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Old 07-05-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
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Milorganite or ironite or........


lawn care problem? New lawn last fall from seed, everything came up great last fall made it through the winter looked really good this spring and still looks pretty good. But so far this year it looks like it is not filling in, growth has stopped, and in places looks a little brown. Central Iowa location, we've had more than adequate rain this year, in fact too much. No scorchers yet just a few hot days above 90. So I get a soil test kit, figuring low nitrogen levels. Nitrogen does not even register even though I have fertilized 2 times this year and 1 time last year. So I figure low ph, I did a ph test 3 times and it is off the charts high over 7.5. Reading different articles leads me to believe that ironite will bring the ph down, but 1 article said milorganite would be the best answer. Any thoughts? ideas? Is a high ph keeping the nitrogen from working?

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Old 07-05-2013, 11:36 AM   #2
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Milorganite or ironite or........


I've used ironite with good results. I don't know if the ph would affect nitrogen levels but it would cause your lack of growth.

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Old 07-06-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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Milorganite or ironite or........


Taking a soil nitrogen test - at the consumer level - is pretty worthless since it is very hard to pin down nitrogen - or nitrate - over the long-term. What you're getting is more like a snapshot at a precise moment in time whereas the whole picture may be quite different.

Unless you have a chronic fertilizer problem (read: "shortage") - and it doesn't sound like you really do - then hold off on any further additions of fertilizer. In other words, don't "micromanage" your lawn based on some junk test sample...

BTW did you take your nitrogen samples from different parts of your lawn, and at a sufficient depth (6-12") to be really meaningful? because if not, it was all for nothing, I fear.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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Milorganite or ironite or........


I am aware that a consumer soil test is probably not the most reliable, but I would not call it worthless. It should at least give me a general idea of what is wrong. I did 3 different nitrate tests from differnet parts of the yard taken from at least 6 inches depth. But to be honest its not the low nitrogen reading that concerns me it is the high ph levels, that was the main reason for my question concerning milorganite. Supposedly it will work to bring down the ph level.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:15 AM   #5
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Milorganite or ironite or........


Well, something in your test results smells fishy because, unless you have a particular problem to your lawn vs the neighbours, then your soil pH probably isn't "way off the charts"...nature has a tendency to keep things in equilibrium, and a soil pH over 7.5 seems a bit strange what with acid rain and all...

In fact, most places tend to have soils that are too acidic and need liming to increase the pH so, as I said, unless you have done something special to your lawn (compared to the other lawns in your neighbourhood), I'd either get more tests done - or sit back and let nature correct itself.

Remember too much fertilizer is almost irreversible i.e you can't undo it, whereas not enough means you can always add more...
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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Milorganite or ironite or........


well its pretty easy to do a ph test, so yeah it is off the charts. As far as my neighbors go... well I have none, I live on an acreage

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