Where Does Lime Come From
Garden lime is mined from deposits formed millions of years ago. During that time, shallow seas covered much of the Earth, and prehistoric sea creatures lived in those waters. The creatures shells, composed largely of calcium, formed the deposits known today as limestone.
Using lime in the garden is one of the earliest known gardening techniques. For centuries, farmers have been transforming limestone and other rocks into lime powder to spread on their gardens and farms. In years past, they may not have known exactly what magic worked under the soil, but today, we know lime does several beneficial things to the soil. Lime is great for:
- Raising soil pH, which is necessary in many parts of the agricultural world to grow crops in acidic soils near human habitation.
- Adjusting the soil pH to grow a wide range of crops that people may not have been able to grow in that area before.
- Adding calcium and magnesium to the soil, two elements needed for vegetable and flower production. A lack of these minerals can cause malformed vegetables, poor fruit set or dropped fruits and vegetables.
- Making nutrients more readily available to plants, especially nitrogen, an essential nutrient that helps plants grow.
- Helping herbicides work more efficiently.
- Aiding beneficial soil bacteria and microbes, which improve the health of your garden soil.
The Benefits Of Applying Lime To Your Lawn
The soil under your lawn is full of critical macronutrients that will help your lawn grow. Nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, iron, boron, zinc, and many others. There has to be a perfect balance of these nutrients if you want to have a luscious green lawn. When the pH of the soil goes above 6.5, a breakdown of nutrients occurs that can cause a nutrient deficiency. When there is a deficiency, not only will your lawn fail to thrive, the soil can become toxic and actually cause it to die out completely.
One way to tell if your soil may be acidic is if you notice withering grass blades, yellow patches in the grass, sod that is slow-knitting, or a general reduction in the density of the turf. Acidity can be caused by any number of external factors. Too much rain can cause the alkaline to run off which will cause an increase of acidity, or it can even be caused by over-fertilization. Whatever the cause, your lawn will benefit from a lime application.
What Happens If You Use Too Much Lime On Your Lawn
Lawn grass has a preferred range for soil pH. If you apply too much lime and the soil becomes alkaline, then the grasses will not be able to uplift nutrients, such as nitrogen, to the blades. Too much lime changes the soil pH and pushes it into an area where the grasses will not thrive. If you do not catch this mistake in time, the lawn will turn yellow, and the grasses can die. Essentially, the grasses are starving because their roots cannot take up nutrients.
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What Does Lime Do For Lawn
What does lime do for lawn? Lime is very alkaline, so it helps by reducing soil acidity which in turn improves the uptake of major lawn nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Dolomite lime also provides a great source of calcium and magnesium for the lawn and helps improve water penetration.
Can you put too much lime on your lawn?;The answer is yes. Too much lime can impact the grasss access to vital nutrients. Lime applications increase the soil pH level and promote healthy growing conditions for grass.
How many times a year should you put lime on your 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.
Should I add lime to 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.
Excessive Weeds Is A Sign Your Lawn Needs Lime
Every single person on the planet that has a lawn or enjoys gardening will experience weeds growing in their pride and joy that they have to remove.
Weeds growing in your lawn is completely normal but if weeds start to grow more than you would normally expect them to grow, especially if they start to take over certain areas of your lawn this could be a sign that you need to add lime to your lawn to raise the pH level.
Not all weeds will grow if your lawn has a low pH level, weeds that will thrive in a lawn with low pH include:
If you have these specific weeds growing in your lawn that is a good sign that the pH level is in fact too low.
You basically have two options in these circumstances, you can continue to rip out and battle the weeds or you can address the root of the problem which is the fact your lawn has soil with a low pH level.
If you add lime to your lawn in these circumstances it will raise the Ph level and make the soil ideal for grass to grow and it should make the soil less ideal for weeds to grow.
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When To Add Lime To Your Lawn
Applying lime to your lawn fits with everything else you do outdoors to prepare for summer or winter. Many insist fall is the best time to lime lawns because it gives the lime the longest time to work into the soil before the growing season.
Experts agree that you can spread lime anytime, but it is ideal during the Spring and Fall seasons and during the morning or evening hours.; ;You may also wonder if you can put down lime and fertilizer together.; Professionals advise against using lime at the same time as fertilizer, but they also say when you apply lime and grass seed to cover patchy spots, its OK to apply a gentler starter fertilizer. So be careful if you are looking to apply lime and fertilizer at the same time. The planting authorities say the ideal temperature for planting grass seed is 65 to 70 degrees F.
Quantities of lime for lawns are normally expressed in a number of pounds per 1,000 square feet . For example, a hypothetical-yet-typical application might be 40 pounds of pelletized limestone per 1,000 square feet of grass area you want to treat.
The pH number revealed by your soil test serves as an excellent guide for gauging how much lime your lawn needs. You can also contact your local Baker Lime expert to help interpret the soil-test numbers and order the correct amount of lime for your yard size.
Video Benefits Of Adding Lime To Your Lawn
Is it good to put lime on your lawn? Learn the benefits of lime application.
Lime for the lawn provides grass with many benefits:
- Amount of decaying matter in the dirt
- What kind of soil it is
How many nutrients leach from the soil and how often they leach is a difficult thing to gauge without the help of a test because the conditions are truly different for everyone.
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Here Are The Basic Steps To Follow When Taking A Soil Sample:
There is other valuable information that you can learn from a soil test beside the pH level, such as the amount of phosphorus and potassium that the soil contains. There may be a situation where the addition of supplemental nutrients is necessary. The other reason for determining the pH of the soil is that applying lime to a lawn that has a high pH can harm the lawn instead of helping it. If the soil test of the lawn shows it to be very acidic, yearly tests may be necessary.
How Much Lime To Apply To Gardens
The results of your gardens soil test will help you determine how much lime to apply. Youll need to know your soils starting pH and the composition or soil structure. Soil generally falls into three categories:
- Clay soil: This soil type is characterized by tiny soil particles that stick together, making drainage difficult. Clay soil may dry into hard sheets that are tough to work with or dig into. It may have plenty of nutrients for plants, but the plants roots have a hard time breaking through the tiny particles to get to them.
- Sand: Sandy soil has the largest particle sizes and the lowest amount of nutrients. Water drains away rapidly through sandy soil.
- Loam: Loamy soil is the ideal soil type. Loam soil is an equal mix of clay, sand and organic material that forms a rich soil base that almost all plants love. Very few gardens naturally have loamy soil, but loam can be created from other soil types through the careful application of compost and other organic materials.
To determine how much lime to add to your garden, first examine your soil or the previously mentioned soil maps to see what kind of garden soil youre working with. If youre not sure, you can do a simple soil structure test at home:
- Take a glass or plastic jar like an empty, clean jelly jar or mayonnaise jar with a screw top lid.
- Place about one cup of garden soil into the jar and fill the jar with water.
- Screw the lid onto the jar and shake the mixture for 30 seconds.
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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 To Apply Garden Lime
Some experts recommend adding lime to your garden at the end of the growing season to give it enough time to work through the soil. Lime needs time to react with water in order to be beneficial to your garden plants, so at the very least, it needs several weeks or months to adjust the pH and help make more nutrients available to your plants.
If you get your soil tested at the end of the winter, add lime immediately as recommended by the test results. Lime works best when mixed or tilled into the soil at the depth in which your garden will be planted so dont just spread lime on the surface of the vegetable garden and hope it works. Mix it into the soil well before your frost-free date indicates you can plant your vegetables or flowers.
Gardens found in acidic soil areas benefit from annual or bi-annual applications of garden lime. Raised bed gardens may get away with fewer applications. A soil test, however, is the best way to tell whether or not it is time to apply garden lime.
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Be Smart When Adding Lime To The Garden
Buying garden lime, such as lime from Baker Lime, can be very helpful in the home garden. But before adding lime, make sure you get a soil test to see how much you actually need. You may be pleasantly surprised and need less than you thought you did. Or, you may need more.
Excess lime usually dissolves into the soil, but the effects can last for a long time. Thats another great reason to know exactly how much lime to add to your garden soil before spreading it.
If youre constantly battling against acidic soil, you may wish to investigate growing a raised bed vegetable garden. Raised beds provide you with a controlled planting area you can more easily amend than an in-ground garden. In addition, when you start with bagged garden soil, your vegetable garden will begin with soil thats better than what you may have available naturally.
Raised bed gardens can also be ideal for people living in areas with poor soil or on land thats been heavily farmed or planted with pine trees which turn soil very acidic. You will still need to check the soil pH each year and add lime as needed, but probably not as much.
Most vegetables, however, are tolerant of a wide range of soil pHs and conditions. If youve tried to grow certain vegetables and didnt have much luck, adding lime may improve your chances of a good harvest.
How To Conduct Ph Test
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Need Professional Lime And Fertilizer Applications
If you live in the Cumming, Georgia area, Think Green Lawn Service wants to be your trusted lawn care partner. We founded our company out of a desire to combine the very best lawn care techniques with the very best customer service practices. Our technicians know how to design a personalized lawn care plan for each of our clients.
We work hard to grow the partnership we enjoy with each client. Every one of our team members will be happy to answer our customers questions. We take the time to explain what we are doing because we want our clients to be aware of the purpose behind our methods.
Ready to schedule your spring lime and fertilizer application? Call Think Green Lawn Service at 844-648-2556 to make your appointment.
Detecting Soil Ph Soil Testing
Cultivating a lush green and healthy lawn begins from the ground. As mentioned above, PH tells you how acidic or basic something is. That makes PH one of the vital considerations when it comes to liming your lawn. It simply determines the amount of nutrients grass in your lawn will be able to take from the soil.
The higher the percentage of acid in the soil, the lower its nutrient absorbance will be. Thus, it provides the environment for turf or grass to weaken and moss to thrive. Ideally, the PH falls between 6.0 7.0 offers optimal growth conditions.
;Fortunately, there are methods you can use for testing the PH level of your soil. They may include:
- Using a home testing kit
- Taking a soil sample and sending it to local extension for testing
- Conducting a DIY PH test
If you opt for the DIY test, follow the given steps
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What Happens If I Dont Fix My Soil Ph
If you do not take the steps needed to adjust your soil pH, then your grass is not going to be as healthy as it could be. Grass plants could end up losing some color and vigor, leaving you with an off-color or thin lawn.
Certain weeds also thrive in low soil pH. This means that instead of encouraging a healthy lawn, youre helping the weeds thrive.
How To Add Lime To Lawn
While you can take a rigid mathematical approach;when you;add lime to lawn, you can also take a more laid-back approach. We recommend roughly 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn space until your lawn seems to be responding. This will look like fewer weeds, less moss, brighter color, and increased response to fertilizer. At that point, you can start using slightly less lime during your annual maintenance if its enough, or you can add more if you still need the full amount.
If you would like expert help when you add lime to lawn, call 648-2556 to reach our friendly team of; professionals at Think Green Lawn Service. We are happy to help you create a regular lawn maintenance routine that keeps your grass happy and healthy year-round.
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