To Lime Or Not To Lime?
To lime or not to lime? We often get this question at Classic Lawns. Not every lawn needs lime. However, we believe that there are certain situations where applying lime would greatly benefit your lawn. The main reason to apply lime is to raise your soil’s pH level. Ideally, we want your soil pH to be neutral which is between 6.0 and 7.0. When your soil pH is below the 6.0-7.0 range your soil becomes acidic. When this happens certain nutrients in the soil become “locked.” The nutrients are in the soil, but the grass plant can’t use them. These include the following: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and molybdenum. As these nutrients become less available, the lawn’s color, vigor, and ability to resist (or recover from) heat, drought, or traffic stress will be reduced. Applications of enough lime to raise the soil pH above 6.0 can increase the availability of these nutrients, thus making it easier to maintain the quality and vigor of the lawn.
The best way to determine if your lawns needs lime is to do a soil test and get your exact pH level. Classic Lawns can do this for you for just $35.00. However, after many years of experience, we have determined that there are certain conditions that can pretty much guarantee you need lime. These conditions are:
- Lawns with several large and mature trees. Trees like a higher pH level and over time they change the soil to their liking.
- Heavy clay soils. Clay soils are nutrient poor and lime helps restore nutrients for your grass to use.
- Lawns that are irrigated with acidic water. This can be common with sprinkler systems that use well water.
- Lawns that are not responding to a regular fertilizer program.
We can apply lime at anytime of the year. However, for lime to work best it needs to be incorporated into the soil. We apply lime in January and February so that the freezing and thawing process that the ground goes through can work lime into the soil. We apply 20-40lbs of lime per 1000sqft. of turf. This makes applying lime labor intensive. The cost of applying lime usually runs around 1.5-2 times your regular lawn application price. Give us a call with any questions or to schedule a lime application or a soil test. Learn more about Classic Lawns One Earth Lawn Services here!