How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs Lime

Often, as soon as friends and neighbors notice you are planting a new lawn, they will advise you to lime it. They say they did it and now they have a beautiful lush green lawn. So, should you follow their steps and make a lime treatment for your lawn? How to tell if your lawn needs lime? I used to have the same questions. The answers I gathered resulted in what I now have-a beautiful lawn!

​When a lawn is treated with lime, the procedure helps the grass to grow better and healthier.

​The soil of your lawn can either be naturally acidic or becomes acidic over time. Natural leaching due to excessive irrigation or rainfall, acidic water or the use of nitrogen fertilizers can cause acidic soil.

​The ph of your soil measures its acidity or alkalinity. Acidic soil or low ph hugely affects the soil’s microbial activity. There is a hindrance to the nutrients properly being available to the grass and the surrounding plants.

​A lime treatment can alter the ph balance of your soil. Adding lime will bring back whatever nutrients that have been lost. It will also repair any damage on your grass. With lime treatment your grass will return to its lush green appearance.

​Lime treatment effects though are not an overnight thing. It usually takes months before lime can significantly alter the ph of your soil. You will thus need to be patient.

​Spring and fall are the suitable times for a lime treatment. Fall is the best though because there is enough time for lime to absorb in the soil. Avoid snow and heat in the winter and summer.

​Types Of Lime

How Much Lime To Add To Soil

There are two types of lime that you can apply to your lawn to raise the ph level of soil. Dolomitic limestone works to add magnesium to your lawn’s soil and calcitic limestone which is made up mostly of calcium carbonate.

​Both dolomitic and calcitic limestones are equally effective in raising the ph level of soil. Products used in lime treatment come in granular, pulverized, pelletized or hydrated forms.

​Granular or pelletized limestones take long to breakdown and are easy to spread. The fast-acting pulverized lime comes as a fine powder but it often clogs the spreaders. Hydrated lime is also fast-acting but it can easily overdose soil.

​Lime products are more effective if they are applied deep into the soil rather than just on top. This is exactly why lime application is often done together with fall watering and core aeration.

​How To Check If Your Lawn Needs A Lime Treatment

Here are some surefire signs on how to tell if your lawn needs lime:

  • Your lawn is yellow instead of green.
  • Your lawn becomes too weedy. Weeds thrive in acidic soil.
  • Soil test reveals (with a ph test kit) a ph level lower than between ph 6.2-7.0. Many plants grow best with a ph 6.2-7.0.
  • The fertilizer you apply does not seem to be working. Fertilizer will not be able to do its job of providing nutrients to plants in an acidic soil.
  • There is an excess appearance of moss in your lawn. Moss, just like weeds love acidic soil. Though the appearance of moss does not necessarily mean a lime treatment is needed, it is an indication that the soil ph needs to be raised.
  • The type of soil in your lawn. Certain soil types are naturally acidic. It is therefore best to know the type of soil you have in your lawn so you can decide if it needs lime treatment.

Sandy soil is acidic because it is not able to hold its ph level very well thus it is easy for its calcium content to leach out making the soil acidic. High frequencies of lime should be given to sandy soils during the entire year.

Clay soil also needs liming. Just like sandy soil, it needs a high level of lime to balance the ph of the soil. Unlike sandy soil, clay soil does not require frequent liming because once the ph level has been neutralized, it will remain in that state longer.​

  • Area experiences a lot of rainfall especially acid rain will most likely have acidic soil. Regular lime treatment is therefore needed.
  • Regular soil will overtime become naturally acidic. This is because of the rainfall and the decomposition of organic matters in the soil. This is a naturally occurring cycle but just the same makes the soil acidic and in need of lime treatment.
  • The grass loses its color and strength.
  • The grass has a difficult time recovering from stress due to drought and heat.

Lime treatment will make your lawn grow better. Most lawns gain a lot of benefits from a lime treatment. It is important to note though that not all lawns need lime treatment. It is therefore important that you watch out for the surefire signs on how to tell your lawn needs lime.

Have you tried liming your lawn? Share with us your experience with lime treatment in the comments section.

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