Lime applications can make your lawn healthier – if you know how to apply them properly.
Lime applications are a common and popular way to make your lawn healthier, happier, and greener. Lime helps keep a lawn’s pH levels at normal and adds nutrients like calcium and magnesium to the soil. As a result, among other benefits, lime can:
• Make fertilizer treatments more effective
• Lower the number of weeds in your yard
• Decrease the thatch build-up
• Strengthen the roots of your grass
It’s obvious why homeowners love lime applications. If you’re considering it for your own lawn, read on to discover the when and how of applying this lawncare chemical.
The length of time between applications depends on the condition of your soil and the size of the lime being spread. If you soil becomes acidic quickly, you will want to apply lime on a regular basis using a very small pellet or fine powder. If you're more concerned about keeping your soil at a neutral pH rather than drastic changes, you'll want a larger pellet that will stay in the soil as a longer lasting time release treatment.
The best way to determine whether you need to add lime to your soil is by doing a soil test. Offered through a variety of sources, including your local county extension office, a professional soil test determine not only the amount and type of lime to use to adjust your soil pH and calcium levels, the test also tells you what types of grasses, trees, or landscaping plants are suited to your soil and what kind of fertilizer you’ll need to grow specific types of plants.
Let's talk about how to spread lime for just a minute. Because it raises pH, some forms of lime are caustic, which means that it can cause chemical burns if handled improperly. If you need to touch the powder or pellets, wearing a pair of nitrile gloves will help protect your hands from harm. You may want to store certain forms in a sealed container, as they produce heat reactions when combined with water.
How do you know which forms are more dangerous? Here's a list of commonly available lime forms used in landscaping and their properties:
• Pelletized or crushed limestone is calcium carbonate, which does not dissolve readily in water and is fairly innocuous. It is commonly used in agriculture.
• Quicklime, or calcium oxide, reacts strongly with water. It can react with water in your skin to cause thermal burns.
• Hydrated lime, or calcium hydroxide, is strongly caustic and can cause chemical burns.
Pelletized lime is the best form to apply, using a fertilizer spreader and timing the application for the right part of the year. It can take months for a lime treatment to have its full effect on your lawn, but the changes can be amazing.