Soil Testing And Amending Recommendations For A Healthy Lawn

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The appearance of your lawn can have a big effect on your property's overall condition, so as a homeowner you will want to get your lawn as healthy as possible with the right nutrients and fertilizers. Here are some recommendations on how to use limestone in your landscaping and lawn.

Test Your Soil 

In the springtime, your lawn is emerging from dormancy and will begin to sprout and look for essential nutrients while it grows. During this period it is a good idea to apply fertilizers to boost the health of the soil and your lawn as a result. But it can be difficult to know exactly what type of fertilizer nutrients your lawn needs to improve the soil. If, for example, your lawn soil is too acidic, it will be toxic for your lawn and cause it to not grow well.

You should have your soil's pH level tested to find out if it is too acidic or alkaline. Contact your local university extension to have a sample of your lawn soil tested, and they can provide you with details of its pH level. If it is too acidic or alkaline, your lawn is not going to thrive and the lawn will be thin, pale in color, and prone to disease. You can use limestone in the form of garden lime to correct your soil's nutrient levels and raise or lower the pH to the optimal level for lawn growth.

Apply Limestone

Once you have recognized your lawn's need for garden limestone, you can apply it to your lawn. It is preferred to test your soil for its pH in the spring because springtime is the best season to add lime to the soil. In early spring, your soil will have the opportunity to break down the lime and utilize it. It is recommended that you aerate your lawn first, which creates holes down into the soil of your lawn and provides spaces for the lime to fall down below into the soil. 

Apply limestone in a crushed form or in pellets with your fertilizer spreader to evenly distribute it. Apply it across your lawn in one direction, then cross over the lawn in the other direction to create a checkerboard pattern of application. Be sure to only apply the amount of limestone your lawn needs. Based on your lawn soil's pH, professionals can advise you on how much limestone to apply.

Plan for it to take a couple months for the lime to stabilize your soil's pH levels. So if you plan to test your soil again as a follow-up, wait at least two months before retesting the soil. This will enable your lawn roots to take up and use more essential nutrients for growth through the season and into the following year. Follow up each year to retest your soil's pH to see if more limestone will be needed.