Of course, the lime treatment helps you to get a lush green lawn, but how to tell if your lawn needs lime? What are the symptoms and when is the right time? I used to have a lot of such questions. I bet you do so! In this article, you will find all of the answers that have been bothering you for so long!
Lime helps to restore the pH balance of the soil providing necessary nutrients that have been lost over time. There is no doubt, it makes the grasses healthier and helps a lot to grow better. But like everything, overusing it or applying it the wrong time can do the reverse!
How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs Lime?
I have listed all the signs that will tell you whether your lawn needs a lime treatment or not. Your neighbors may be telling you to apply lime. Don’t do it until you notice the following signs:
- The moment you notice the lawn is depleted or the grasses are not growing at the expected rate, it’s a red flag and your lawn needs lime quickly.
- Due to the low pH of the soil, the grasses of your lawn become yellow instead of green. In addition to losing color, the grasses will lose strength as well. Color is easy to notice, so check the color of your grasses first.
- An increased presence of pests and diseases also indicates a demand for lime treatment.
- The next thing to notice is the increased presence of weeds like Dandelions, Knotweed, Clover, Plantains, etc. A weedy lawn is the result of acidic soil. Weeds love acidic soil!
- The ideal pH level of lawn soil is between 6.2-7.0. Anything lower than that tells you to apply the lime treatment. Get a pH test kit and test the pH level today.
- We apply fertilizer for new grass to give it a boost so that the grass can grow faster and better. But if you notice no visible result after apply fertilizer, it’s a sign that tells you to apply lime. FYI: Fertilizer won’t work on acidic soil.
- If you notice there is an excessive presence of moss presence in your lawn. It’s more like noticing weeds but moss presence does not tell you to do the lime treatment right away. It tells you that the soil has a lower pH level and you should think about applying lime shortly.
- In some areas, acidic rain is a common thing. If you live in such areas, it’s pretty much sure the soil is acidic too and suffering from lower pH levels. If there is acidic rain, your lawn does need lime treatment.
- The grasses of your lawn will have a hard time recovering from other natural adversaries like heat and drought.
- Test the type of soil of your lawn. Depending on the area you are living in, some soil is naturally acidic. You can do it yourself after mowing the lawn or call a professional. You should do this soil test every 2 to 3 years. If the soil type is naturally acidic, regular lime treatment is your only solution. A soil test in such a case is vital since it will tell you exactly how much lime to apply as well.
- If there is sandy type soil in your lawn, it’s pretty obvious that the soil is suffering from acid due to the lower pH level. The problem of sandy soil is that even if you apply lime, the pH level will vanish pretty quickly. That’s the nature of the sandy soil that they can old the nutrients pretty well.
- Just like sandy soil, clay soil is also problematic as well. The severity may not be that high but clay soil needs lime treatment to balance the pH level. You don’t have to do it as frequently as the sandy oil since the clay soil can hold the nutrients well.
- If you regularly use nitrogen fertilizers, eventually this will cause the imbalance of pH level. So the microbial activity gets affected due to the lower pH level which will lead to less vigorous grasses.
Homemade Solution To Soil Test
The soil chemistry varies from neighborhood to neighborhood across the entire U.S. As you have noticed, I talked a lot about soil tests while describing how to tell if your lawn needs lime. I think I should talk about it more.
The best way to do this is to use a soil test kit which is not costly at all. I have an alternative solution if you don’t want to use or you don’t have the option of using a soil testing kit. Yes, I am talking about a homemade solution. All you need is vinegar and baking soda!
Alright, this is what you should do.
Take the soil sample from the different parts of the lawn and mix them together. In a cup, add a tablespoon of soil and half a cup of vinegar. If it starts fizzing, the pH level is too high (more than 8).
Just like the above test, create a muddy mixture of a tablespoon of soil and some distilled water. Add a half cup of baking soda and if it starts fizzing, the pH level is between 5 to 6. If none of the tests displays any fizzing, the pH level is neutral. Here is an instructional video on how to do the test yourself.
Food For Thoughts!
Alright, so you learned all the signs and how to test the soil yourself. But another fact you should be aware that planting the wrong grasses on the wrong soil may not be fruitful. In that case, applying lime won’t make a difference.
Also, there are some alternatives to lime as well as you can apply organic matter like compost, leaves, manure, etc. to provide required nutrients to the soil of your lawn.
Adding lime to the soil where the pH level is neutral or alkaline will bring the catastrophic results to your beautiful lawn. So be careful! Check for the signs again and if you are pretty sure the pH level is below the standard 7, you can move forward applying the lime treatment.