Choosing a Fertilizer Based on Soil Test Results

Posted by Bob Franchetto on Aug 28, 2014 5:04:00 PM

Soil tests help you identify which nutrients your customers' soil actually needs to produce healthy turf. In Part 12 of our Drought Solutions video series, you'll learn the reason why many seasonal fertilizer blends won't work for your soil and why you should integrate soil tests into your annual program.

Video Transcript

Who's doing soil tests on a regular basis?

Every single site should be at least soil tested once a year.

Here's why: When you go to the doctor and you've got something wrong or you don't feel good, what's the first thing the doctor says to you?

Where's your blood work? They want blood work. That's your soil test. The doctor is not going to prescribe anything for you until they know what's going on in the inside of you.

How do we prescribe - hey, I'm going to put that fertilizer on - when we don't know what we need? Or we don't know what's going on? A lot of the fertilizers you're putting on don't work because it's either not needed or the soil is bound up enough to where it can't get it.

Without a soil test, we don't know what the soil needs, whether we're using synthetic fertilizers or we're using organic fertilizers. It still doesn't know what it needs. So that's important.

What's the very first thing customers ask you about fertilizer? What do they want?

Color. I want green. I don't care what you give me. I want it to green up.

Well, the right answer is: I don't know how to green up your site. I don't know what the heck's going on on it. Because we haven't done a soil sample. That's the right answer.

But traditionally the answer you get - see that right over there, that's our winter fertilizer. That's the one you should use. That's gonna green it up. That's our summer fertilizer. That's what you should use. That's what's gonna green it up.

That's my job to start training my guys. To get better at it. To say, well wait a minute. What's going on on your site? How do we know what you're supposed to be using? Are you using organics? Are you using synthetics? Start asking the questions to make us get better, and that's what we want to get to.

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Topics: Maintenance, Water Conservation, Fertilizer, Drought Solutions