Depending upon where you live, adding a lawn lime treatment to your lawn is as necessary as adding fertilizer or even mowing it on a regular basis. Unless the pH of the soil is determined by a soil test, the fertilizer you apply may provide little benefit to the lawn. If your soil is too acidic, meaning that the pH is below 6.5, the fertilizer is not properly utilized by the grass plant and the lawn will appear weak and have a dull green to yellow color.
The soil in some areas of the US is naturally acidic, so adding lime every year is a necessity. For other parts of the country, having a soil test will help determine if lime is needed to counteract acidic soil or sulfur is needed to correct soil that is too alkaline. The most common soil pH problem involves the soil being too acidic.
Here are the basic steps to follow when taking a soil sample:
- Using a clean, rust-free trowel, take samples from up to 10 areas of your lawn.
- Each sample should be about 6 to 8 inches deep.
- Remove the grass and any thatch at the top and save about 2 to 3 inches from the middle of the sample.
- Mix the samples together in a clear container and allow them to dry at room temperature.
- Send the sample to a soil testing lab, such as the county cooperative extension service in your community. Contact the service first for fees and where to mail the sample.
There is other valuable information that you can learn from a soil test beside the pH level, such as the amount of phosphorus and potassium that the soil contains. There may be a situation where the addition of supplemental nutrients is necessary. The other reason for determining the pH of the soil is that applying lime to a lawn that has a high pH can harm the lawn instead of helping it. If the soil test of the lawn shows it to be very acidic, yearly tests may be necessary.
When To Apply Lawn Lime Treatment
A lawn lime treatment can be applied at any time of the year, but spring and fall are probably the best times to apply it. The main reason to do so is that is when the most rain fall occurs. An added benefit for a fall application, is the normal freeze and thaw cycles help break down the lime and allow it to work faster.
If your lawn does not seem to respond to fertilizer applications and appears weak and has a dull color, contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green. They can advise on the best practices to help ensure a healthy, green lawn, including soil samples and lawn lime treatment applications.