Spring time is the best time for lime
Supplementing your lawn with lime can be as imperative as mowing it in numerous parts of the country. Soil nutrients, even with added fertilizers, may be inadequate for lawn grasses without lime in some cases. Thus, you can support your lawn attain its full potential by knowing how lime application can help it.
“Lime” are products obtained from calcined (burnt) limestone, like hydrated lime and quicklime. Limestone is acquired from quarries and subterranean mines all over the world. It is an abundant and naturally-occurring sedimentary rock with high calcium and/or magnesium levels, along with other minerals in small amounts. In gardening, it is a soil amendment to help increase the soil’s pH.
Lime application makes the soil more alkaline than acidic. This helps in supporting nutrient availability for plants.
In the same way, lime application brings back the suitable pH level of the soil of your lawn or garden for optimal growth level of your plants. Because low pH in soil means it is acidic, it may inhibit nutrient availability for your plants or grass. Generally, on a pH scale of 0-to-14, most grasses absorb optimal nutrients when in between 5.8 and 7.2 soil pH. The nutrients needed most by grasses, remain available for grass to use when the soil pH is within the desired range. This includes lawn fertilizers’ added nitrogen.
There are some tell-tale signs that can indicate that your soil has become too acidic, thus, lime application may be needed.
Some signs are: lawn grasses are hardly coping, appearance of lawn moss, and increase in common lawn weeds, insect pests, and diseases. If grasses barely respond to good lawn fertilizers as what you normally expect, this could mean that the soil is already overly acidic. Soil testing is the best and most-accurate way to help you determine your soil’s current pH level. Your soil should go through a test annually until the proper balance is achieved. This is crucial to determine whether or not your soil needs lime application. After which, established lawns should go through the same test every three to four years. DIY soil test kits are available in agricultural and even hardware stores but your local county extension agent can be more helpful.
It may take many months after lime application for it to break down and alter or improve your soil’s pH.
The best times to do lime application are, generally, in Fall and Spring. You may consider doing so between fall and early spring. Between both times, Fall has an edge over the latter because rain, snow, and the freezing-and-thawing sequence enhance lime break down and starts to work. On the other hand, Spring is the best time to conduct a test on your soil.
Calcitic lime is favored over Dolomotic lime for the added calcium that the former has which adds plant benefits. There are many types or forms of Calcitic lime available. However, majority of gardeners prefer the pellet forms as it is easier to manage and apply than powders, ground, or pulverized forms. Pelletized lime spreads easily with little or no dust or mess compared to others.
If possible, aerate the lawn to create space for the lime to get into the soil. With a regular lawn spreader, never with bare hands, apply half of the intended lime. Walk horizontally over your lawn, then apply the second half at a ninety degree angle to your initial direction (horizontal).
This process will ensure the grass is completely and evenly covered. Make sure to water your lawn when finished for your lawn lime application to begin to work.
Why test soil in gardens or lawns?
There are many types of soil testing available depending on the need. For lawn care, it is primarily to determine the soil’s pH level. Any extreme digression from the ideal range of 6 to 6.5 can adversely affect your plants’ growth. Many nutrients will become less available if it is too high. Too low, it may reach toxic levels.
What is pH?
pH, in chemistry, is a scale utilized to measure how acidic or basic a water-based solution is. Common household substances are usually rated on a scale from 0 to 14. Pure water at room temperature has a pH of 7 – neither acidic or basic. Basic solutions shower higher levels, whereas, acidic solutions have lower pH levels. pH level values can go higher than 14 or lower than 0 for extremely strong bases and acids respectively.
What are some plants that grow on acidic soil?
Some popular “acid-loving” plants are Azaleas, Holly, Gardenias, Rhododendrons, and Fothergillas. Flowers: Begonia, Caladium, Trillium, and Japanese Iris.
Why does soil pH keep changing?
In certain regions, lime application is usually a necessity for healthy lawns. In areas with very little rainfall, calcium doesn’t leach away, and lawns can become too alkaline. Proper lawn maintenance also naturally lowers soil pH over time. Regular fertilization, proper irrigation and increased activity of beneficial soil microorganisms all contribute to gradual, normal drops in soil pH.
Soil pH level changes for several reasons, including lime and other nutrients you add. Heavy rainfall can cause calcium to drain away as rain passes through the soil.
This calcium loss can reduce the soil pH level, making it acidic over time. In places where there is very little rainfall, it is the other way around – soil can turn too alkaline. Other activities that can contribute to gradual drops in soil pH are: regular fertilization, increased activity of soil microorganisms, and proper irrigation. So, lime application becomes imperative for some or most areas.
What All American Turf Beauty Says About Lime Application in Spring
Your lawn experts at All American Turf Beauty understand that spring brings a whole new calendar of activities for your lawn. Well, lime application is part of this lawn care maintenance calendar that you must never skip. Your soil is the foundation of your lush green grass. Generally, lime application ensures that your soil pH remains balanced. Hence, your lawn has a better shot at a green carpet this spring. There is nothing only the best lawn care experts in Iowa can give you. Get in touch with All American Turf Beauty to keep you on the right track as it is time to revive your lawn. Call us today and talk to our lawn care experts at 1-800-365-8873 or you may visit us at 311 Desoto Rd, Van Meter, IA.