You’ve heard the buzz around your neighborhood about the benefits of lime for lawns. In combination with other lawn care techniques, homeowners credit lime treatments with helping balance the pH levels in their soil and restore the flow of nutrients that foster healthy lawn growth.
While the value of lime may be obvious, the symptoms that drive the need for this solution are not always as clear. After all, soil that is too acidic and has a low pH level may appear seemingly healthy on the surface, or lawn issues that do occur may be attributed to other needs like additional fertilizer applications.
Here’s a helpful guide on how to tell whether or not lime treatments are a good fit for your lawn.
Signs Your Lawn Could Benefit From Lime Application
Presence of Moss and Weeds
Moss and weeds are more than just eyesores in your outdoor space. They also provide clues about the quality of your soil.
Consider the fact that moss and weeds thrive in acidic environments. This relates back to the fact that these plants take advantage of signs of weakness (like bare or patchy spots) in lawns—an effect that low pH levels in soil can produce. By raising these pH levels, lime for lawns can help eliminate existing moss and weeds and ward off the spread of further plants.
Fertilizers are designed to supply lawns with the nutrients they need to thrive year round. But when soil becomes too acidic, the effectiveness of fertilizer application(s) is bound to dwindle.
High levels of acidity in soil disrupt a lawn’s ability to properly absorb nutrients. Food that should be filtered to the roots of grass is instead caught closer to the surface level and remains unavailable to plants that need it for growth. Lawns treated with lime help correct this imbalance and ensure fertilizer is able to do its job effectively.
The Value of Performing a Soil Test
In cases where soil appears relatively healthy, a soil test can provide answers that would otherwise remain below the surface. When analyzing the soil sample, measured results will give you insight into whether your soil is alkaline, neutral or acidic, as well as the missing nutrients needed to revive its health. If the results show signs of highly acidic soil, the measurements can be used to calculate how much lime product should be added to your lawn to regain pH balance.
Traditionally, a soil test should be performed every one to three years to make sure the health of the soil remains in tact. The shorter time frame is recommended for lawns with problem areas or when fertilizer is applied, while the longer time frame is better suited to cases where soil continues to test well over time.
Deciding if Your Lawn Needs Lime Treatments
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to use lime products on your lawn, there are plenty of ways to help you arrive at your decision. While the presence of moss and weeds and the ineffectiveness of fertilizer applications are strong indicators of the need for lime, performing a soil test will always provide the most accurate picture of soil health. And with the precise measurements the test delivers, you’ll know exactly how much lime it will take to bring your soil back to its ideal state.