Maintaining a proper pH level is critical to achieving a healthy, lush-green lawn. When the pH of your grass goes under or above its “normal” range (varies depending on the variety of grass), it may turn very light green or brown, or even die.
This is where lime comes into play: applying lime to your lawn can help to balance the pH level so it’s better suited for healthy, sustained growth. But how do you know when it’s time to lime your lawn?
What is Lime?
No, I’m not referring to the fruit lime. Lime – when used in the context of landscaping – is a chalky-white substance that’s obtained by heating limestone to high temperatures.
It’s commonly used to treat both soil and water to correct acidic imbalances. Because it has a high-PH level, lime can subsequently raise the pH level of your soil.
Lime comes in two forms, pelletized and powder. The powder will tend to assimilate into your lawn faster but the pellets are much easier and less messy to work with.
Moss and Weeds
One tell-tale sign that your lawn needs lime is the presence of weeds and moss. Excessive weed and moss growth is usually indicative of highly acidic oil, simply because they thrive in acidic environments.
If you notice moss and/or weeds overtaking one or more areas in your lawn, it’s probably time to lime it.
Check the pH Level
Of course, you really won’t know whether or not your lawn truly needs lime without testing the pH level for yourself. This can be done using either a disposable testing trip or a reusable electronic tester, both of which are typically sold at home improvement stores and plant nurseries.
A healthy lawn should possess a pH level somewhere between 6.2 and 6.8 (note: the lower the pH, the greater the acidity).
If your lawn tests under this amount, you should apply lime to help raise the pH level.
How to Apply Lime to Your Lawn
Lime can be applied by sprinkling it out with your hands (while wearing gloves, of course), or you can use a drop spreader. If you have a large yard, it’s recommended that you choose the latter option, as a drop spreader will allow you to cover more ground in less time.
Simply walk back and forth across your yard with the spreader, allowing it to sprinkle the lime throughout. Continue doing this until you’ve made 2-3 passes, at which point your yard should have enough lime to correct problems with the acidity.
You can find lime in both powder and pellet form at your local landscape nursery and most big box home improvement stores.
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