Everyone wants to have a healthy green lawn. We know some of the steps we need to take to accomplish this goal. It’s important to give the grass the right amount of water and mow it regularly. But in some cases you might need to turn to another, less familiar, treatment--lime.
So, what does a lime treatment do and what are the signs you need to add lime to your lawn?
Lime treatment is designed to help people who have acidic soils. There are a few symptoms you can keep an eye out for that may indicate a pH imbalance and call for a lime treatment. These include:
· An abundance of weeds. One of the most common warning signs is that your lawn is starting to be overcome with weeds. Most weeds will thrive in acidic soils and even be more difficult to control in that condition. If the pH level is too acidic, the grass will be unable to take up nutrients, leaving it less tolerant to stress and susceptible to weed and pest pressure.
· Diseases and pests. Another sign of a weak lawn is diseases and other pests becoming prevalent. If you aren’t careful, these can quickly destroy your lawn.
· Yellowing grass patches. If the grass is starting to wither, it can mean that it isn’t getting enough nutrients. Acidic soil conditions will bind up nutrients in the soil and prevent your grass from getting the nutrition it needs to stay strong during the heat of the season.
· Fertilizers aren’t effective. Some of these symptoms can be caused by a lack of nutrients within the soil. Adding fertilizer might be able to solve this problem, but if you find your lawn unresponsive to these treatments, the problem may be in the soil.
There are a few reasons why acidic soil can occur. Sometimes, it will be naturally acidic. At other times, it can be caused by environmental factors, like heavy rain. This will wash away the calcium within the soil. As a result, the pH level will begin to increase.
The good news is that there is an easy way to test if acidic soil is responsible for these problems. You can perform a soil test. You’ll be able to measure the pH and determine if any adjustments need to be made.
JC Landscapes will be able to help you in this area. Our experienced team will come and perform soil testing, helping you accurately diagnose what is causing your lawn issues. Then, we can talk you through the options to fix the problem. The best part is these services are free.
The ideal pH for your lawn will vary slightly, depending on the type of grass you have. Generally, though, it will need relatively neutral soil, with a pH of between 6.0 to 7.0. If the soil isn’t in the right pH range, it will be difficult for the plants to absorb nutrients.
Thankfully, lime will be able to alleviate some of these problems. It will help combat acidic soil by raising the pH level, getting it back within the ideal range. It does this by changing the chemical composition of the soil. Typically, high pH is caused by high levels of potassium and hydrogen. This can be balanced out by increasing the amount of calcium and magnesium within the soil. These are the two main ingredients in lime.
This is a fairly simple process. First, the lawn will likely need to be aerated. This allows the lime to penetrate deeper into the soil. This is especially important in clay areas, like Pennsylvania.
Next, the lime will need to be added. Usually, this will take the form of Dolomitic lime. Though you can get powdered variety, usually it will be pellet lime, as this is easiest and cleanest to work with. It will have to be mixed into the top five inches of the lawn. The type of soil will determine how much lime you need to apply. For example, denser clay soil will require more lime than sandy soil.
Finally, you will need to add a small amount of water to wash the lime into the soil. Dolomitic lime is generally non-toxic, so children and pets may be in the lawn directly following the application/watering.
Usually, it’s best to call in a professional team to apply the lime for you. You can get the peace of mind of knowing that you will be getting the ideal amount of lime for your lawn. Adding too much lime can also cause problems, making the soil too alkaline.
The chemical process started by liming the lawn can take a long time. Often, it will take a few months the pH is effectively adjusted. Because of this, the fall months are often the best times to lime. There will be plenty of time and hopefully snow, before the next growing season starts, so the lime will have enough time to do its work.
The chemical composition of the soil will likely continue to change over time. Heavy rain, fertilization and even natural processes will continue to change the soils pH. Because of this, it’s common to have to re-apply lime. To monitor this process, you should arrange a landscaping company to do soil testing every few years.
In most cases, though, you will need to add some lime every one to two years to keep your lawn in excellent condition.
There are a few issues that might be affecting the growth of your lawn. One of the most common issues is that the pH level will be too acidic, making it harder for the grassroots to get the nutrients they need to thrive. Thankfully, this problem is fairly easy to solve. You may need to add some lime. If your lawn is starting to show signs of acidic soil, give our team at JC Landscapes a call and organize our soil testing and diagnostic services for free.