and it stated that my lawn fertilizer recommendation would be as follows (lbs/1000 sq.ft.) 2.00 S, 4.25 N, 0.00 P2O5, 5.73 K2O. Are these numbers typical for a fairly new organic lawncare program? I have an approximate 10K sq. ft. yard and these numbers seem quite high. I know a 20lb/1000 sq. ft of dry molasses wouldn’t even touch these numbers. By my calculations I would need 17.7 bags per year of an organic fertilizer with a nitrogen rating of 6 to get my full 4.25lb of N within the year. 6% of 40lb bag = 2.4lb N 42.5lb of N required for my 10k yard. 42.5/ 2.4 = 17.7 bags!

The reason dry molasses wouldn't touch those numbers is that dry molasses is not a fertilizer. Organic products that have no protein source are not fertilizers. SCIENCE ALERT: THE FOLLOWING GETS A LITTLE SCIENCY...Molasses is sugar, not protein. Sugar is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. Protein is made of amino acids which have nitrogen. All animal life, including soil microbes, needs protein. When the microbes get protein, they create a byproduct which happens to be plant food. For mammals the byproduct is urine with urea, an excellent fertilizer. For birds the byproduct is uric acid which also fertilizes. For fish the byproduct is ammonia, another fertilizer. The final byproducts of blood, skin, hair, and feathers all are extremely high in nitrogen. That's the way Mother Nature designed it billions of years ago. Sugar, especially molasses, is not an important source of nitrogen.

The best reason to have a soil test is to understand the micronutrients in your soil. Sure the macro nutrients, NPK, are going to be low (usually). Normal organic fertilizers will deal with that. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the chemistry of the soil to allow the microbes to thrive. These adjustments are usually made with chemicals, not organics. Those chemicals include lime, sulfur, Epsom salts, borax, and some others. Your soil apparently is alkaline - hence the recommendation for sulfur. I can tell you that your alkaline soil is several hundred feet deep and no amount of sulfur will ever dissolve all that limestone. As long as there is a quarter inch of limestone, your soil will have a pH of 8. Your best approach there is to simply grow plants adapted to high pH soils. Fortunately southern grasses like bermuda and St Augustine do well in our soil.

So I'm going to suggest you ignore the soil test results for N, P, and K and look more closely at the micro nutrients. If you did not get that test, then I would suggest getting another test if you really want to know. I would also suggest a different laboratory. TPSL was my favorite test lab before K Chandler passed away. Since then they have floundered and come back a little different. Now the best test lab in the country is Logan Labs in Ohio. Why? You can read their results much better than TPSL. The standard test at Logan Labs is $12 and will give you all the micros. TPSL cannot touch that same test for that price.

Here is a photo of a test of alfalfa pellets as a fertilizer. The alfalfa was applied in mid May, 2011 and the picture was taken in mid June. Note the improved color, density, and growth. This is what you should expect from organic fertilizer.

Image

A 50-pound bag of alfalfa cost $12 last season. It was the cheapest source of protein on the market. The application rate is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Of course you can apply it as often as your wallet will let you. One member on another forum applied soybean meal and milorganite at a rate of 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet, EVERY WEEK, all season long, with no ill effects.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:43 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
I enjoy catching up with your tips and descriptions of experimentation when you come back to the site to answer questions!

_________________
Northwesterner


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: KILGORE,TEXAS
First of all thanks for the great response. I am sure you have not only clarified some things for me but many others that may come across this email string!! I guess I used the term organic fertilizer when referring to dry molasses is because so many people use those terms together and very loosely so frequently that I fell into the gap. Ahhh!! You are correct in saying that what is considered a sugar or starch is not a fertilizer in the most common definition of the word fertilizer. Bring on the chemistry! I am a Chemist by degree Engineer by title…maybe a reference to my old biology and biochemistry books would aide in fine tuning my plant/bio micronutrient knowledge.
I figured the nitrogen number TPSL gave me, in the form of readily available nitrate (NO3), would always be low considering it being one of the first nitrogen compounds metabolized. Should a high percentage of organic humus help increase available nitrates when broken down? My soil pH tested neutral (6.9). I’m not exactly sure why the sulfur application, report states that sulfur helps solubilize Ca and Mg.
My big fuss about the NPK was mainly because everything else tested adequate to high concentrations and I needed something to complain about (curiosity). lol
Micronutrients Zn, Fe, B tested high while Mn and Cu were adequate. Water soluble Ca and Mg were on the low side of adequate to marginal. Solvita test was also on the low side of marginal.
As a detailed oriented person I try to maximize my efforts and yields not just go with what works just cause I haven’t killed everything in sight, lol. Do you know of any good soil chemistry books that you would recommend to a science/gardening nerd?

Thanks for your time!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:13 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Keller, TX 76248
Hi Dchall_San_Antonio,

Where are you getting that $12 number from for Logan Labs? I'm looking at their website (http://www.loganlabs.com/) and I see $20 (http://www.loganlabs.com/doc/LoganBrochure.pdf) for the Standard Test.

As an FYI, I almost just applied some Scott's Bonus S to my lawn. Problem is on our quarter acre lot we have over 50 oak trees (Post / Black Jack). I'm so glad I read the label first.

I started searching for alternatives and found this website.

I gather the best place to start is with a soil analysis, so that's the research I'm doing now. I'm assuming that the cost is per sample, but how does one determine how many samples should be taken? In the case of a home, would a single sample be enough for the purpose of the yard?

Thank you for this post. It's very informative.

Sincerelty,

Eric W.
Keller, TX


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: KILGORE,TEXAS
Eric, I figure one composite sample of your quarter acre lot would be sufficient. Gather several small representative samples 6” or so deep, mix them together, and then take from that to send to the lab. However, if you have an odd looking section of grass or yard you may want to analyze it separately. If your wallet permits you may send as many samples as you like. I thought the full analysis from TPSL was a lil pricey for me so I only sent one. With 50 oaks on a quarter acre do you have any lawn to fertilize, or any sun light getting to your lawn?

All the best!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:19 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
Have the lab send a copy of the your report to Howard and he'll be able to give you some advice about working with your soil. info@dirtdoctor.com.

_________________
Northwesterner


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:12 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Quote:
Where are you getting that $12 number from for Logan Labs? I'm looking at their website (http://www.loganlabs.com/) and I see $20 (http://www.loganlabs.com/doc/LoganBrochure.pdf) for the Standard Test.
I think I had the $12 figure in mind for the bag of alfalfa and was thinking ahead of myself. Yes, $20 is the standard test at Logan Labs. Most university labs won't to that same test for less than $100. TPSL can certainly do the same test. In fact they used to do it for $35 as their standard test. But as I mentioned, things have changed. They have taken their standard test apart and created separate tests with additional charges.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:02 am 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:00 am
Posts: 514
Location: Dallas,Texas
TPSL does excellent work. Their process, analysis and knowledge produces results. There are numerous labs that represent that they do plant and soil analysis, and you can find someone to do it cheaply for you, but if you want good analysis that will produce results, then you should use TPSL. TPSL is considered one of the best labs for plant, soil and water testing: http://asktheplant.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:16 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:00 am
Posts: 514
Location: Dallas,Texas
Eric,

Good job on turnng the bag over. Scott Bonus S will do all sorts of bad things: http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Fertilize-New ... vq1762.htm

It is hard to understand why Scotts Miracle Gro heavily advertises and sales this product, but it says a lot about this company. That is why people should avoid and not buy their products.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by eWeblife