How to Tell if Your Lawn Needs Lime

Keeping your lawn green is all about giving it the three basic ingredients; sunlight, water, and nutrients. If your yard is fertile enough, you can get away with regularly irrigating and never have to worry about adding nutrients or confirming whether your soil pH is right.

If your soil pH is off the ideal range (around 6.5,) grass will have trouble growing. Liming is one of the best ways to bring up your soil pH levels from acidic to a more neutral reading.

Signs That Your Soil pH is Off and You Need to Apply Lime

While the best way to tell if your lawn needs lime is by using a pH testing kit to scientifically test your soil, you can still use the following as indicators:

  • A week lawn with multiple depleted patches or the grass grows too slowly
  • The grass has a sickly yellow look
  • The appearance of moss and weeds that grow best in acidic soil
  • The grass doesn’t cope well with drought and thins out on the hottest driest months (assuming you still irrigate it properly)
  • Fertilizer doesn’t produce the desired effect
  • A proliferation of pest and disease infection

Clay soil is more susceptible to acidity. You should test your lawn’s pH more often if it sits on thick clay soil. You can check this post on how to grow a nice lawn on clay soil. We included a short guide on how to measure your soil pH and determine how much lime you need.

What Happens When You Apply Lime to Your Lawn?

Lime gets rid of soil acidity by reacting with carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions and water in the soil to form calcium ion and carbonic acid. The weak carbonic acid then breaks down into carbon dioxide gas and oxygen molecules that combine with the free hydrogen ions to form water. This has the effect of increasing your soil pH.

Does Lime Kill Grass?

Lime will kill grass if you drop too much of it on a spot at a go. It will throw off the grass’ chemical balance while also taking the soil pH above the neutral range. Only use as much lime as it’s needed to fix your soil pH.

Check this too: Does grass seed go bad when frozen

Use a good mini spreader to ensure that the lime is spread out evenly. This Scotts Turf Builder mini broadcast spreader should do the job right. It would also be wise to split your application over a couple of days rather than dumping all of it at a go.