I came across an interesting article this morning on the turf diseases website that confirms something I’ve been a proponent of for many years.
In many areas of agriculture and horticulture, there is a tendency to apply whatever nutrients we think the plants need and not pay any attention to soil testing. It’s something I like to call ‘nutrient paranoia.’ Turf managers (and others) seem to think, for some reason, “the soil reports must be lying, because when I put down that extra two pounds of K last year, I thought I saw some sort of response.”
When you apply a surplus of nutrients, you could be having an antagonistic effect on other nutrients within the system. Think of applying nutrients as trying to achieve a balance of nutrients in soil, not just applying what you think should be there or what worked in the past.
Check out this link and see what researchers found when more potassium (K) was added to their putting greens before winter and the subsequent infections of snow mold.
Soil testing is a very important part of growing plants properly and should not be merely glanced at, then shoved aside so you can continue to do what you’ve done every year. Don’t spend money where it isn’t needed! If your soil report comes back telling you there are adequate levels of P and K in your soil, then you don’t need to apply them.