Everything in this whacky and wonderful world needs a little TLC from time to time, and gardens are certainly no exception. In fact, sometimes it can feel like you need to spend an age in your garden getting it up to scratch.
However, I’m sure all my fellow gardeners will agree, that it’s not something we’re complaining about. Pottering around your garden can be so relaxing and so rewarding all at the same time.
It really is a beauty to behold watching your yard turn into something stunning. Especially when you look at it and know that you made it happen.
And one of the things that you’ve probably tried over the years is a good old lime treatment on your lawn.
It can really work some magic. Lime treatments are known for giving your garden that healthy gorgeous grass that you’ve always dreamed about.
You see, a lime treatment will balance your ph level, add tons of micro-nutrients to the soil, and will encourage thatch decomposition too.
And after seeing the difference that it makes to your garden, you’ll probably be tempted to revisit the trusty old lime lawn treatment. But here’s the thing, the whole world works in moderation, right?
And too many lime treatments could be detrimental to all those hours of hard work you’ve put in.
So with this in mind, let’s continue reading to find out more about how lime treatments work along with the risks that come with getting a little trigger-happy with them.
How Lime Treatments Work
Before explaining how overdoing lime treatments might impact your grass and soil, I thought I’d take the time out to quickly review how these treatments work and how they are beneficial.
So the first thing that you need to know is how healthy lawns grow. For that thick luscious green grass, you’ll need well-balanced ph levels in the soil.
You see, when the ph level in your soil is low it means that your grass won’t have the access it needs to valuable nutrients that make it grow big and strong.
When you introduce the lime treatment to your lawn it will correct any of the imbalances of acidity that are found within the soil.
This means that your soil will then have the best ph levels that will encourage grass growth. Yay.
Lime treatments are soil amendments that are composed of ground limestone rock that contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.
Therefore once the treatment is added to your soil it changes the ph level.
It effectively makes the soil a lot sweeter for the plants that live within it and thus makes it a lot easier for them to access all those much-needed nutrients and allows it to grow at optimal levels.
As you can see, lime treatments are pretty effective and if you’re struggling with grass growth may be the perfect solution. But how do you know if your lawn is in need of a lime treatment? Let’s find out.
Signs Your Lawn Is Begging For A Lime Treatment
Below, you’ll find some of the major warning signs that your lawn is crying out for one of these highly effective treatments.
- Poor PH Levels – If your lawn has a ph level that is lower than the range of 6.2-7.0 then this is a massive indicator of needing a lime treatment.
- Presence Of Pests – If your lawn is infiltrated with pests, weeds, or disease then a lime treatment will definitely be beneficial.
- Slow Grow – If your grass is growing very slowly or scarcely even after the use of fertilizer then you should opt for a lime treatment.
- Hello Yellow – If your lawn has grass that is more of a yellow hue then a lime treatment will help to get that gorgeous green color back.
- Type Of Soil – Soils such as clay and sandy soil are often known for being quite acidic. If you have this type of soil then you’ll definitely see an improvement from a lime treatment.
- Rain, Rain, Go Away – If you live in an area that is often exposed to heavy rainfalls or acidic rain then you should give your lawn a lime treatment.
- Harsh Heat – If you live in an area that is often exposed to high and harsh heat or drought then a lime treatment will do wonders for your lawn.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Lime Treatments?
We’ve all heard the phrase too much of a good thing, right? Well, this can be the case with lime treatments. Yes, they are highly effective and a great option especially in the aforementioned circumstances.
However, use them too much and you’ll put the health of your grass at risk.
Remember how earlier, we spoke about lime being used to balance the ph levels in your soil?
Well, if you repeat the treatment too many times, you’re not going to get that perfect balance, you’re going to venture too far over and end up with high soil alkalinity.
What this means is that your grass will end up with an iron deficiency.
When your grass is iron deficient, it ends up looking this yellowish unhealthy color and often has these unsightly bleached spots on the blades of grass. And that’s not exactly the look you’re aiming for.
If this has happened to you, don’t panic too much. The whole thing is reversible with the use of Milorganite or Ironite. Or really any other Iron supplement.
When you apply way too much lime to your lawn, it may cause too much calcium in the soil. When this happens it can hinder the grass from being able to absorb the magnesium and thus negatively impact the growth of the grass.
Can Over Using Lime Treatments Be Fixed?
Yes! As I mentioned above, if you get a little trigger-happy with your use of lime treatments your lawn can still be salvaged. So, don’t worry you haven’t forever doomed your garden. Not on my watch.
The first piece of advice I’ll give before getting into how to correct it is don’t beat yourself up about it. Overusing lime treatments is all too easy to do. I have done it several times.
You definitely aren’t the first to go overboard, and you certainly won’t be the last. So, don’t dwell on it, just dust your shoulders off and get to correcting it!
Test Your Soil
The first thing you’ll want to do is test your soil’s ph levels to evaluate exactly where you are at. This can help to rule out any other potential issues and will ensure that you are taking the correct necessary steps.
I would advise using this soil test. This is the one I use personally, and it’s never let me down.
You can always buy cheaper options in local stores if it’s a little out of your budget range but the one I use is definitely one of the best on the market.
Identify The Problem
Following the instructions on your soil test, identify whether or not you do have too much lime in your soil. If you do, you’ll want to follow any of the three options in the next step.
When it comes to correcting your soil, you’ll have three options to choose from. Let’s look at those now.
- Months & Mulch – The first option you have is to simply wait a couple of months and mulch organic matter using your mower. This can help to amend the soil and water in the lawn. If you see no improvements over the course of a couple of months, you’ll have to move on to one of the following options below.
- Horticultural Sulfur – The next option is to add some horticultural sulfur to your lawn. This will help to lower the ph level. In terms of the options available, it is likely the fastest-acting method. Just take care not to add too much sulfur or you’ll end up having to correct the lawn all over again. And while this method offers the most immediate correction, it’ll still take some time and patience to notice a significant drop in ph levels.
- Top-Dress Your Lawn – The third and final option is the one that I am most in favor of. And that is top-dressing your lawn with a thin layer of screened finished compost. It really does only need to be a thin layer though – around just a ¼ inch. This will feed your lawn everything that it needs and will naturally improve the ph levels in the soil. If you have a significantly different ph level, then you could also add a little sulfur to the mix too.
So How Much Lime Should You Add To Your Lawn?
Now that we know lime treatments work, that you can add too much, and how to correct your soil when you do, let’s take a look at exactly what you should be aiming for when adding lime to your soil.
So, as I mentioned earlier, you’re hoping to achieve an overall ph level in your soil of between 6.5 and 7.0.
When you are considering how much lime to add to your lawn, you’ll want to take both the current ph level of your soil and the type of soil in your lawn into consideration.
The heavier your soil, the more lime you’ll need for ph level modification.
Gardening calculators are a really effective tool to use for determining the amount of lime you’ll be required to use. And I would always recommend taking a soil test before adding anything to your lawn.
When Is The Best Time To Lime Your Lawn?
Okay, so now you may want to know when will be the most effective time to add lime to your lawn will be.
Well, a lime treatment can be used at any point throughout the year. There won’t be a specific time when you simply will not see results.
However, with that being said, you’ll definitely see the best results around Fall or Spring-time.
Fall is a great time to lime your lawn since the yard will have all the time over the winter period to absorb it and it gives time for any necessary corrections should anything go wrong.
However, you’ll also want to keep in mind that lime treatments do not work well on wet and soggy or dry and wilted lawns. So, try to aim for early fall where possible.
How To Apply Lime To Your Yard
There are a few different ways to spread lime across your yard! Let’s take a look at them now.
- Granular Lime – This option comes in the form of pellets which can be easily spread via a broadcast or drop spreader.
- Powdered Lime – This option comes in the form of a powder which is very fine. So fine that most fertilizer spreaders won’t be able to evenly distribute it. For this type, you’ll want to spread the lime by hand.
- Liquid Lime – This option comes in the form of a liquid that can sometimes be hard to judge the quantities of with a sprayer and so requires a careful application.
Once you have spread the lime treatment be sure to water the lawn to aid absorption but do not overwater so much that you cause the treatment to run off.
And there you have it – you know everything there is to know about lime treatments for your garden. Follow the advice given in this article and you’ll be sure to have that gorgeous green grass in no time.