soil testing

Variation in rootzone organic matter (humus) from point to point on the same green

Anything resembling thatch or mat is explicitly excluded from the soil organic matter measurement made on routine soil nutrient analyses. That portion of soil organic matter is excluded because it is not measured.

Four more sources for MLSN information

In my recent “How MLSN Works” seminar—slides here—I mentioned some other ways to learn more about MLSN. The four items I recommended are: The Humbug movie which explains MLSN and includes discussions with turfgrass managers who have used it.

It is difficult to run a fertilizer down the field when the corn is six feet high

I was reading the “Cultural Aspects of Disease Management” chapter in Management of Turfgrass Diseases by Dr. Vargas and came across this gem about soil pH: “Most of the literature tells you that the soil pH should be maintained at the optimum level for turfgrass growth (between 6 and 7).

Why soil pH should usually be kept above 5.5

I almost always recommend keeping the soil pH above 5.5. This minimizes soluble aluminum in the soil, which can be toxic to roots. Get the soil pH above 5.5, and the soluble aluminum won’t be very soluble anymore—it drops almost to 0.

A continuous improvement system for turfgrass

I’ll be at Nutranta’s Best Practices seminar on 20 November to talk about soil nutrient and soil organic matter testing. I’m not sure the exact title I’ll use, maybe Turf nutrition and soil organic matter: continuous improvement through testing or A system to get better conditions year after year or The inevitable consequences of regular rootzone measurements.