Soil Test Report from UDel #423622 - Ask Extension


Soil Test Report from UDel #423622

Asked August 27, 2017, 10:19 AM EDT

Hello, OK, so I received back a copy (attached) of my soil test from University of Delaware. 1) Is there a simple (or difficult) way to translate "pounds per 1,000 sq ft" to the settings on a Scotts Rotary spreader? 2) Whereas I understand that you say to stay away from "junk" grass seed at the big box hardware stores, can I use the Scotts (or other) fertilizer products? 3) Anything else that I should know based on the report? 4) In the second attached image, my completely dead lawn. The dead grass (and stuff) is fairly long/tall. Should I use a dethatcher to remove it before fertilizing and the tilling. I assume that grass seed would certainly not reach the soil through that layer! Thanks!!

Montgomery County Maryland

Expert Response

1. We'd recommend that you search online for Scotts spreader information or call them.

2. You can certainly use Scotts fertilizer products, however the first priority is to follow the Maryland State guidelines, which are formulated to feed the lawn with no excess that washes or or is wasted:

3.  After this fall seeding, follow the guidelines given above. Also, your lawn doesn't need magnesium for a while--it's fairly stable in the soil. So when you lime, use regular lime, not Dolomitic lime which has magnesium.

4. If you are going to till, as you mentioned, you do not need to remove the dead lawn debris.  If you are not planning to till, you will need to work up the surface somehow.  A slit-seeder should work well.  To remove the debris, you can put your mower on the lowest setting and really chop it up, and/or rake off the excess.

Read this through carefully before you start:


Fertilizer and seed are down and I'm now watering and waiting! I notice the very small beginnings of what is clover--I believe too tiny to pull at the moment. In several days, is it ok to walk on the grass seed to pull the clover? What about when the grass begins to sprout? Can I walk on it to reach and pull clover?
The Question Asker Replied September 05, 2017, 12:12 PM EDT
I cannot find the citation at the moment, but I recall that you have said that Nitrogen should be applied according to the UME guidelines, NOT the soil test results (1 lb N per 1,000 sq ft). Publication HG 102 calls for 0.9 lb/1,000 sq ft in September and the same in October. Am I recalling and understanding correctly? Also, regarding my previous email, can I VERY locally spray emerging weeds with Weed B Gone or will this damage seed?
The Question Asker Replied September 06, 2017, 9:30 AM EDT
Do not pull the possible emerging clover as it can damage the emerging grass. Newly seeded areas should be restricted from foot traffic for at least a month after seed has germinated. At that time if you are noticing weeds, you may be able to handpull weeds.

Herbicides should not be applied until the lawn has been mowed three or four times or according to labeled directions.
Fertilizer should be applied according to the UME fertilizer recommendations, 
pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, 0.9 - 1.8 lbs a year-
For tall fescue - 0.9 lb. in September and 0.9 lb. in October 
See our fertilizer recommendations


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