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  • Andrew Turnbull

Why do we need to carry out a soil analysis?

Updated: Jul 31

Skilled turfgrass managers can go about their work by relying on their hard-won experience and knowledge of their site, e.g. how it reacts to rainfall, temperature, levels of play etc. But how do you work out what is happening when unusual conditions and/or symptoms occur outside of this knowledge and experience? One tool available is to have an analysis carried out of, for example, the rootzone of a golf green - but what analysis?

South West Agronomy Ltd specialise in the anaylsis of turfgrass rootzones for nutrient content and physical properties, and follow up with advice based on the data. So again, what analysis? We offer a choice of analyses based on a description of your conditions and what you are trying to gain information on.

Full Nutrient Analysis

If a nutrient deficiency/excess is suspected we can carry out a Full Nutrient Anaylsis, as illjustrated below:

There are various methods of carrying out a nutrient analysis, with each using different extractants to try and mimic nutrient uptake by roots. We include three different methods of analysis to create an overall picture of the nutrient status. Using just one method only gives one interpretation. A balanced interpretation is only possible by seeing a pattern between the three methods, e.g. potassium may be short using one method but showing sufficient using another. The three methods we use are the:

  • Standard Sufficiency Level of Available Nutrients (SLAN

  • Minimum Levels For Sustainable Nutrition (MLSN)

  • % Base Saturation

We also include the Total Mineral Nutrients to show the differences between plant available and non-available, or what could be available if the soil envirnment was changed, e.g. increased microbial population. Also included is the average organic matter content.

Full Soil Health Analysis

You may need to include the physical makeup of the rootzone, so we offer the Full Soil Health Analysis that includes:

  • MLSN nutrient analysis

  • Particle size analysis

  • Physical properties, such as % pore space

  • Organic matter at four different depths

  • Balance between fungi & bacteria populations

The combination of nutrients, physical properties and microbial balance gives an overall picture of the rootzone health, and highlights any deficiencies in turfgrass management.

Soil Health Analysis

A compromise of the above two analyses is the Soil Health Analysis that gives the vital information from both sets of data.

This shows two types of nutrient analyses and the physical properties of the rootozne but without a full particle analysis, i.e. shows how the rootzone is behaving.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements. We can adapt our analyses to suit the needs of your turfgrass surface and budget. But, we do not compromise on the quality of the data and our dedictation to solving your needs.

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