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Bright green lawns are always a beauty to behold, but sometimes the soil and other factors can get in the way of the plans you have for your lawn.
The presence of lime in the soil of your grass effectively boosts soil pH while also encouraging proper growth. Lime is highly important when it comes to proper lawn maintenance.
The grass on your lawn might not be able to take up many nutrients from your soil if it lacks lime and this won’t help the flourishing of the grass on your lawn.
You might be wondering what lime is exactly, we are getting to that; Lime is a soil-improving element made from ground limestone rock, this limestone rock naturally contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.
When lime is added to soil, these compounds work to increase the soil’s pH, making the soil less acidic and more alkaline.
But how can you tell if your lawn needs lime? continue reading below to find more.
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Top signs your lawn needs lime:
- No impact even with the use of fertilizer: When a lawn starts diminishing, naturally what comes to mind for most people is to apply more fertilizer to the grass but that doesn’t seem to give many results.
An acidic soil prevents grass from taking up soil nutrients and applying more fertilizer at this point is likely to increase soil acidity, this is a sign to introduce lime to your lawn.
- When there’s excessive rainfall: When there’s excessive rainfall, magnesium, and calcium tend to become redundant in the soil because of the natural tendency of water to wash them away. This increases soil acidity and combats the healthy growth of grass.
- Increase of weeds in your lawn: Some weeds can be used to indicate high soil acidity, those types of weeds thrive well in acidic soil. You’ll see dandelions invading your lawn grass if the soil is acidic. This is telling you that it’s likely time to lime your grass.
- When your grass starts turning yellow: This happens when the grass is not actively taking up enough nutrients from the soil, it starts wilting and turning yellow.
Why would this occur?
First of all, lawn grasses thrive in soils with a pH level of 5.8 to 7.0. When the soil has a low pH level, it becomes too acidic for the lawn grasses resulting in yellow patches and poor growth.
This is a clear indication that your lawn needs liming.
- Presence of moss on your lawn: Some plants are used as indicators for different factors, moss is a plant that finds acidic soil favorable, therefore, it thrives in this type of environment [acidic soil]. When you see mosses spreading out on your lawn, it is a sign that you need to use lime.
- A long period of intense heat: After your lawn has gone through the stress of long intense heat, it would require enough nutrients for it not to go limp.
How do I know I need a lime?
The most factual way to tell if your lawn needs lime is to carry out a test on it. pH shows how acidic or alkaline a soil is.
After carrying out the test and the reading is higher than 7, that only implies that the soil is alkaline but if the reading is lower than 7, that indicates that it is acidic.
Soil testing provides a factual estimate of your soil’s current pH level and other aspects, such as soil type, that affect the amount of lime or other soil modifications it may need.
Without soil samples, you can’t accurately predict or judge your lawn’s needs.
Water naturally washes away calcium as it passes through the soil, that is why it is required to lime the soil in these regions where there’s heavy rainfall because once calcium is lost, the soil pH drops and this results in soil acidity.
When your lawn is properly maintained, regularly fertilized, properly irrigated, and limed, the pH of your soil will gradually balance out and you’ll end up having that desirable lush lawn you’ve always wanted.
When should I put lime on my lawn?
In general, the adequate time for you to apply lime on your lawn will be in the fall.
will give the lime quantity of time to convert your acidic soil and balance out the pH before the next growing season.
The worst period to apply lime on your lawn would be in the middle of summer when the heat is intense, this can negatively affect your lawn because the chemical process will be disturbed leading to more imbalance in the pH of your soil.
Also, avoid liming your lawn when the weather is freezing because this could stop the ongoing chemical reaction.
If you’re looking for a quicker result out of your lawn, you should bear in mind that the chemical reaction of lime in the soil is really slow.
In a situation whereby you’re impatient about the result, you could consider replacing the soil on your lawn.
You can carry out the process of liming your lawn if you have the experience, but if that’s not the case, we advise you to employ a professional lawn care specialist to take care of it.
The process of liming your lawn can be messy, and lime powder can be harmful if inhaled.
Lime for lawn care comes in both pellet and powder form. Both are equally adequate in stabilizing the pH of the soil. Lime is spread on grass using a tiller or a drop spreader.
This guarantees that the application is even and that no one area gets too much lime. The more finely ground the lime, the quicker it will react in your soil and balance your soil pH.
How do I know when to add lime to the soil?
When you notice the presence of certain plants spreading out on your lawn, it should serve as an indication of some factors as regards the soil on your lawn.
Some plants find it favorable to grow in acidic soil, choking out desirable plants in the process, for instance, moss is an indicator plant because it thrives in acidic soil.
When your lawn grass doesn’t respond to the adequate application of fertilizer, there could be a lot of other factors that could be the cause but when the soil is acidic, it tends to inhibit the grass activity.
Even more application of fertilizer has no impact on the grass in acidic soil.
Another way to decipher when to add lime to the soil is when you notice withering grass blades, yellow patches in the grass, or a general reduction in the density of the turf
Too much rain can cause the alkaline to run off which will cause an upsurge in soil acidity, or it can even be caused by over-fertilization.
Whatever the case may be, your lawn will likely benefit from a lime application.
Can I put too much lime on my lawn?
First of all, carry out a test on your soil, the soil readings will tell you if your lawn will benefit from a lime treatment, and if so, how much to apply.
It is not recommended to apply lime unless you’ve ascertained you need to do so. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and money and possibly do more harm than good by forming overly alkaline soil.
Applying lime when it’s not needed or applying way too much can impair lawn grasses instead of benefiting them.
If your soil is overly acidic, you should retest every year until the suitable balance is fixed. Soil test results will include the amount of lime your lawn needs, based on its soil type and current pH.
The best way to fix the presence of excessive lime in the soil is to have a professional lawn care company test the soil and issue a customized solution.
You can also expend several weeks mulching in fresh organic materials to help neutralize the lime. Or, as a last alternative, you can apply horticultural sulfur to your lawn to try to neutralize the lime and restore your soil to a healthy pH level.
By counteracting acidic soil with lime, your grass will be healthier, look more adorable, and grow much faster.
Lime also has a favorable effect on the overall layout of the underlying soil.
This will enhance moisture retention and intensify airflow. Not only is lime advantageous for your lawn, but it can also help improve the quality of your garden.