Most types of lawn grass grows best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6 and 7. If your soil pH is below 5.5, your lawn won’t grow well. Don’t expect an extra application of fertilizer to help because highly acidic soil can’t absorb nutrients effectively.
Do You Need to Lime Your Lawn Grass?
Here’s a hint that may help you determine if you need lime lawn treatment: If you live in a dry, desert climate, there’s a chance your soil is alkaline and you may not need to lime your lawn grass. If you live a rainy area where acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons and camellias thrive, your soil is likely acidic and may benefit from lime lawn treatment. The only way to find out for sure is to take a soil test (Inexpensive tests are available at garden centers.). Liming a lawn that doesn’t need it is a waste of time and money, and liming soil that is already highly alkaline may affect soil health and result in a sickly, yellow lawn. Test every year to be sure you aren’t adding too much lime. Once the proper pH is established, you will probably need to lime only once every few years.
Best Time to Lime a Lawn
Spring is a great time to test your soil, and you can apply lime between fall and early spring. Many gardeners prefer to lime just before the first frost in fall because the soil has all winter to absorb the lime. Don’t spread lime on a dry, wilted lawn or a soggy, wet lawn. Don’t lime during frosty weather. If you haven’t planted grass seed yet, apply lime to the soil just before you plant.
How to Lime a Yard
Before you begin, a few liming lawn tips should be considered. There are several types of lime and your local garden center can help you determine the best type for your grass, soil type and climate. However, most gardeners find that pellet forms are easier to apply than powders. Once you’ve decided on the best type of lawn, refer to the label to determine the proper amount, which will depend largely on your soil pH. Depending on the type of lime, you can use a drop-style or rotary spreader. A spreader is the best tool for applying lime. Apply half of the recommended amount of lime by walking back and forth horizontally with the spreader, then add the second half by walking vertically. This way, your criss-cross pattern ensures the grass is evenly and completely covered. Water lightly after your lime lawn treatment to help the soil absorb the lime.