It's relatively easy to see when it's time to mow the lawn, repair a bare spot, or that the grass needs fertilizer. However, most homeowners are not aware that adding lime to your lawn is vital to keeping it healthy. Applying lime to your lawn helps grasses reach their full potential.
What does lime treatment do for your lawn?
Lime balances pH levels and encourages nutrient uptake so your lawn can thrive. Acidic soils create favorable conditions for a variety of weeds like shepherd's purse to grow. Microorganisms essential to suppress fungi activity are reduced. Microorganisms also aid in the decomposition of grass clippings and thatch. Unfortunately, if your soil pH is acidic, microorganisms cannot grow. Finally, strongly acidic soils may lead to calcium, phosphorus, or magnesium deficiencies, which are vital nutrients for healthy grass growth. Adding lime to balance the pH will help your lawn avoid these pitfalls and help optimize grass performance.
What is soil pH?
All soils can be classified as acidic, neutral, or alkaline. Soil pH is measured on a 0 to 14 scale. Soil pH rating of 7 or below is acidic. A rating of 7 is neutral, while a pH above 7 is alkaline.
Different turfgrass types prefer different soil pH. When the soil pH is at the right level, good things happen. "The 13 essential mineral elements are each most available at a certain pH. Between pH 6.0 and 6.5 all essential soil elements are adequately available for optimal turfgrass growth" (Martin and Hillock HLA-6420-1).
How to determine my soil’s pH?
A soil test is the most accurate method to determine soil pH and whether lime applications are required. However, with over 20 years of pulling soil samples and testing soil for our customers in Green Country, we've found most soil pH levels are acidic and range from 5.0 to 5.8. Soils in Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma are generally acidic and moderately to severely deficient in potassium.
It's highly likely your soil could benefit from a lime treatment. If you are interested in our soil testing service, give us a call today.
Signs your lawn needs lime treatment
- Soil test results – Most accurate way to determine the pH level.
- Common weeds occur frequently – Weed treatments are not as effective.
- Moss is growing – Moss grows in acidic soils, a sure sign the lawn needs Lime.
- Fertilizer appears ineffective – Diminished signs of green-up or increased growth.
- You have sandy and clay type soils – These soil types are naturally acidic.
When should you apply lime to your lawn?
In the Tulsa area, the best time to test your lawn's pH, make soil adjustments, and add lime treatment is in the fall. It takes time to move lime into the soil. Both freeze-thaw cycles and the ample rain common during the fall and winter months will benefit and help break down the lime and start raising the soil's pH. When warm temperatures return in spring and the grass begins to green up, your lawn will reap the rewards from corrected or balanced pH.
Lime is one of the most beneficial lawn care practices yet gets overlooked by homeowners. Don't forget to lime your lawn to ensure your grass uses all the available nutrients and grows as healthy as possible. Are you wondering if your grass needs lime? Contact us today at 918-322-5757 to schedule a soil test or lime application.