In a perfect world, grass would always be full, lush, and green, but unfortunately we all have to deal with less than ideal lawn conditions at some point. If you notice that your lawn is looking patchy, full of weeds, or more on the yellow side, it’s likely because the pH balance of your yard is not quite right. It’s a pretty common occurrence, so there is nothing to worry about, but you may be feeling a little bit helpless when it comes to dealing with the problem. The best solution is to use lime to restore nutrients to your lawn and get it eventually looking green and full again. Here’s a quick look at why liming your lawn is going to be your best weapon to fight yellow, weedy, patchy grass.
Restoring your Soil’s pH
Liming your lawn is going to, above all else, restore its pH levels to normal. Before you decide to use lime, it’s a good idea to see if the pH level is indeed the problem. You can do so by purchasing a pH testing kit, which are sold at garden centres and stores. If pH levels are for sure the problem, then it’s time to start liming!
Soils are placed into three different categories based on their pH value: acid, alkaline, and neutral. Soils with a pH level below 7 are classified as acid, above 7 are alkaline, and soil at 7.0 is placed into the neutral category. Different turf species have different pH requirements, and liming may be required if the pH in your soil is too low for the species of turf you are trying to maintain. Determining the pH level of your soil with the use of a pH testing kit is going to give you the answer you’re looking for when it comes to what your ideal pH level is.
What does Liming do?
You already know liming helps to restore your lawn’s pH level to normal, but what exactly is going on? Liming supplies calcium and reduces the acidity in your lawn, elevating the pH level. Dolomitic lime is the preferred choice by many homeowners, seeing as it includes magnesium as well as calcium. Lime also increases the microbial activity in the soil, which speeds up the decomposition of organic matter.
When should I Lime my Lawn?
The best time to start liming your lawn is in the fall, before winter. Liming is a process that takes time to deliver the intended results because lime takes a very long time to break down into the soil. Over the late fall months and the winter months, rain and snowmelt work to wash the lime into the soil, allowing it to do its job come springtime. Liming your lawn in the fall is a great way to get a full, green lawn once spring starts to bloom.
Can I combine Lime and Fertilizer?
Lime and fertilizer should never be combined. Mixing these two applications results in the loss of nitrogen, which is essential to healthy lawn growth. You should always wait at least two weeks between liming and fertilizing, or simply apply fertilizer earlier in the season.