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How do I know if my yard needs lime?

Posted by Christine Crandall on May 22, 2019 10:22:02 AM

If you don’t know what lime soil amendments are, you may be missing out on an essential way to have a healthy lawn…maybe. It all depends on the pH of your soil. Lime comes from limestone and is ground up into a powder that can be added to your soil. Lime contains calcium carbonate (the same stuff in antacids) and magnesium carbonate, and it will increase the pH of your soil, so it is less acidic. It is not a fertilizer but instead changes the growing conditions of your lawn so your lawn can use nutrients available in a better fashion.

soil sample

How do I know if may yard needs lime?

One way to know if your lawn needs lime is to check the pH of your soil. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 with 0 being the acidic side. Most grasses like the pH to be between 6.0 and 6.5. Bermudagrass will thrive in conditions between 5.8 and 7.0. Tall fescue likes 5.8 to 6.5. Centipedegrass is a bit of an outlier, and it prefers a pH of 5.0 to 6.0. For more information on soil sampling, contact your local extension office. Here is the link to the University of Georgia Extension Office.

Another way to know if you lawn needs lime amendment is to look at your grass. Your lawn will suffer if it is not in the correct soil conditions. One thing you may notice is a struggling lawn with other species of plants invading. This may be moss or other unwanted vegetation like crabgrass. You may try fertilizing to perk up your lawn, but it won’t respond well if the soil is too acidic.

Once you suspect your lawn to be acidic, there are home soil tests available to determine if you are correct, but it is better to get a professional soil test from your extension office. One of the greatest advantages of this is that it comes with recommendations about how to correct your soil pH and any other nutrients that may be lacking.

If you determine that you do need a lime amendment, you can attempt to go it alone. There are plenty of DIYers out there liming their own lawns. An alternative is to hire a professional, which will ensure that your grass gets what it needs to thrive during the Georgia summer.



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Topics: soil testing, lime