Friday, September 22, 2017

Soil test NOW! for new Fescue seeding.

If you're about to renovate or plant a new fescue lawn, collecting soil for a soil test is a great first step. Sending a soil sample to the soil testing lab at UGA will give you information about soil pH (how acidic, or not, your soil is), and about the major nutrients you will need to provide the new grass to get it off to a good start.

Even better, the soil test report will tell not only how much of what fertilizer to use and how much limestone, if any, to apply, it will also provide a fertilizer schedule that you can follow for the next few years. 

Soil Sample bags.     PHOTO/UGA
Fescue lawns have very different needs, in both how much fertilizer and when to apply it, than warm season lawns like Bermudagrass and Zoysia, so the report will be very helpful. 

To take a good soil sample, you can follow directions in UGA's Soil Testing for Home Lawns, Gardens, and Wildlife Food Plots.

The basic steps though are to dig down several inches (into the root zone) to collect some soil from the area you want to establish fescue in, then put that soil into a bucket or bag. Then do that again, in 10-12 other spots in the planting area. Mix those all together, so you have a good composite sample. The lab will need about two cups of that sample, so save two cups of that soil to take to your county extension office.

When you are at the office, you will fill out some basic contact information on an official UGA soil sample bag. The lab fee for the basic soil test, when sent through the Cobb county Extension office, is $8. Other counties may charge a slightly different amount, so call the office first if you are in a different county. 

The Extension office will then send your sample to the soil lab in Athens. It can take 10-14 days for the results to be complete.