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What Does Lime Do For Lawns

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What Does Lime Do For Lawns

Applying Lime Treatments to your Lawn — Expert Lawn Care Tips

When it comes to soil pH, grass requires a range from 5.8-7.0. The ideal spot within that range depends on which type of grass you grow. Warm-weather grasses need a slightly lower pH while cool-weather grasses need a pH thats slightly higher.

When soil pH is too low , the grass cannot take up soil nutrients such as nitrogen. When this occurs, grass stops growing and significant lawn troubles begin. Adding lime to soil raises the soil pH and keeps the correct pH-range for grasses to thrive. When the soil is at the optimal pH level, more nutrients like nitrogen from lawn fertilizer is available for the grass to utilize, allowing grass to grow fuller and thicker.

Lime And The Home Lawn

Many homeowners will apply lime to their lawn once a year with the hopes of improving the quality and density of the turfgrass. However, there may not be a complete understanding of why a lime application can be an important aspect of a home lawncare program, how to determine if liming is needed, and how one should go about effectively applying lime to the lawn.

How Often Should I Lime My Lawn

Once the lawn area is limed, you may need to repeat that process every 1-2 years. Sometimes a bit longer, but that decision always begins with a soil pH test.

Lime lawn treatments in Charlotte should always be a proactive measure, meaning you should only decide to lime your lawn once you know what your soil pH is. If you apply lime without checking the initial pH and raise it too high or too low, the lawn will suffer. The general rule of thumb is that 50lbs of lime will dress 1,000 sqft of a lawn. The soil pH will also give you a more precise indication of how much lime you need.

If your lawn needs lime, then follow these rules:

  • Generally, only apply 50 lbs of lime or less during the initial application.
  • If you need more than 50 lbs of lime to fully treat the soil, then apply the lime in two applications. The first occurs in early spring, and the second in the next fall or winter.
  • After lime treatment is complete, repeat every few years if pH soil indicates you need it.
  • Check the lawn soil pH every 1-2 years.
  • Only add lime when the soil pH test indicates the pH is dropping.

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Does Your Lawn Or Garden Need Lime

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Lime can harm acid loving plants like blueberries.

Does your lawn or garden need lime? If you live in southeastern North Carolina the answer to this question is a definite maybe. This is because our soils vary so much from one yard to the next. For some yards, lime needs to be added every few years to keep plants healthy. For others, especially those at the beach, adding lime can harm plants.

What is Lime?

What Does Lime Do?

When soil pH is too high plants may develop iron chlorosis or yellowing between the veins.

How to Tell if Your Soil Needs Lime

Learn more

Why Are We Told To Use Garden Lime

What Does Lime Do for Grass?

I touched on this before when I talked about pH. The belief is that minerals in your soil are continuously being leached by rain and consequently your soil is always moving towards more acidic.

Dolomite limestone is used to counteract this, to sweeten the soil. It can do that, but that doesnt mean its always a good thing.

First of all, minerals may or may not be leaching from your soil. If they are, it could be partially because of rain, but there are other reasons, too.

If your soil is low in organic matter, which is often the case, it probably cant hold onto minerals very well, especially if it is low in clay and high in sand and silt. If you have lots of clay or organic matter, you probably dont have much to worry about.

Whatever the cause, dolomite lime fertilizer is usually not the answer. Lets look at why this form of garden lime is probably not what you want.

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How Much Lime To Use

When using lime for lawn care, it is recommended that you apply a maximum of 1 ton per acre each year.

This amount will vary depending on the type of soil and other factors such as rainfall and the season in which you are applying the lime.

If you are unsure about how much lime to use, contact a professional lawn care service who can help determine how much lime is needed for your particular situation.

Whats So Great About Lime

Lime is a natural soil additive that can encourage stronger grass growth and better color. It does this by reducing the acidity of the soil, allowing plants to take up more nutrients present in the soil. Not only this, but lime also adds calcium and magnesium to the soil, which are essential nutrients to lawn health.

See more

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Where Can I Buy Lime For My Lawn

If you are wondering where to buy lime for your lawn, we at Baker Lime are limestone suppliers who have been producing quality lime products since 1889 for a wide range of clients. Baker mines the lime in York County, Pennsylvania and provides service throughout most of the northeastern United States including Delaware, , New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

You can imagine how 126 years have enabled us to become lime experts and emerge as an acknowledged industry leader. We have a proven record of helping people reap high-yield fields, grow ideal yards, cultivate fertile gardens, install lush golf courses and create other beautiful spaces.

Along with technical skill and complete industry knowledge, the people of Baker Lime commit to becoming a partner to our clients and not just an institution that sells or supplies product. Youll encounter friendly people who know how to listen and have the expertise needed to respond to your needs quickly and efficiently. Let us help you cultivate an ideal lawn! Find and contact your local Baker Lime dealer today.

Related Resources

How To Add Limestone To Your Yard

DIY – When Should I Lime my Lawn

Once you know when to apply limestone to your yard, the next step is to find the right product to use on your lawn. There are many products to choose from, so you want to ensure that you carry out proper research when in the market for limestone.

You can easily lime your yard by using the drop-style method or with the aid of a rotary spreader. If you will be liming your entire lawn, I recommend that you use a spreader. This gets the job done quicker and saves you the stress of applying it directly to your lawn.

Ensure that you cover the whole area. This you can do by taking note of the areas you apply the lime to and how much you use. You should water your lawn immediately after applying limestone. This makes it easier for the soil to absorb the minerals quickly.

You can add limestone to your soil at any time of the year provided that it isnt frozen or flooded.

You can try this Lime for Lawn from Jolly Gardner.

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Why Should I Put Lime On My Lawn

When it comes to proper lawn care, lime is critically important. Lime will ensure that your lawn has an adequate supply of calcium, and it will also ensure your soil has a balanced pH. If you have highly acidic soil, the best and also a cost-effective solution for neutralizing is liming. Lime will naturally break down in the soil over time. As this process progresses, it will trigger the rise of calcium in the soil particles. During the rise, the acidic components will be replaced. Your lawn contains hydrogen and potassium, which are both acidic, they react with the carbonates in the lime transforming them into neutral components. Once they have turned into water, carbon dioxide, and neutralized clay, they can better support the growth of healthy plants, in this instance, grass.

What Is Lime Treatment For Lawns

Lime for lawn care can actually help reverse the effects of damaging elements found in grass, including aluminum, iron and manganese. The calcium specifically has a sort of regulating effect on other soil nutrients such as copper, phosphorous and zinc, all of which can have damaging effects and inhibit growth.

There are a number of industries, entities and people that use a lime lawn application:

  • Turf farmers

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Why & How You Should Lime Your Lawn And Garden

Agricultural lime is a conditioning agent that many folks apply to their lawns, vegetable gardens, flower beds, and pastures. If youre not sure whether its right for you, read on!

Is your grass lush, like a thick green carpet, or is it marred by bare patches and weeds? Do you have problems growing basic leaf lettuce in your veggie patch?

One reason your lawn or vegetable garden may be in distress is that the dirt is too acidic, and this is where well begin our discussion of lime.

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Heres the lineup:

We have a comprehensive guide on soil testing here on Gardeners Path.

A variety of factors influence pH in the earth of your lawn or garden, including , , , and . Lets talk about each.

What To Do About Too Much Lime In Your Lawn

When to Lime Your Lawn

Adding too much lime can be a dangerous thing for the overall health of your turf. If areas of grass begin to turn yellow after applying it, you may have added too much.

One of the most common effects of having too much Aglime is iron deficiency. The turf can also suffer from magnesium or aluminum toxicity. Too much of this additive can also cause the soil to become too alkaline. Alkaline soil can cause the same problems as soils with too much acid. Alkaline soils will also impede plants absorption of nutrients.

There are several resolutions to combating tainted soil. For example, a remedy for lowering a high pH balance caused by excess Aglime is to spread granular elemental sulfur onto your grass. Elemental sulfur is oxidized by microorganisms in the earth and turned into sulfuric acid. This acid will lower the pH.

Adding aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate are two other solutions, although much faster. However, like sulfur, they can also be harmful to your turfs overall health by adding salts and other elements that may build-up.

Adding fertilizers that contain ammonia or urea is another solution that can decrease the alkalinity of the soil over time. It isnt a quick fix like the two methods listed above, but it will work.

And last but not least, you can always use mulch or compost. As the organic matter breaks down, it tends to make the soil more acidic. However, the use of organic matter is a slow process, so patience is key when going with this method.

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What Happens If I Use Too Much Lime

Liming your lawn is an effective way to help the soil restore itself to a healthy pH, which in turn will give you healthier grass. Liming should always be left to the professionals, but if you did lime your lawn on your own and notice a problem, chances are you used too much. Using too much lime on your lawn will remove the acidity from the soil, but it will also make it too alkaline for your grass to thrive. This will cause yellowing grass that is also not able to absorb vital moisture and nutrients from the soil around it.

The best way to fix an over-liming is to have a professional lawn care company test the soil and administer a customized solution. You can also spend several weeks mulching in fresh organic materials to help dilute the lime. Or, as a last resort, you can apply horticultural sulfur to your lawn to try to counteract the lime and restore your soil to a healthy pH level.

When Is The Best Time To Apply Lime

Lime can be applied at any time during the year. However, it should not be applied to turf that is wilted or frost-covered. The turf should be irrigated after application in order to wash lime off the turfgrass leaves. In addition, if coring is carried out prior to the lime application, it will help the lime incorporate into the soil.

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Heres The Important Part

The main point I want to make is that even if minerals are leaching from your soil, it doesnt make sense to blindly go back adding just two of them without knowing you need them. You might already have too much of one of them.

Your soil needs a calcium to magnesium ratio of somewhere between 7:1 and 10:1 .

Some soil consultants might use different numbers but everyone knows you need way more calcium than magnesium.

Outside of these ranges, your soil will often have compaction problems, your plants will often have health issues and insect and disease problems, and you will have weed problems.

One of your most important goals in the garden is to add mineral fertilizers to move the calcium to magnesium ratio towards the correct range, based on a soil test.

The problem with dolomite lime? It has a calcium to magnesium ratio of 2:1. Thats way too much magnesium for most soils. Magnesium is certainly an essential mineral. Too much of it, however, causes many problems.

So if you add dolomitic lime to your lawn/garden every year, chances are youre just causing more compaction and weed problems.

How Long Does It Take For Lime To Work On Grass

Why SHOULD you apply LIME to your Lawn?

When you apply lime to your lawn it is not a quick fix and you will not see the effects immediately or possibly anytime soon, it will take time.

Depending on the starting condition of your lawn and the type of lime you apply it can actually take 1-3 years for the full effects of applying lime to fully materialize and improve your lawn. However, you will probably start to see some effects after a few months.

Here are the types of agricultural lime for your lawn that are popular:

  • Dolomitic Lime dolomite is a mineral that is found in limestone and it is rich in calcium and magnesium. It is normally sold in pellets or powder that can be easily spread over your lawn. Dolomitic lime is a slow-acting lime but this has the benefit of making it less likely to burn your plants or grass.
  • Calcitic Lime calcitic lime it the lime you will see the fastest results from applying it to your lawn. However this lime is so powerful there is a real risk that you will burn your lawn if you use it, this type of lime is probably best left for professional lawn care experts.

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Why Is It Important To Perform A Soil Ph Test

Soil testing can help you decide when you should be liming your lawn and which type of lime is best to use. Be aware that the application of lime to lawns when its not needed when the pH is high can do more harm than good.

Testing your lawns soil before going about a lime lawn treatment, can help determine your soils pH and any plant nutrients or soil nutrients deficiencies.

Go to your local garden center and get yourself a home soil sample kit for testing pH. The results shown in this kit are, however, limited to pH levels only.

You can also contact your state university extension service to check if they offer soil testing if you want a more thorough test. The soil report will be more in-depth and show any nutrient deficiencies and tell you how much lime needs to be applied.

According to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, a soil sample should be collected every two to three years.

Its best to collect samples during the lawns dormant season, between late fall and early spring.

How Much Lime Should Be Applied

Most soil test reports will indicate the lime requirement in pounds of pure calcium carbonate per acre, or per 1,000 square feet. Since most liming products are not likely to be 100% pure calcium carbonate, one must calculate how much product to apply to the lawn. To do this, find the number on the bags label titled CALCIUM CARBONATE EQUIVALENT . Next, find the liming requirement in the soil test report. Using these two numbers, perform the following calculation:

Liming Requirement ÷ Calcium Carbonate Equivalent

= Amount Of Product per Acre or per 1,000 Square Feet

If the amount of product exceeds the values in Table 1, the amount recommended for your lawn should be divided in half and applied at two different times during the year.

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