You’ve probably heard of this lawn care method before, but you weren’t sure if it was applicable to your lawn. Well, we’re here to help you determine whether adding lime to soil in your property is necessary or not. First, we’ll delve into what lime is in the first place and assess its relevance to the health of one’s lawn. Afterward, we’ll talk about the procedure of adding lime itself to one’s lawn.
So, what is lime in the first place? Simply put, lime is the result of grinding a limestone, which is a sedimentary rock containing calcium carbonate or dolomite. In general, there are two types of lime you need to know about: agricultural lime and dolomite lime. There are other types of lime such as burnt lime and hydrated lime, but they are not as beneficial to lawn owners.
As for their similarities, both agricultural lime and dolomite lime have calcium. This element is known to be highly beneficial to the soil and the plants. Calcium is used to decrease soil salinity while making it easier for water to go deeper down the soil and reach the roots. The difference is that dolomite lime also has magnesium. This element helps in the creation of chlorophyll, which is essential for the photosynthesis of plants.
The biggest benefit of using lime is that it can adjust the pH level of the soil in your lawn. But why is correcting the soil pH level important? Well, it’s because not all plants can thrive at the same pH level. A lot of plants can grow well when the pH level is between 5.5 and 6.5.
However, not all lawns have this pH level in the first place. Thus, it’s important to know how to adjust the level depending on what you will be growing. After all, many plants will have problems getting essential nutrients in the soil if the pH level is either too high or too low.
A pH level of 3 makes the soil extremely acidic while a level of 10 makes it high in alkaline. The plants won’t grow to their ideal height nor will their leaves be as green as they should be. An incredibly acidic soil can also have an unhealthy amount of aluminum in it, which is toxic toward plants.
If your soil is extremely acidic and you want to increase its pH level, you should add lime. Using lime for acidic soil will allow the plant roots to better absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil.
Once the neutral pH level is achieved, it will be easier for organic matter to break down. Additionally, the efficacy of fertilizer is improved with a neutral pH level. Furthermore, your plants will become more resistant to diseases.
Still, you do not necessarily need to have an acidic soil to apply lime in your soil. With the application of lime, the overall quality of the soil and the plants can be improved. The calcium in lime supports cell wall formation, which is important in the growth of root tips, new leaves, and shoots.
Here’s a video talking about the relationship between lime and the soil:
The correct amount of lime for your lawn largely depends on the result of a soil test. You first have to determine the current pH level of your soil. While you can simply use a soil pH level test kit to know the level of soil acidity, we recommend getting a professional soil analysis. While this will indeed cost you a lot more than just a basic kit, it does provide better recommendations since it also studies the type of soil.
Usually, as little as 20 pounds of ground limestone can adequately adjust soil acidity of a lawn that’s a thousand square feet in size. Sometimes, the amount needed can reach up to 50 pounds for every 1,000 square feet. However, an extremely acidic soil can require 100 pounds of lime.
If your lawn does not exceed 1,000 square feet in total area size, you can still get the right amount. For lawns with sandy loam soil, five pounds of ground limestone for every 100 square feet is necessary to increase the pH level by one point. If you have medium loam soil, the rate increases to seven pounds for every 100 square feet. Lastly, eight pounds for every 100 square feet is needed if you have heavy clay soil.
Before you add lime to the soil, you must first prepare the soil. It should be tilled or dug to reach a depth of at least eight inches and a maximum of 12 inches.
Secondly, you have to evenly spread the lime over the soil in your lawn. Ensure that no sections of your property have more lime than others since this can lead to your plants growing at different rates.
Thirdly after spreading the lime, you have to rake it to reach a depth of two inches. Seeing the changes can take some time. It can be as quick as a month, but it could actually take six months or even a full year before the lime becomes fully dissolved in the soil.
Thus, we recommend that you add lime during the fall or autumn season so that it will be absorbed into the soil before the spring planting season arrives. We hope that this guide helped you in knowing the benefits of using lime in your lawn. If you have any queries, feel free to give us a comment.