Are you regularly fertilizing and watering your yard, but it’s still struggling? The reason could be because your lawn’s soil is too acidic. Applying limestone is often one of the most overlooked aspects of lawn management, yet it’s one of the most critical components.
GreenAce Lawn Care’s Complete Program includes pelletized limestone because it’s extremely important to your lawn’s health. Here’s what you should know about lime for lawns:
New England’s soil is acidic
New England’s soil is naturally acidic, which means its pH level is below – or sometimes well below – neutral. PH stands for “potential of hydrogen,” and is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline a solution is. PH is measured on a scale of zero to 14, with zero being very acidic ,14 being the strongest base and seven being neutral.
When soil is too acidic, the amount of nitrogen available to plants decreases, and some micronutrients, such as iron and manganese might become so soluble that they can be toxic to turf. Acidic soil can also limit how effective pesticides are, lowering the success rate of products like our grub preventive.
As you can see, soil that is too acidic can harm your lawn. There are two ways to test whether your soil needs lime. One is the basic eye test: If your lawn’s green color looks washed out, it may be failing to consume and use the proper amount of nutrients even if you’re regularly applying fertilizer. The second is to test your soil’s pH level by taking a soil sample and sending it to a lab for testing. We offer pH soil testing as an add-on service.
Measuring soil pH
We conduct a soil pH test by taking a routine soil sample and sending it to a lab. After we rceive the results, we’share them with you. The turnaround time between taking a sample and being shipped the results can take upwards of two weeks or more depending on the time of year. It tends to take longer to receive results in the spring than in the summer or fall.
The best time to measure the pH level is in the fall, although it can be done at any time during the year. Testing before winter arrives gives GreenAce enough time to adjust your program, if needed.
How pelletized lime works
As part of our Complete Program, we apply pelletized limestone to your property. Pelletized lime neutralizes your acidic soil by removing hydrogen ions from it. However, you can purchase additional lime applications from us at any time. The amount of lime we apply as part of our Complete Program typically offsets the acidic material we introduced to your soil from the fertilizer applications. The amount of lime we’d apply from seperately purchased lime applications depends on your pH soil test and the calcium carbonate equivalence of the lime used. We can, if you choose, apply additional lime without conducting a soil pH test.
Your next question might be: How long until I see positive results? Every property has soil with different particle sizes, and therefore the speed at which pellet lime reacts with that soil varies.
If soil is too alkaline this happens…
Cool-season grasses grow best when they’re in soil with a pH between six and 7.2, which is close to neutral. When soil is too alkaline, annual bluegrass can develop. Unlike Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass (Poa annua) is considered a weedy, undesirable grass. The plan has a shallow root system, and looks unsightly when surrounded by more aesthetically pleasing cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, rye and fescue.
It’s extremely difficult to control annual bluegrass, and many – if not most – control procedures prove ineffective against the aggressive weed. The best way to reduce annual bluegrass development is to physically remove it and treat the area with a pre-emergent herbicide. Several weeks later, you need to over-seed.
We service parts of Norfolk and Bristol County, Massachusetts. Towns include: Foxborough, Mansfield, Wrentham, Walpole, Plainville, Franklin, Norfolk, Stoughton, Sharon, Canton, North Attleborough, Attleborough, Easton and Norton, and parts of Medfield, Medway & Millis. Learn more about our Complete Lawn Care program.