Testing Soil? - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Landscaping & Lawn Care

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 08-04-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
JOATMON
 
ddawg16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S. California
Posts: 13,643
Rewards Points: 9,320
Blog Entries: 2
Default

Testing Soil?


I think I have a soil problem in my back yard. Last year I put down Marthon sod and in short order, about half of it died.

This summer I put down St Augustine sod...looked great for 3 weeks then it started to look sick...not just in spots, but all over.

A little background....the back yard was trashed during construction. I've used to to rinse out buckets of paint and drywall mud.....not to mention all the other things that get rinsed off during construction.

I had hoped our winter rains would have gotten rid of any stuff leached in the soil.

I'm wording if I significantly changed the PH.

I picked up one of those electronic PH testers....I don't see any difference in readings no mater what I do.

My next thought is to pick up a soil test kit.

Any good ways to figure out what is causing my problems?
__________________
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
ddawg16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-04-2015, 07:19 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,275
Rewards Points: 202
Default


I'm a few miles up the road from you, Michigan, but just wondering, Sir, did you cultivate the soil before laying the sod? I would, definitely, in this case. You probably have some high concentrations of lime wherever you rinsed out your buckets, and I saw and enjoyed a lot of your pictures, so know that you had a lot of foot traffic, at least in some areas, so the soil may be too compacted for the sod to take root? I believe that you are on the right track with soil sample analysis, but make sure that you get good results by taking them from areas other than where you were cleaning out buckets and so on. Here anyway, the county extension service will take them, as will several local nurseries, and while some of the information has been more than my little mind can handle, they always include a layman's version as well. Whenever I have collected samples, it has been from something like a couple of inches down, as that is where the roots will be, and from three or four separate spots mixed together, to avoid localized "contamination", whatever that may be.
DexterII is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-05-2015, 11:07 PM   #3
PE Mechanical Engineer
 
Thunder Chicken's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Massachusetts, USA, Zone 6A
Posts: 631
Rewards Points: 862
Default


I'd say send off samples of your soil to a local agricultural extension for proper testing. Many agricultural schools offer this service, generally only costs $20 or so, and they'll send you a detailed report that tells you how to correct the condition for turfgrass. They are usually very happy to answer questions too. Google 'agricultural extension soil test' and you'll find a bunch of schools that do this.

Gypsum will definitely drop the pH of the soil, but that may not be the issue. Gypsum is used as a soil amendment in areas with acid soils.

Also, I see that you are in southern CA - how is the drought out there? If you haven't been able (or allowed) to water the sod regularly, you might be out of luck trying to get sod to stick.

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 08-05-2015 at 11:09 PM.
Thunder Chicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-06-2015, 12:09 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4,626
Rewards Points: 4,406
Default


Speaking of drought, how hard is the ground.?
ron45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2015, 12:38 AM   #5
JOATMON
 
ddawg16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S. California
Posts: 13,643
Rewards Points: 9,320
Blog Entries: 2
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by ron45 View Post
Speaking of drought, how hard is the ground.?
My back yard is fine. Between the 2 story garage and huge avocado tree....it only gets about 5 hours of full sun a day.
__________________
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
ddawg16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2015, 09:57 AM   #6
PE Mechanical Engineer
 
Thunder Chicken's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Massachusetts, USA, Zone 6A
Posts: 631
Rewards Points: 862
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
My back yard is fine. Between the 2 story garage and huge avocado tree....it only gets about 5 hours of full sun a day.
How much water does it get? Sod needs regular watering for about a month before it gets established. And are you sure that it is actually dying? Water stressed grass will generally go dormant (turn yellow) until it gets sufficient water.
Thunder Chicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
watering hole for scrubs. safe? greentrees Landscaping & Lawn Care 6 05-30-2014 10:34 AM
Dying grass needs help greentrees Landscaping & Lawn Care 19 05-18-2014 03:49 PM
Soil testing and lawn rejuvination jjrbus Landscaping & Lawn Care 5 04-19-2013 08:01 AM
Small Yard, Tree Roots....? JayNYOne Landscaping & Lawn Care 6 11-13-2011 06:30 PM
Backflow device testing - possible scam? ScottR Plumbing 9 06-14-2009 10:55 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts