When to Add Lime to Lawn: Boost Grass Health (& Improve Soil)

You’re grappling with the question of when to add lime to lawn. You’ve spotted your grass looking pale with yellow patches. The grass blades are withering and dying, leaving thinning grass clearly not thriving.

It’s been suggested you try adding lime, but you’re nervous about handling something you don’t know much about. So, you’ve put  off doing anything with the problem. Meanwhile, your grass continues its decline.

This article will explain the benefits, and drawbacks, of when to add lime to lawn. In addition, you’ll understand how to apply lime safely, the best time to implement and what to do next.

Boost grass health and improve soil pH by following Cresco Spreader’s easy guide to using lime. Let’s get started.

What is Lime?

Crushed from limestone rock, lime is mostly made of calcium carbonate. Depending on where the rock comes from, other macronutrients such as magnesium carbonate are also present. One form of lime recommended for lawns is Dolomitic lime. Dolomitic lime provides optimal levels of alkalinity combining both calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

Moreover, it’s this alkalinity aspect of lime that is important. Something to bear in mind later as you decide how much lime to apply to your lawn.

Garden Lime

Why Add Lime to Lawn?

As you’ve realized, your lawn is looking pale and sickly with yellow patches. The blades of grass are clearly not thriving and your lawn is thinning.

Of course, it may well be other issues affecting the health of your backyard. But, turn detective, and you can swiftly eliminate other problems from your list.

Start by carrying out a soil test. This will help to establish the pH of your soil, and if you need to balance out any acidity or alkalinity.

Soil Test to Discover pH Balance

Testing soil ph

Soil pH can change over time. Factors such as too much rain, depletion of natural soil nutrients, and incorrect fertilization all damage the pH balance. It’s the delicate harmony of alkalinity and acidity in soil that creates perfect growing conditions for plants.

A simple soil test kit, purchased from a hardware store or local garden center, can help you determine what pH your soil is. By using one of these easy-to-use kits, you’re in the driving seat as to what you need to add to bring the balance of your soil back into alignment. However, they will only test for pH, leaving you in the dark if you are looking for more information on nutrient deficiencies.

You may decide on using a professional analysis whereby you send off soil samples to a laboratory. You’ll receive back a detailed report within a few weeks. And they will have tested for a number of issues including amounts of nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus, as well as pH.

These are great if you want to understand more about your soil condition. Especially if you are looking to fertilize your lawn for optimum grass health.

Do You Need To Lime Lawn?

How do you determine whether you need lime added to your lawn? Many people simply add lime as a matter of course, regardless of whether it’s necessary or not. Yet, this seems false economy when a quick and easy test will resolve the issue.

In order to grow lush, healthy grass, you need a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5. This relative neutrality will allow the grass to absorb nutrients from the soil, and grow well. If your soil pH is around these figures, it is doubtful you will need to use lime. If, however, the number is lower than 7, you have acidic soil. Acidic soil is not grass friendly, and a dose of lime will be beneficial in restoring pH balance.

Liming turf grass areas in your backyard doesn’t need to be complicated. By following the simple steps below, you’ll soon have the lawn of your dreams.

Why Apply Lime to Lawn?

There’s no doubt healthy grass thrives in a balanced environment. That means grass plants need neutral soil with the opportunity to absorb all the nutrients it needs, along with access to sufficient water and, of course, sunlight.

To help balance the pH in soil, you may have to add lime to lower the acidity.

Benefits include:

  • Lime is a soil conditioner and helps to control soil acidity
  • Improves soil structure
  • Improves water to move through the soil evenly
  • Rehydrates soil, allowing plants to absorb water more easily
  • Helps increase worm activity, leading to better aeration and increased nutrient availability in the soil. We love worms!
Unhealthy lawn

When’s the Best Time to Apply Lime to Lawn?

As lime isn’t a quick fix, the best time to apply lime to lawn is fall. Fall application is perfect timing, as it allows the lime to be absorbed into the soil. A chemical reaction is necessary to activate the lime, meaning time and patience are needed!

Time is the best treatment you  can give when applying lime. Being able to give the soil downtime over winter to absorb and activate means you will be able to fertilize in spring. Taking advantage of a more balanced pH will mean fertilizing is more effective. As your grass is better able to absorb nutrients and water, your lawn will feel the benefit.

If you miss the fall window, spring is the next best time to apply lime. However, you will have to accept your soil pH balance is not going to rectify overnight. Patience, though, does have its rewards.

Top Tips for Applying Lime to Lawn

  • Fertilize First – Should you need to apply lime in spring, and you are also thinking of
    fertilizing, go ahead and fertilize first. Wait a few days before applying a slow-release
    lime pellet.
  • Don’t apply lime in summer or winter – High temperatures and freezing cold affect the
    chemical process, stopping any benefit from adding lime to lawn.
  • Spread lime evenly across the lawn using a fertilizer spreader – Chose an easy-to-calibrate spreader, so you can adjust the spread, and still maintain control of dosage.
  • Do not consume – It goes without saying not to eat as lime can cause irritation to the
    skin, eyes, and stomach.
  • Wear a heavy-duty mask and gloves when handling
  • Avoid the lawn until lime has had a chance to properly soak in – it’s best to restrict pets and children from using the lawn until lime has been absorbed.
Protective gear to spread lime

Boost Grass Health & Improve Soil by Adding Lime to Lawn

Knowing when to add lime to lawn is key to boosting grass health and improving soil. There’s no doubt if used wisely, lime can be a beneficial addition to your lawn maintenance.

Use our top tips and your yellowed, withering grass will be a thing of the past. Understanding what lime is will guide you in taking the right steps to grow beautiful grass in your backyard.

Why not check out Cresco Spreaders’ library of articles to help you grow your lawn?

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