Liming the lawn in acidic soil: Tips for correct lawn care

beautiful lawn care tips instructions liming

Every hobby gardener wants a lush lawn and flowers in their own garden. However, maintaining the lawn is often a much bigger challenge than you might think. The lawn suffers particularly in winter – moss and weeds form, which overgrow the grass and often bare spots appear on the otherwise full lawn. If the soil is also too acidic, it can compact and thus does not provide the plants with enough nutrients. With the right care, however, these problems can be solved. The easiest way to improve the growing conditions of acidic soil is to lime the lawn.

Liming the lawn: is it even necessary?

tips lawn care lawn lime when why

So that you can enjoy lush greenery in your own garden, you should optimally align the soil for the grass plants. Optimal alignment is only achieved when the best possible conditions have been created. For green, lush lawns, the soil should get all the important nutrients. The lime, for example, ensures the optimal pH value of your lawn when the soil is too acidic. But how can you actually determine the acid content? Suitable soil test sets that measure the pH value can be found in specialist garden shops. The results of the soil analysis are the best way to determine whether or not the lawn has to be limed. The pH value can basically be interpreted as follows:

  • Values ​​greater than 7 – the soil is alkaline
  • pH equals 7 – the soil is neutral
  • Values ​​less than 7 – the soil is acidic

Optimal pH value for liming lawns

So if the pH value is below 7, then one speaks of an acidic soil. A slightly acidic soil actually offers the perfect growth conditions for lawn plants. A pH value between 5.5 and 7 is optimal. The type of soil also plays an important role: sandy soil must be limed for values ​​below 5.5 and loamy soil below 6.

If there is moss in the lawn, it is also an indication that your lawn needs lime. However, moss can also have other causes, so this indicator should not be relied on alone. If you are looking at a large amount of moss in your lawn, then you should consider a soil analysis and only then determine whether or not you need to lime the lawn. If clover or nettles grow in the soil, however, this indicates an alkaline soil and you should not use soil liming. The lime makes the soil even more alkaline and the growth of your lawn continues to decline.

Why is my soil sour?

soil test to determine the ph value of the lawn

You should definitely ask yourself this question in advance. Is the acidification of the soil related to the nature of the soil or are there other sources of problems? If the soil layers are compacted, waterlogging occurs regularly, which increases the acidity. In this case, the soil liming alone would not be sufficient to create the optimal conditions for lawn plants. With such a problem, you can install a drainage to avoid waterlogging.

Lawns that are in the shade of the house or a tree cannot dry out well, which leads to unsatisfactory growth of the lawn. Even if you lime the lawn, the problem cannot be solved as a whole. In this case you can think about whether you can use the area for something else and sow the grass plants somewhere in the sun or partial shade.

Fertilizing the soil with various fertilizers can also be a cause of the low pH. Some nitrogen fertilizers promote soil acidification and should be replaced, if possible, with others that do not change the acidity of the soil.

When is the lawn being whitewashed??

lawn care tips spring autumn

As for the timing, you can generally add lime to the lawn in the garden all year round if the soil needs it. However, spring is ideal, as this is the time when the lawn sprouts best and produces new plant shoots. The sooner you limestone the lawn, the better. After the snow cover has melted on your lawn, it is time to spread the lime. So you can enjoy a lush lawn in summer.

However, you do not have to do liming every year. Experts advise liming the lawn every two to three years. If the first liming did not lead to the desired results and the renewed soil analysis again indicates that the soil is too acidic, you can repeat the process the following autumn.

The best time to lime is in the evening, as the lime in combination with the blazing sun can burn the plants.

Which lime is the right one?

Wear lawn limes by hand gloves

A distinction can be made between several different types of lime. Carbonate of lime is best suited for liming the lawn, because it is not as aggressive as quicklime or slaked lime. This type is usually used in the garden and can be found in specialist garden shops as “garden lime”. Some still use quicklime for the lawn if the soil is loamy and heavy.

Mixed forms of lime and fertilizer are still available on the market, which simultaneously lime and fertilize the lawn. Some mixtures also contain magnesium, which gives the lawn an even deeper shade of green. However, this practical solution is only suitable for those gardens whose soil is not extremely acidic.

Lawn liming when instruction spreader

Determine the correct amount of lime

In order for the liming to be successful, you should dose the lime correctly. A sandy soil with a pH below 5.5 needs around 150 to 200 grams of carbonate of lime per square meter. If, on the other hand, the soil is loamy with a pH value below 6.2, then the required amount is twice as much – i.e. 300 to 400 grams of garden lime per square meter. If you want to lime a clay floor with quicklime, you don’t need more than 100 grams per m².

How to properly lime the lawn

Lawn limes spreader acid soil

When liming the lawn, there are a few important points to keep in mind to avoid mistakes. That is why we have summarized the individual steps below.

Before you start liming, you must first carefully scarify the lawn. This way the soil is aerated as a lot of oxygen gets into it. Scarifying also destroys weeds and the lime can act better. After that, however, the soil will need some time to recover. Wait approx. 4 weeks after scarifying before using the lime. However, if the lawn is limed in autumn, you can skip this step.

Tip: If you want to reseed the lawn, do this shortly after scarifying, but definitely before liming.

If you have already done the scarifying and waited the necessary time, you can now lime the lawn. There are basically two methods of doing this. You can either use a spreader or simply lime it by hand. In the second case, however, you should definitely wear good gardening gloves. Direct skin contact can damage your skin.

Lawn limes fertilize in acidic soil

A spreader is recommended for larger lawns because it makes spreading easier and more even. You can simply use the same spreader that is used to apply the fertilizer or seeds. With such a device, the amount of fertilizer or lime can be dosed more easily and the whole process is precise.

Whether with the spreader or by hand, you should apply the lime evenly to the entire lawn area. So that the lime penetrates deep into the ground, work the lawn once with the rake after liming. This way you will prevent the wind from carrying him away.

Tip: There are certain plants that cannot tolerate lime at all, such as conifers. Find out in advance whether or not your plants are adjourning lime and, if necessary, keep the necessary distance from it.

After the lawn is evenly limed, consider watering the lawn thoroughly. The water helps the lime to be drawn into the soil faster and continues to neutralize the acid.

The rest phase now follows. Let the lime work for about four to five weeks before fertilizing, mowing or scarifying the lawn again.

Tips for correct lawn care

lawn lime fertilize tips care when

The soil needs a lot of care for an evenly growing and beautifully green lawn. Unfortunately, there is not a single formula that guarantees lush lawn growth. The different lawn plants have different requirements and need appropriate care. The nature of the soil also plays an important role. We have put together a few useful tips so that you can properly limewash and care for the lawn.

Additional care for acidic soil: sand the lawn

Liming alone cannot always eliminate the causes of soil acidification. If the soil is compacted, it should also be sanded. Coarse construction sand is best for this. Every spring, cover the lawn with a layer of construction sand that is two to three inches thick. The grass should not be completely covered, but should look out over the sand layer. The best way to level the sand is with a lawn rake. If you sand the lawn, the soil becomes looser over time, the growth of moss decreases and the grass grows more vital and lush.

lawn fertilize after liming tips

Fertilize lawns only after liming

Fertilizing cannot replace liming the lawn. The additives in the fertilizer can sometimes even be harmful to the delicate grasses. In general, you can both lime and fertilize the lawn, as both can improve the growing conditions for the grass. However, it is important to note that the lime should be done before fertilizing. If the necessary amount of lime is added to the soil first, then the optimal basis for the fertilizer is created.

And what are the differences between liming and fertilizing and should you do both? Lime is a type of fertilizer that regulates the acidity in the soil. Fertilizers contain many nutrients and minerals that the lawn needs. The most important of these are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. To determine what exactly is missing from your lawn, take a soil sample and send it in for soil analysis. This is the only way to know for sure what the soil is lacking.

lawn lime rain watering

Do not lime in rainy weather

If rain is in the weather forecast or if it rained a lot the same day or the day before, you should postpone the liming for another day. So the soil should be dry before you lime the lawn. However, the rain immediately afterwards is not a problem and can even help the lime soak into the soil better.

We wish you every success!