Knowing when to add lime to your lawns will help your garden look its best.
The ideal seasons to lime lawns are typically fall and spring. Fall has an added benefit because rain, snow, and freezing and thawing cycles aid in the breakdown and start-up of lime.
You’ll reap the rewards if you apply lime properly and at the appropriate time of year, which includes better growth and thicker, greener grass in the upcoming season.
When to Add Lime to Lawn
If you have seen certain signs of an unhealthy lawn, such as an abundance of moss and weeds, ineffective fertilizer, or sickly looking grass, you probably need to add lime. The good news is that you can add lime to your lawn at any time of the year, so if your grass is suffering, don’t wait. However, it is best to add lime in the fall as a regular maintenance step. Lime is best incorporated into the soil during the winter months.
Why Do You Add Lime to Lawns?
The reason for adding lime to lawns is because it ‘plays a crucial role in lawn maintenance, balancing the pH and providing the calcium your lawn needs to thrive. The simplest and most cost-effective way to neutralize acidic soil is to lime your lawn. Over time the lime breaks down in the soil causing calcium levels to rise and acidity to be brought into check. When the PH levels are ideal, the nutrients your grass needs are more easily accessible in the soil.
When lime needs to be added to lawns, it will soon be obvious because the grass will start to look less healthy, lose color, and suffer, and other plants, like moss and weeds, may start to grow in its place.
What Type of Lime to Buy
Calcitic lime or dolomitic lime can both be used to make limestone. Due to the additional advantages that calcium offers plants, calcitic lime is the preferred type. There are several types of calcitic lime products available, including agricultural ground limestone, pulverized limestone, and pelletized limestone. While both pulverized and pelletized limestone will change the pH of the soil relatively quickly, pelletized limestone is the easiest to apply. (Pulverized limestone is very dusty.)
the amount of pure calcium . ……………… Look for the “calcium carbonate equivalent” on the bag label, which will vary depending on the liming material.
How to Apply Lime
Never apply lime to a lawn that is dormant, wilted, or stressed; only a dry lawn should receive this treatment. It is simpler to adjust your soil’s pH before sowing grass seed or laying sod than it is to add limestone to an established lawn because limestone is most effective at changing the soil pH when it is mixed in with the top 5 inches of soil. It’s likely that you won’t need to re-lime for a number of years once you’ve added lime to your soil to adjust the pH.
Aerate the lawn with a core aerator before adding lime to an established lawn to allow the lime to penetrate the soil. Next, using a drop or rotary spreader (never lay down lime by hand), apply the limestone to your lawn. Apply half while walking over your lawn in one direction, then apply the other half in a direction that is perpendicular to your first. This will ensure that every part of your lawn is covered with lime.
According to a University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service publication, if your soil test results call for less than 50 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet, it can be applied in a single application, either in the spring or fall. If you need between 50 and 100 pounds of lime, apply half in the spring and half in the fall. If you need to add more than 100 pounds of lime, apply 50 pounds in the spring and 50 pounds in the fall, then retest the following spring and add more lime if necessary to reach the desired soil pH. Never apply more lime than 50 pounds at a time per 1,000 square feet. To prevent leaf burn, water your lawn right away after applying the lime to rinse any extra off the grass blades.
Maintaining Your Lawn’s PH
After giving the lime time to work for a few months, have your soil tested by a professional once more. For example, if you applied lime in the spring, test again in the fall. According to the recommendations of the soil test, you can add more lime if your soil is still too acidic. You won’t need to do anything else if the pH of your soil is appropriate. Check your soil’s pH level every one to two years going forward to see if it is getting too acidic. Always perform a soil test prior to lime application.
Do You Apply Lime to Wet Or Dry Grass?
Never apply lime to a lawn that is dormant, wilted, or stressed; only a dry lawn should receive this treatment.
Can You Put Too Much Lime on Your Lawn?
If you apply too much lime to your lawn, the soil will become too alkaline and lose its acidity, making it impossible for grass to grow. This will result in grass that is yellowing and unable to absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil around it.
How Often Should You Put Lime on Your Lawn?
Frozen or wilted grass and yards should not be treated with lime. Applying lime only every three to five years will help you avoid over-liming because it can take two years for lime to penetrate your soil two inches.
Should I Water My Grass After Applying Lime?
You can also apply lime in early spring. When your lawn is wilted or covered in frost, avoid applying lime. Additionally, you should always water the lawn after you’ve applied lime to help the lime get into contact with the soil by washing it off the grass blades.