Is It Too Early in the Year to Consider Lime and Fertilizer Application?
With spring on the horizon, you might be thinking about adding some fertilizer and lime to your lawn. No one wants to have a brown lawn for the springtime. In many places around the country, lime is essential for a healthy lawn. With fertilizer and lime, your grass can benefit from those extra nutrients in your soil. When you understand how lime and fertilizer can help your lawn, your turf will reach its full potential. Here are a few things you need to know about applying lime and fertilizer to your landscape.
What Is Lime?
Many homeowners know about the benefits of fertilizers. These products help your grass grow lush and green. When it comes to lime, many people might not understand its benefits. Lime is a soil amendment. It is made from ground limestone rock and contains magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate. Grinding up limestone creates a granule lime product that is applied to lawns.
If you add lime to the soil, these compounds increase the pH levels to make it more alkaline and less acidic. Natural magnesium and calcium are essential nutrients. Lime boosts the health of your grass. However, you should never use lime as a substitute for fertilizer. While lime can alter the soil pH and offset any acidity, fertilizer is used as a feeding supplement.
Why Apply Lime?
Lawns with low soil pH levels need lime to promote the availability of nutrients. While soil pH levels vary from region to region, many grasses prefer soil between 5.8 and 7.2. Warm-season grasses often need a slightly lower pH, and those cool-season grasses prefer a pH higher than 1.2. Within those preferred pH ranges, your turf still needs added nitrogen from a lawn fertilizer. If the lawn’s pH is too low or too high, it can restrict nutrient absorption. Lime is there to restore those pH levels to optimal growing conditions.
If you have a yellowing lawn, it might be a sign that your soil is in desperate need of a lime application. Some weeds even thrive in those acidic soils. With an increase of weeds popping up in your lawn, it could be a warning that your soil is becoming too acidic. Along with improving the growing conditions of your lawn, lime can help raise the pH and keep away those pesky weeds.
Soil Testing Is Important
Before applying any fertilizers or lime to your yard, you will want to test your soil. A test can provide you with an accurate measurement of your soil’s pH levels. You can also determine if the soil’s type will be affected by other amendments and lime treatments. These tests will allow you to assess your turf’s needs accurately. If you apply lime without a test, you could end up damaging the grass. For those acidic lawns, you might want to conduct a test every year until the proper pH levels have been reached. You can test an established lawn about every three to four years.
When To Apply Lime?
Once the threat of frost has passed in your area, you might want to think about those fertilizer and lime applications. As previously stated, knowing the soil type is an essential part of your lawn maintenance plan. After you receive the results, you can find the right products for your grass. Any lawn that needs a regular lime application will probably require these treatments for a few years. Once you have found the right pH for your lawn, it will need less frequent applications.
Can You Lime and Fertilize at the Same Time?
If you need lime and fertilizer, you might want to apply treatments at the same time. It is a common practice for many lawn care professionals to use both of these applications. There are no downsides to using them together. You can save time with a simultaneous application of lime and fertilizer.
Are There Bad Times for These Applications?
Before you add fertilizer and lime, you will want to check your weather forecast. If you see heavy rain in the outlook, you might want to delay your applications. You could even go a step further and wait until your lawn has fully drained from a rainstorm. It is important to never add fertilizer and lime to soggy soil or water puddles.
On the other hand, you never want to apply fertilizer and lime to dry grass. You should water your lawn to moisten the soil before you use these treatments. After the lime and fertilizer are applied, make sure to lightly sprinkle your lawn with water to help absorb those nutrients and minerals. If you are concerned about the health of your lawn, you might want to turn to a company specializing in commercial lawn care services.
Other Benefits of Fertilizer and Lime
Now that you know that fertilizer and lime add magnesium and calcium, you should learn about the other benefits of these applications. Lime can help to revitalize lawns affected by drought conditions during those hot summers. Lime is known to encourage the growth of good bacteria in your lawn. This soil amendment can also control harmful allium and iron in your grass.
How Much Lime To Apply?
With a soil test, you will know the right amount of lime to apply to your grass. You need to follow all those specific recommendations for your grass as they can vary for different soil types. If you want an easier solution, think about fast-acting lime. This solution is easy to apply with a regular lawn spreader. After the lime has been applied, you will want to water the surface to get the lime to activate.
Let Us Help With Your Lawn Care Needs
Liming and fertilizing can help you achieve a healthy and lush lawn. However, that means you have to tackle these jobs by yourself. At Charlestown Landscaping LLC, we are your trusted lawn care partner. From turf mowing to applications, we provide commercial lawn care for your property. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at 610-608-3965.