Lime is a powdered rock substance that’s most frequently used to raise the alkalinity of your soil and improve the health of your lawn. There are two main types of lime used in garden care, calcium carbonate lime, and dolomitic lime. Both are generally used interchangeably.
1. Lime Contains Vital Nutrients That Improve Your Lawn Health
The most important thing lime does for your lawn is to improve the soil composition. This will help you grow greener, healthier grass. Technically, lime is not a fertilizer and should not be treated as such. However, it does have minerals that can help plants grow in areas that are barren.
2. Lime Increases Soil pH
The most important thing lime does for soil is to increase its pH. If you have acidic soil that’s preventing your lawn from growing lush, you should consider sprinkling lime throughout the area. Grasses prefer turf between 5.8 and 7.2 in pH.
You can find out if you need lime treatments from a soil pH kit. Garden gurus call this “sweetening” the lawn. If you already have a high pH reading, do not sweeten the law. Add an acid to make your lawn more “sour” instead.
3. Lime Can Also Help Dehydrate Your Soil
If you have soggy soil that’s killing your plant life, a little lime can help.
4. Lime Can Kill Lawn Moss, Weeds, and Insects
If your lawn suffers from pests, lime can be used as an effective way to get rid of them. Lime can also kill lawn moss and a variety of common lawn weeds.
The best time to apply lime to your lawn is whenever you need it. If you recently had a flood that leeched out all the nutrients in your grass, now would be a good time to use lime. If your soil pH is a sour 4.0, you should add lime to your lawn. With that said, most lawn keepers also give ailing lawns a lime treatment once in the fall and once in the spring. It’s up to you to determine if it’s a good time for lime.
If you want to sweeten your yard’s soil, you will need to do so carefully. Too much lime can cause your plants and lawn to get sick and die. Moreover, it can also become a hazard to your own health because it’s so alkaline. Here’s what you need to do to apply lime to your lawn correctly…
- First, buy some pellet lime and a broad spreader. You should not try to touch the lime by hand, as it can irritate skin pretty badly.
- Place the lime pellets in the broad spreader, and then let the spreader do the work. A 40-pound bag of lime is generally enough to cover 1,000 square feet.
- Once you’re done applying the lime, monitor your soil’s pH to see if you need more.
Do All Lawns Require Lime?
While lime can be a remarkably useful tool to have in your gardening arsenal, not all lawns should actually use it. These tips below will help you figure out if you need to lime your lawn or not.
- If your soil is excessively basic, do not use lime. Lime will only make your issue worse, and at times, can be the proverbial “nail in the coffin” that makes a lawn die.
- If your lawn is already lush, green, and pest-free, there is no need to use lime. You have to remember that lime is a chemical additive. Using it will change the acidity of your soil. While this can be good in ailing lawns, it can harm lawns that already reached that perfect balance.
- You want to use lime as a way to deter pests, even though your alkalinity is good. If you want to use lime as a pest deterrent but have sweet soil, it may be better to go with some diatomaceous earth instead.
Can You Put Too Much Lime On Your Lawn?
Much like it’s possible to put too much oil in your food, it’s possible to put too much lime in your lawn. If you notice your plants’ leaves turning yellow, then it’s a sign that you have too much lime. It’s better to scale back your lime usage than it is to keep up regular liming.
Choosing to put down lime is not meant to be a quick fix to all your gardening needs. It’s meant to be a carefully-used upkeep tool that tweaks the soil’s quality in your favor.
Garden lime is one of those tools that remains a staple in most parts of the country but still requires a keen eye to use properly. Lime is excellent if you want to sweeten your soil a bit over the course of several weeks or months. It also can be a good pest killer and can even help reduce weeds.
However, this needs to be done with a light hand. If you want to use lime, make sure that you regularly test your soil’s pH levels. After all, this is more of a chemical treatment than it is a regular pesticide. Once you’ve put down lime on your lawn, take the time to do a follow-up test.
Using lime is not a one-time deal. It’s a marathon race that is meant to work with your soil rather than against it. Knowing that, treat this tool with respect. Your garden will thank you.