ARE YOU TIRED OF GETTING GENERIC ANSWERS AND BAD ADVICE TO YOUR IMPORTANT LAWN CARE QUESTIONS?
Turf Dietitian will analyze data that will allow us to develop strategies based on scientific data, experience, and your property’s unique influences that determine plant and soil health.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A SOIL TEST BE DONE?
Many different opinions from turf professionals exist regarding how often to test the soil. With Turf Dietitian’s state-of-the-art equipment, we can perform testing more often at a lower cost. However, ideally would be in the fall or spring ahead of the peak growing season. Testing can be for preventative purposes or as problems arise.
HOW CAN TURF DIETITIAN HELP?
We can assist you by developing and maintaining the most luxurious yard in the world, or we can help to improve the most basic lawn. Our years of experience as golf course superintendents and turf grass consultants give us the knowledge and experience to be the best agronomist in the world.
SIX BASIC FACTORS FOR PLANT HEALTH
There are six fundamental factors for a healthy lawn. Turf Dietitian will analyze your soil sample and provide an easy-to-understand scientiﬁc report with a treatment plan.
Whether applied through irrigation or precipitation, your water source is the largest influence on the nutrient content of the soil and the health of your yard. Testing is essential as rainfall adds more nutrients to the soil in one week than most homeowners apply in many seasons with granular applications.
Most homeowners experience issues due to over-watering, and knowing if you have good quality water may save you money! Effectively applying the right amount of nutrients, chemicals, and water only when needed is the key to proper management.
If you have poor quality water, that factor alone will cause challenges that make it difficult to grow a healthy yard. Turf Dietitian can develop programs to compensate for poor quality water.
Soil is the house of our plants! The better the soil structure, the better the chances are for you to have a beautiful lawn. Even the most expensive and well-maintained yards struggle when the soil structure is poor. Whereas, if the physical properties of the soil in your yard are of good quality, you can have a beautiful lawn at a fraction of the cost.
Expensive lawns get built by bringing in ideal soils amended before delivery. But, if your yard is like the other 99%, they’re comprised of the native soil, which may or may not provide good structure. And we have many tools and techniques to compensate for situations that are not ideal.
Turf Dietitian regularly suggests proper cultural practices and techniques that improve or restore the appropriate air-to-water ratio and enhance plant health and deep root development. All of which encourage beautiful and healthy plant growth.
NUTRIENTS IN SOIL RESERVE
The majority of the nutrients in the soil reserve come from the water that falls or flows across the property. Nutrients can also enter the soil reserve through organic matter decomposition, animal decomposition or waste, mechanical application, or directly from the atmosphere. Large amounts of nutrients exist in the soil reserve. To be available to the plant, natural or chemical mineralization(melted down into a liquid) must take place.
The standard testing methods to determine the nutrient content of the soil have been around for many decades. The lab data from testing soil nutrient content is information that practically every consultant in the industry uses to determine plant needs. However, if this is the only data used, the recommended fix is nothing more than a guess.
THE IMPORTANCE OF USING EVERY PIECE OF DATA AVAILABLE TO DETERMINE NEEDS:
Consider an intricate puzzle and how each section is essential to complete it. If you lost enough pieces to the riddle, it would be unlikely to see enough of the picture to determine what you’re looking at and ultimately complete the challenge. The same goes for plant health.
PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT A DIAGNOSIS IS MALPRACTICE.
WHY SHOULD I TEST MY SOIL?
Soil testing helps determine existing problems and potential future concerns. A qualified lawn expert and soil test professional can help establish lawn care treatments, including the composition of fertilizer needed for the healthiest and most sustainable growth. Their scientific diagnosis will help position you for optimal treatment now and in the future.
WHAT DOES A SOIL TEST INVOLVE?
Testing the soil provides a diagnosis for current and future treatment. Collecting samples from various parts of the lawn, including soil from under the grass, shrubs, trees, and garden, will give an overall analysis allowing the lawn experts to provide a comprehensive treatment plan. Regardless of the scale of your operation, Turf Dietitian has experience treating the largest Country Clubs to helping individuals with their vegetable gardens. Our advice is unique to each property’s environment.
NUTRIENTS IN SOIL STRUCTURE
Analyzing soil solution is modern science that very few Agronomist understood in its infancy. Soil solution is nothing more than what’s sitting on the dinner plate for the plant to eat. The data we get from analyzing what has mineralized and surrounded the plant root is just one more piece to the puzzle. Knowing what’s in soil solution holds valuable information that was not accessible 20 years ago. This information is the starting point to feeding the plant only what it needs, providing healthier plants, and saving you money.
Soil solution measures the nutrients available for plant consumption in the liquid parts of the soil. The composition is directly affected by soil-forming processes, vegetation, general climatic conditions, the seasons, weather, and man’s activity, such as the addition of fertilizers. The amount of available nutrients for plant consumption is highly dependent on the moisture content of the soil.
Plant tissue testing provides the most accurate data in real-time to indicate what nutrients the plant has consumed. Although most of what the plant takes up is through the soil and a mass flow of nutrient-rich gravitational water, a small amount of nutrients gets absorbed by the plant tissue through atmospheric nutrients and sugars or amino acid nutritional products.
Plant tissue testing shows us what the plant has eaten from the soil solution in the past few days. Knowing what the plant eats allows us to fine-tune our recommendations, saving our customers even more money and making the plant strong enough to thrive and fight off stress on its own. Stress kills and can cost a lot of money to correct chemically.
PHYSICAL FACTORS AND ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS
Not all of the challenges a Homeowner faces growing a beautiful lawn are soil related. Physical and environmental factors can make growing healthy turf problematic even with perfect soil conditions.
When you struggle with the same turf areas, plant beds, and gardens year in and year out, poor physical conditions typically remain and obstruct the ability to grow plants. Some common physical factors that can make it a demanding task to grow healthy turf are:
1. Excessive Organic Matter
2. Soil Layering
3. Soil Structure
4. Poor Quality Irrigation Water
5. Improperly Constructed Greens
6. Inefficient Irrigation
7. Shallow Rooting
8. Shade from Trees or Structures
9. Inadequate Air Movement
10. Poor Surface Drainage
11. Steep Contours
12. Height of Cut / Harvesting too Frequently
13. Surface Drainage
14. Drainage System Failures
15. Excess or Heavy Traffic
16. Extreme Weather
17. Anaerobic Bacteria
18. Lack of Food for Aerobic Bacteria (Feeds on the plant’s reserves)
19. Insects / Pests
22. Soil Reactions
25. Mechanical Issues
26. Economic Issues