What To Do About Too Much Lime In 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.
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
Can I Apply Lime And Fertilizer At The Same Time
Technically you can apply fertilizer and lime at the same time. However, it is best to first fertilize the lawn and then use the lime later. Let the lawns water system go through several rotations and then apply the lime. You can also fertilize and then wait for a good rain and lime the lawn after the rain.
If you choose to lime and fertilize simultaneously, be sure to use a granular lime product rather than a powder. Remember that if the soil pH is too acidic, the lawn will not be able to uptake fertilizer. Always let the soil pH test indicate your best course of action.
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You Want To Grow Bluegrass Or Ryegrass In Your Lawn
Bluegrass and ryegrass are cool-season grasses, which means they prefer cooler temperatures to grow best. They also need less water than other types of grasses do, and they have a finer texture, making them ideal for sports fields and golf courses as well as residential lawns. If youre looking to plant either bluegrass or ryegrass in your lawn, you need to lime it first.
When And How Do I Apply Lime
Throughout the U.S. and Canada, the best time to apply lime is in the spring or fall. In northern locations, applying lime in October or November before the ground freezes will allow rain to work it into the soil. The snow melt and freeze/thaw cycle during the spring will also help work it into the ground.
Your soil test will likely make a recommendation on how much lime to apply based on your pH value. Soils that are slightly acid could require 25 to 50 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. annually. You can split this up into two applications if you prefer, one in the spring and another in the fall.
Lime can be messy to apply if you buy the cheap stuff. Pay a little more for pelletized dolomitic lime. It will be easier to apply with your broadcast spreader, and will add calcium and magnesium to your lawn while raising your soils pH.
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How To Apply Lime To Your Lawn & Soil
The most common form of lime used for grass is Dolomitic lime. You can contact a professional lawn care specialist to take care of liming your lawn or can do it on your own if you have experience. Lime for lawncare comes in both pellet and powder form. Both are equally effective in stabilizing the pH of the soil. Lime is applied to grass via a tiller or a drop spreader. This ensures that the application is even and that no one area gets too much lime. The more finely ground the lime, the quicker it will react in your soil.
We recommend hiring professionals to take care of liming your lawn. The process can be messy, and lime powder can be harmful if inhaled. Wearing a commercial-grade breathing mask will help limit exposure, but it is important to clean the surrounding surfaces once it has been applied to the lawn. Lime powder will often stick to paves surfaces and can erode plastics if not properly cleaned. Most lawn care companies will use lime pellets to help prevent many of the cleanup and breathing complications that come with the lime application. Another advantage of using lime pellets is that they are formulated for timed release. This will ensure proper coverage for your entire yard.
When To Apply Lime To A Lawn In The Northeast
Planning plays a vital role in maintaining a robust and beautiful lawn. While mowing, leaf removal, and fertilizing are components of any successful plan one step is often neglectedusing lime. Let’s uncover the details on this important soil supplement and when to apply lime to a lawn in the Northeast.
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Lime For Lawns: 11 Questions With Answers
Are you confused about limestone and whether or not your lawn needs it? If you are, then youre not alone. We get a lot of questions about limestone from Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, PA homeowners who dont understand why its needed or how it works.
We understand that it can be frustrating not to understand what your lawn needs to thrive, which is why we want to help answer some of the most common questions we receive on a regular basis.
If youre wondering does my lawn need lime, or perhaps another question about this product and how it works, then read on to find out your answers.
Is Diy Limestone Application A Good Option Or Do I Need To Hire A Pro
There are a few key reasons why you might want to consider a pro when it comes to applying lime to your lawn. Lime for lawns is not terribly complex but you want to make sure that youre definitely applying the right amount of limestone or else its not going to work as intended. We find that most people dont apply enough in order for it to be effective.
Its also laborious. When you think about 50 pounds per a thousand square feet, thats a lot of limestone and it equates to a lot of work. You are now spending your free weekend hauling bags of limestone around your property, dumping just a little bit at a time. It takes a while. We find that a lot of people don’t realize its such a tedious task and for that reason would rather not do it themselves. Can you imagine hauling 15-30 bags of limestone home from the store and then applying them with a tiny, plastic-wheeled spreader?
Finally, you also have to think about the quality of the limestone youre getting. Chances are, the stuff youre buying at the local box store is going to have more filler, such as clay, than the product a professional would use. That could mean youre not getting as good results. Plus, it could have been sitting in a warehouse for a long time, with big, rock-hard chunks inside the bags. Thats a big hassle.
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Choosing A Company That Offers Lime For Lawns
If you suspect that your lawn does, in fact, need limestone, then you might be looking for a company that offers this service, among others. One of the benefits of working with a full-service lawn care company is that soil pH is often just one issue amongst several that your lawn might be struggling with.
A professional lawn care company in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, PA will be able to tackle the full spectrum of problems that your soil and overall turf health might be experiencing.
Rather than stressing about whether your lawn needs limeor anything else for that matteryou could instead work with a lawn care expert that will have the answers to all of your questions . By choosing a lawn care company like this, you can put your worries to rest while knowing that your lawn is going to receive what it really needs to thrive.
Do you have more questions about lime for lawns or other lawn care concerns for your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA lawn? Get in touch with us to get some free expert advice and find out more about our lawn care programs which include three lawn care pricing options to give you the lush lawn youre looking for.
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Soil Testing Ph Level Before Adding Lime
If one or more of the signs listed above are present in your yard, its time to take the next step. Before you purchase lime and go through the steps liming your lawn, perform a soil pH test.
Testing your soils pH level will:
- Let you know definitively if you need a lime lawn application.
- Let you know how much lime you need to add.
- Establish a benchmark for future testing, so you can see the results of lime and other soil additives.
There are 2 types of soil ph tests:
- At-Home Soil Test: Soil pH testing kits are available from home and hardware stores. They are generally inexpensive and can give you a good baseline to make sure youre on the right track in discovering soil acidity. However, a soil test kit is not completely accurate and wont usually give you the detailed information necessary to determine the amount of lime your lawn needs.
- Soil Test via University Agricultural Extension: For the most accurate pH level information you can get, have your soil tested by the local extension in your area . These tests are inexpensive, accurate, and deliver fast results. Simply do a search for the agricultural extension in your area and enquire about soil sample pH testing. For instance, in upstate New York, the Cornell extension offers soil testing at a lower cost than at-home kits and delivers results in 57 business days.
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What Does Lime Do For Grass
Lawn lime application corrects the pH balance in soil by neutralizing its acidity and alkalinity. You can almost think of it as an antacid for your grass because youre giving it something it needs. Fertilization of lawns causes the PH of the lawn to become acidic by applying limestone you can bring the PH level back down to a natural balance which allows grass to prosper. However, PH balance is not the only benefit that lime has on lawns.
How Much Lime To Add To Your Lawn
How much lime to add to your lawn depends on 2 factors. Your soils ph, and also the soil type .
*Tip- If you fall into a category of needing more than 100 lbs per 1000 s/f to solve your ph problem its recommended you solve the problem over multiple years.
Sticking to 2 applications a year is best with a maximum amount of 50 lbs per 1000 s/f per application. This makes a 100 lb per 1000 s/f a year maximum.
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Does Your Lawn Need Lime
A lawn that is yellowed, cant recover from drought stress, or is being overgrown by weeds and other invasive plants is generally in need of lime treatment. Liming reduces soil acidity and encourages grass growth. Once youve identified how to tell if your lawn needs lime, be sure to test the soil pH level. If possible, contact a university extension for the best soil testing results.
Once youve identified the problem and know how severe the soil acidity is, and your soil type, you can proceed with a lime application to your lawn to promote better grass growth.
You Want To Add Color To Your Lawn
Lime can help create a green lawn, but it can also be used to enhance the color of certain grasses. For example, if you want a more vibrant shade of green in your lawn, lime will help your grass get there. It does this by making the grass grow faster and stronger than it would without lime. This is especially true for Kentucky bluegrass, which is known for its vivid green color and grows best in alkaline soil with a pH between 7 and 8.
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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.
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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Do Pine Needles Make Lawn Acidic
Pine trees prefer acidic soil but they dont create it. If you see bare lawn spots underneath your pine trees it is most likely due to their shallow root systems interfering with your lawns roots.
When Should I Lime My Lawn
The best time for a lawn lime application in Charlotte is during the fall or winter. Most landscape professionals will test soil pH in spring and then apply lime in winter or fall. Lime can take several months to break down and change soil pH after being used. Since you add lime during the colder months, it can work into the soil and change the soil pH before the roots become active in spring.
If you add lime during the warmer months of the year, it can damage the lawn. You always want to add lime before the warmer spring weather. In fact, the fall and winter freeze-thaw cycles, as well as the winter wet season, help break down lime so it becomes part of the soil.
If your lawn is already stressed, do not add lime. It will further damage the grass. The same rule applies to a dormant lawn.
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How To Apply Lime
Lime should only be applied to a dry lawn, and never to a lawn that is dormant, wilted, or stressed. Limestone is most effective at changing the soil pH when it is mixed in with the top 5 inches of soil, which means its easier to adjust your soils pH before planting grass seed or laying sod than it is to add it to an established lawn. Once youve applied lime to correct your soils pH, chances are you will not have to re-lime for several years.
Before adding lime to an established lawn, aerate the lawn with a core aerator to open up space for the lime to move into the soil. Next, using a drop or rotary spreader , apply the limestone to your lawn. Apply half while walking over your lawn in one direction, then apply the other half in a direction that is perpendicular to your first. This will ensure that every part of your lawn is covered with lime.