Caring for your lawn is a year-round task if proper consideration is given and you’re making a conscious effort to have a picture-perfect lawn year over year. For many homeowners, one path to a healthier lawn is adding lime before summer or winter. What is lime exactly? Lime is essentially a soil supplement made from ground limestone. Lime is effective at nourishing your lawn because its two natural compounds calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate work to increase the soil’s pH making it less acidic and more alkaline. Assessing the pH of your soil is extremely important as it directly affects your soil’s ability to absorb nutrients. If your soil is too acidic, even the nutrients your lawn receives from fertilizers won’t take hold preventing your lawn from reaching its full potential.
When is the right time to lime your lawn? Spring and fall are typically the best times to lime your lawn. Many would argue the best time is fall due to the added advantage of months of rain, snow, and other environmental factors that help break down the lime. Spring is also great especially in certain areas where the weather doesn’t start to heat up until June allowing time for the lime to start working. Ordinary lime can take months to improve soil pH and quality. A great alternative that can save time is fast-acting lime which can be found at your local hardware store. This type of lime is often referred to as dolomitic lime. Dolomite is a mineral found in limestone that is rich in calcium-magnesium carbonate which helps the lime bind with soil faster than traditional lime. Fast-acting lime is easy to use and begins working immediately thanks to advances in soil technology and research. Before using any lime application on your lawn, always conduct a soil test to fully understand your lawns needs. Once you have your results, follow instructions and apply the right amount of lime your lawn needs to restore its pH. The prescribed amounts can also vary by soil type. For example, clay soil would require more lime than sandy soil to achieve the same outcome. Getting your soil to a balanced pH is the best gift you can give to your lawn. Soil that has a great pH means you’re granting your lawn the best opportunity to absorb nutrients and grow.
Your soil pH will change for many reasons such as applying other products to your soil or even frequent lawn maintenance. The pH of your soil is dependent upon numerous factors and will always move up and down. No matter what – if you really start to see your lawn struggle, then you know it’s time to lime. Just test your soil and start liming your lawn for bright and healthy grass.