How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs Lime – Simple Methods

lime for a lawn

So you suspect your lawn needs lime added to it and you aren’t sure how to tell if it does, in this article I will do my best to let you know the obvious signs of how to tell if your lawn needs lime.

If your lawn is not growing as healthy as you expected to be growing and it has a generally unhealthy look to it this is a sign that your lawn does need lime added to it.

Read on and I will tell you what signs to look for and how to test the ph level of your soil as this is the best way to confirm that your lawn really does need lime added to raise the pH level.

You can tell if your lawn needs lime if it is not responding to fertilizer, has excessive amounts of moss growing, looks generally unhealthy and has weeds like dandelions and clover growing in it. Always check the pH level before applying lime.

Lawn Not Responding To Fertilizer Is A Sign It Needs Lime

So your lawn is looking unhealthy and you have added fertilizer to it and normally after this process you see a burst of healthy growth.

But this time you have added fertilizer and the lush green grass that normally grows after this procedure isn’t happening or at least not as much as usual, this could be a good sign you need to add lime to your lawn.

Lawn fertilizer works best when the soil is at a neutral pH level, this is because most fertilizers are designed to release the nutrients that are already in the soil.

If the pH of your soil is at the wrong level for your fertilizer it won’t be able to release the healthy nutrients that are basically locked and dormant in soil that has a pH level that is too low.

You may still see some benefit of the fertilizer but nowhere near the full extent you expect to see.

The problem with this sign that you’re lawn needs lime is you need to be using a fertilizer that you regularly use as if you use a new type of fertilizer you won’t know how much growth to expect from its application.

Check out my article on how much lime to use on your lawn.

Excessive Weeds Is A Sign Your Lawn Needs Lime

Every single person on the planet that has a lawn or enjoys gardening will experience weeds growing in their pride and joy that they have to remove.

Weeds growing in your lawn is completely normal but if weeds start to grow more than you would normally expect them to grow, especially if they start to take over certain areas of your lawn this could be a sign that you need to add lime to your lawn to raise the pH level.

Not all weeds will grow if your lawn has a low pH level, weeds that will thrive in a lawn with low pH include:

  • Clover
  • Dandelions
  • Knotweed
  • Plantains

If you have these specific weeds growing in your lawn that is a good sign that the pH level is in fact too low.

You basically have two options in these circumstances, you can continue to rip out and battle the weeds or you can address the root of the problem (no pun intended) which is the fact your lawn has soil with a low pH level.

If you add lime to your lawn in these circumstances it will raise the Ph level and make the soil ideal for grass to grow and it should make the soil less ideal for weeds to grow.

Excessive Moss Is A Sign Your Lawn Needs Lime Added

Having moss growing on your lawn is quite a common occurrence, it is so common you would think grass and moss both thrive in the same conditions but that is the opposite of the truth.

If you have moss growing on your lawn it is one of the most obvious signs that the condition of your soil is not in the best condition for growing grass.

If your soil is in optimum condition for growing grass then chances are there will be no or very little moss as moss normally only moves in where the grass is struggling to grow due to conditions that are less than ideal.

Moss can grow in practically any conditions and any pH level but when you have a thriving lawn with ideal conditions for grass it will be far more difficult for the moss to take over and thrive.

If you have excessive amounts of moss growing on your lawn the best advice would be to test the pH level and this will confirm whether you should add lime to your lawn or not.

To find out what happens if you add too much lime Click Here.

Test The pH Level Of Your Lawn

If you have the obvious signs above of excessive Moss, excessive weeds, and your lawn isn’t responding as you’d expect to fertilizer it’s definitely time to test the pH level of your lawn and find out if this is the problem and whether adding lime could be the solution.

To find out exactly what the ph level of your lawn soil is then the best thing to do is buy a pH testing kit from your local garden center or some garden centers will actually test the pH level for you on the spot if this is the case simply take in a sample of your soil for them to test the pH level.

Home Test Method

If you don’t want to purchase a ph testing kit this wives tale method actually works and you can test the Ph level using this simple method.

Ok, you want to take a sample of soil from your lawn, you should take samples from different areas and mix them together.

Add a tablespoon of soil to a cup and add half a cup of vinegar, if the mixture starts to fizz that means your soil is alkaline with a pH that is probably around 8+.

For the next part of the test you should add a tablespoon of soil to a cup and add some distilled water to turn it into a muddy mixture, add half a cup of baking soda and if it starts to fizz this means you have acidic soil with a pH between 5 and 6.

If there is no reaction to either of these tests it means you have neutral soil with a likely pH of 7.

To find out the best time of year to add lime Click Here.

What Is The pH Measurement Of Soil Used For

The pH of the soil is a measurement that is used to measure how alkaline or acidic the soil is.

When the soil has a pH of 7 it is considered neutral, if the soil is below a pH of 7 it is considered acidic and if it is above 7 it is considered alkaline.

If you are designing what plants you are going to grow in your garden it is important that you find out what the pH of your soil is are some plants will thrive in acidic soil, some will thrive in alkaline soil and some will thrive in neutral soil.

If you plant the wrong type of plants in the wrong soil type you will not have much success and your plants will probably not do very well.

There are things you can do to alter the pH of the soil, you can add organic matter like compost, manure or even leaves and as it dissolves into your existing soil it will lower the pH of your soil over time and make it more acidic.

If you want to increase the pH level you can add wood ashes or the most effective way is to add lime.

What Does Lime Do To A Lawn

When you add lime to a lawn it will increase the pH level of your lawn and make it more acidic.

You’ll have to choose from a selection of lime materials and decide which one you are going to use.

  • Hydrated lime Should only be used if your lawn is extremely acidic as it will quickly increase the pH of your lawn like no other.
  •  Lime pellets are probably the easiest to apply but they are not the most effective way to alter the PH of soil.
  • Pulverized lime is lime that has been crushed into a powder, the best option for pulverized lime is to spread it by hand as it can clog up any machine you use to apply it.

Before you apply any lime product to your lawn you really do have to check the pH level as adding lime to a lawn that is already alkaline or neutral it could be an absolute disaster and you don’t want that to happen with your beautiful lawn.

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