As spring finally approaches here in New Hampshire I’ve started thinking about what needs to be done to the lawn. Last fall I had our soil tested so I could take some of the guess work out of diagnosing our mediocre lawn. Three samples were taken and tested by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.
The results of the tests told me what I already knew. Our soil is very acidic with an average pH of 5.35. The ideal pH range for a lawn in this area is approximately 6.0 to 6.5. In addition to testing the acidity of our lawn the following tests were performed:
Calcium (Ca) = 132 ppm, Optimum range = 800 – 1200 ppm
Magnesium (Mg) = 25 ppm, Optimum range = 60 -0120 ppm
Potassium (K) = 22 ppm, Optimum range = 170 – 280 ppm
Phosphorus (P) = 38 ppm, Optimum range = 30 – 50 ppm (This was good!)
Lead (Pb) = 3 ppm (Maximum recommended for gardens = 278 ppm)
The report suggests that we apply 92 lbs of dolomitic lime per 1,000 sq. ft. However, they also suggest that you not apply more than 50 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. in any one application. Therefore I need to apply lime to our lawn at least twice in order to get the pH up to the proper levels. In addition they also recommended applying Nitrogen in 1 lb. increments per 1,000 sq. ft. using a fertilizer ratio of 3:1:3 in addition to 2.5 – 4.o lb N per 1,000 sq. ft. per season (spring, summer and fall).
I’ll do another post shortly on how to implement what the soil test report suggests.