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The Right Fertilizer/Lime

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by EricDerek on April 05, 2006 12:49 AM
Bought an old house, whose yard was neglected for years (15+?). The backyard has almost no grass, and was probably covered by leaves and moss for years (previous owners did clean it up a little before I moved in). In two weeks I am planning on doing a lot of work to correct the slope in the backyard and was planning on fertilizing and seeding then. (I’m in northern NJ if that helps you.)

I did a soil test last night and came up with this:

pH: Very Acid. 5.0 +/- a little
Nitrogen: Very Little
Phosphorous: High (extremely dark blue)
Potash: Very Low (off the scale)

First, what fertilizer, lime, etc. would you recommend?
Do I really use 5lbs of lime per 100 sq/ft? (The property is about 150 x 100, with about 1/2 (maybe a little more) lawn.

Second, when looking at fertilizers, I am assume I am looking for something with a x-0-x mix. Correct? Any recommendations on brand or mix? And how much to apply per 100 sq. ft.? (Just growing grass at this point, I’ll worry about flowers, vegetable, etc. later.)

Is there a fertilizer calculator online which can help with this calculation?

In two weeks I am planning on doing a lot of work to correct the slope in the backyard. I will then seed the lawn. Is there any benefit to adding lime and/or fertilizer and/or seed a week early (the top layer will be scrapped off and then reapplied once the clay is moved around)?

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Help!!!
by johnCT on April 05, 2006 03:24 AM
Do yourself a favor and get a decent soil test done by your local cooperative extension service. Home tests are not very accurate, especially in meausring nutrient content. The first question you need to answer is how much light is available to the area?

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John - Zone 6
by The Plant Doc on April 05, 2006 11:12 AM
Nitrogen: Very Little
Phosphorous: High (extremely dark blue)
Potash: Very Low (off the scale)

As far as the P goes; this will always test very high inthe spring as it is replenished naturally over the winter. The best time to check is in the summer.

I agree with John, Take samples from random places around your yard and mix them together in a clean plastic bag. Try to get pure soil, with very little organic matter in it. then bring this to the COOP, they will test it and give you a break down telling you exactly what you need.

If you have a much larger then average yard, you can separate the samples.

Lime does not work as quick as fertilizer. It takes months for it to change the pH of the soil.
It takes in most cases 20-30 lbs per 1000 sq feet of lime to change the pH one notch.

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 -
Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc

Active Garden Forum

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