Lawn Soil Test Report

By Todd Fratzel on Landscaping

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.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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5 Comments

  1. fred@opc says:

    Todd, how did you get hooked up with such a service? Did you pay for this? I’m very curious because our lawn is in terrible shape. We definitely could use some more scientific help.

    We’re in MD, btw.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Interesting! I’ve been meaning to do this… it sure would help.

  3. Todd says:

    Most state university systems have a “Cooperative Extension” or something similar. They offer low cost environmental services, i.e. agriculture, wild life, insects, etc. The tests cost about $20 each and give you a really great technical report.

  4. Tony says:

    Thanks for sharing your soil test results. I live on Long Island, NY and had several soil samples tested by Cornell University for my 1/2 acre lot. When worked out how much the recommended 140#’s per 1000ft2 was I couldn’t beleive it…until I read your story. Thanks again.

    • Todd says:

      @ Tony – Glad it was helpful. I too was doubtful at the amount when I first did the math. The lime has made a significant impact on our lawn.

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