In order to maintain a lush, green and vibrant lawn and garden, it is critical the turf itself is managed to keep a pH balance between 6 and 7. This is a fairly narrow range and can be difficult to maintain unless proper chemicals and soil addictive are applied. One such additive is ammonium sulfate, a specialized fertilizer that is comprised of both sulfate and nitrogen. This fertilizer works within the soil to keep the pH balance securely in the 6 to 7 range.
What Is The First Step To Lower Turf Soil PH
Your first step in using ammonium sulfate to manage turf soil pH is to take a turf sample to be tested. Pull back on the turf and take several samples of soil across the lawn or yard. These samples should be between six to eight inches and go down at least 3 inches. Mark each sample from the location in the yard or lawn they were taken and then add them all into a bucket and mix them together. Use a gallon sealable bag and take a subsample out of the bucket, enough to fill the sealable bag ¼ full. Seal the bag and shake to mix even further. Send this sample out to a turf and soil testing lab for pH analysis. These labs can be found through local home and garden centers or by calling your municipal or county department of environmental conservation for referrals.
Use a portion of the remaining soil in the bucket and add it to a disposable cup and pour an equal portion of distilled water into the cup to make a slurry with the soil. Allow this slurry to sit for at least 30 minutes and then take a ph testing strip, place it into the cup and watch for the noted color change to the strip. Most ph strips comes in packages that have a printed color comparison chart to use for comparing the ph test strip in the cup. Notate the match up on the chart with the color of the tested ph strip. This is the ph level for the tested soil. Alternatively, a ph meter may be used to test the samples.
Best Formula To Lower Turf Soil PH With Ammonium Sulfate
Using the formula of five pounds of ammonium sulfate to 1000 square feet of soil, use a fertilizer spreader to apply the ammonium sulfate over the yard or lawn of the turf in need to pH balancing. This gives a result of approximately one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, enough to bring the rug and soil to the needed 6 to 7 pH range for turf health.
Irrigate the treated soil two complete irrigation cycles. After the irrigation cycles, retest using the same lab method and home pH strip testing to see if the needed pH balance of 6 to 7 has been achieved. In most circumstances, this will be the end result and the one needed for the health of the turf that sustains the lawn and yard. Some grass species require a slighter higher ratio on nitrogen to 1000 square feet. If unsure what grass your turf is sustaining, bring a sample of the rug in to a home and garden center and consult with the soil specialist and greenhouse expert to ascertain the grass species in need of pH regulation.
Be aware that risks of leaf burn is higher with ammonium sulfate, something to keep in mind when raking and bring brush piles in the fall.