Soil, the context in which plants live. Without healthy soil, it is next to impossible to have healthy plants. Spring is a perfect time to start thinking about your soil, and the health of your lawn. Since Spring is just around the corner so we want to share with you what we have been up to at EcoTurf. This Winter many of our customers took advantage of the “Inspect and Treat with Soil Analysis” service we offered. This year we had the opportunity of performing over 60 soil samples so far with more to come.
One of the things uncovered by these soil analyses was how high the majority of ph. is in the soil along the Front Range. The majority have yielded very high ph. numbers between 7.5 and 8.3, incredibly Alkaline. The chart above helps give you a visual of the ph. range that most plants need soils to have in order to access the majority of nutrients from the soil. Turf grasses prefer a slightly Acidic ph. of ideally 6.5, however many lawns can be healthy at 7.2-7.5.
As a result, EcoTurf is making several changes to our fertility product line in order to help soils with slightly elevated ph. to become more balanced. Soils in the higher end 7.5 and above will need additional applications of Elemental Sulphur in order to correct the imbalance caused by high ph. and allow soils to exchange nutrient to the plant correctly. The process of lowering soil ph. happens very slowly and little by little over the course of time, however, small movements in ph. can give big improvements in color and health. Applications of Sulfur can happen in the spring or fall.
Another soil imbalance our soil analysis uncovers if present is Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Here is a soil sample of a new customer with low CEC of 14.1. Even though this lawn might have adequate nutrient levels if there is low CEC the nutrients are not available to the plants. We adjust CEC by amending the soil and buffering the soil so nutrients are plant available.
Here is a great explainer video about CEC, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmEyymGXOfI&fbclid=IwAR3xEs6f1XiK-8BLgoiPIqWLOVaTbkU0lhkZW8zECrhpwuz2xsHysmVeNRw
Another soil deficiency we analyze, in our soil testing, is the amount of organic matter. New customers will have extremely low organic matter content which affects pH, CEC, retention of nutrients and water. If organic matter is below certain levels we will do an aeration with soil amendment to help this deficiency.
EcoTurf offers Soil Testing and Analysis, Sulfur applications and Soil Amendments to help meet the needs of Colorado soil and conditions.