Over the past few weeks, you’ve noticed your seemingly healthy soil has started to sprout moss and weeds, and the fertilizers you’ve applied have failed to take effect. After performing a soil test, your hypothesis is confirmed: the soil is highly acidic and its pH balance needs to be restored.
While lime for lawns is the right candidate for the job, you find yourself wavering on whether or not to use this lawn care technique. That’s because there are still questions on the table about its safety and effectiveness.
Here, we address the common concerns about lime for lawns and help you be more decisive in the use of this lawn care treatment.
Is Using Lime for Lawns Safe for Humans and Pets?
You may have heard about the dangers of caustic limes like quicklime and hydrated lime. Not only can these products cause severe irritation to respiratory systems, but they can also produce burns when in the presence of moisture. That’s why they are best suited for farmers to use on outlying lands to ward off parasites that can harm animals.
In the case of residential lawns, non-caustic limes (made from either dolomite or calcium) are a safer bet. When you take the right precautions, these types of lime for lawns are not toxic to people or pets. However, even non-caustic lime can mildly irritate your skin.
If you’re applying lime on your own, make sure to wear protective clothing like a long-sleeved shirt and chemical-resistant gloves to minimize skin exposure. Once the lime is applied, you’ll want to wait until after the first hard rain, or add a ¼ inch of water to the lawn, before children and pets enter the space. This will ensure all the lime has dissolved into the soil.
Can Lime Burn Grass?
When extra lime remains on grass blades, it can cause chemicals to further damage lawns that are already wilted and weak. Watering your lawn after a lime application defends against potential burns as any excess product will be removed from the lawn’s surface.
The timing of the application also has a significant impact. Whereas hot summer weather can cause lime to burn lawns (and produce tender growth that struggles in the heat), the cool temperatures of spring and fall are conducive to more effective results. An added bonus of a fall application is that the freeze-thaw cycles and combination of rain/snow help accelerate the breakdown of lime for lawns.
How Long Does It Take Lime to Work?
While the watering of lawns and timing of an application can influence the effectiveness of lime, the pH level that your soil starts with will influence how long the process takes. For instance, if your soil pH is very low, you could see results in as little as several weeks after a single application. But if your soil pH is more moderate, it could take up to a year before results are noticeable.
What’s important to remember here is the value of this long-term investment. After all, there is a large gap between the expense of purchasing lime for lawns and replacing an entire lawn. Even as the soil’s pH level takes time to raise, the presence of lime will help ward off the pests that commonly inhabit lawns and cause damage.
Weed Pro is in the business of helping Ohio homeowners keep their lawns healthy and safe year round. Contact your local provider to see how our team can enhance the look and feel of your yard.