When Should You Lime The Lawn?

When Should You Lime The Lawn?

Anyone who wants a well-groomed lawn can not avoid appropriate care. Above all, liming the lawn is a popular measure to achieve a lush green and healthy appearance. Mistakes can be made as early as the selection of the right lime as well as the dosage. Decisive for good results is especially the right timing. Inform yourself before liming.

Lime lawn


Lawns require certain soil conditions for healthy, vigorous growth. This primarily concerns the pH value, which ideally lies between 5.5 and 6.0. This can change due to external influences and increasing age of the soil. If it drops or rises above the limits, the lawn will continuously lose the aforementioned properties.

Necessity


Lime is used when the pH falls/is below 5.5 (acidic range) because it has a value increasing effect and regulates too much soil acidity. A clear sign of too low pH is the formation of moss, which forms exclusively on acidic soils. If the pH is above 6.0, lime would harm the lawn. Usually clover grows on it, and if you see it, you should not apply lime. However, visual signs alone should not be relied upon. It is advisable to regularly carry out a soil test, with which the pH value can be determined.


The tests are appropriately useful and available in any well-stocked garden and plant specialty store or hardware store. They cost only a few euros.

Tip: If you don’t have the confidence to do the test yourself or don’t trust it, you can use a test set in which the results are sent to a corresponding laboratory and professionally analyzed there. In this case, costs of up to 30 euros should be expected.

Lime type


Lime is mainly known from the construction industry. This is not a product suitable for lawns and should therefore not be used under any circumstances. Special lawn lime is available in specialized stores. So-called dolomite lime is a natural lime that can be used to increase the acidity of the lawn soil and also regulate the magnesium balance. It contains calcium carbonate. Other carbonic acid products are available with this active ingredient, which are considered to be very safe to use and gentle on the lawn. The effect unfolds depending on the pH value. The higher the pH value, the less the calcium carbonate dissolves – the effect is correspondingly higher or lower. In this way, overliming is hardly possible. Quicklime, on the other hand, has corrosive properties and does not belong in inexperienced hands.

Lime quantity


Basically, when determining the amount of lime for lawns, the dosage recommendation of the respective manufacturer should be followed, because the products can have different intensities. In addition, the quantity should be determined in accordance with the soil conditions. The following information serves as a rough guideline/orientation aid:

Light and sandy soils: between 100 and 200 grams per square meter.
Medium-heavy sandy to clayey soils: between 300 and 400 grams per square meter
Heavy soils with clay or loam: 400 to 450 grams per square meter


Right time of year to lime your garden


Season

The most suitable time of year is spring and autumn. The former is generally preferable to autumn liming, because moss may have formed due to winter moisture, and the lawn will have an optimal base for the garden season. Before the growing season begins in the spring, the lawn benefits most from the application of lime. Late March/early April provide a good time.
Fall is only recommended if liming the lawn was forgotten in the spring. The pH value can then still be optimized, but a real regeneration of the lawn may no longer be possible before the onset of winter. Surprised early frost, the effect is limited and usually completely gone until after the frost. Therefore: spring is the ideal time for liming – autumn only if lime is required.

Moisture

Soils should not be limed after rain, because there is a risk that the granules will clump together and dissolve less easily as a result. In addition, walking on wet lawns can damage the turf and provoke unsightly bare patches. The ideal situation is when liming is done on dry ground and it rains afterwards. Once the lime has been applied, it dissolves well in the rain and penetrates more quickly into the soil. Wind can then no longer carry it away. A look at the weather forecast is accordingly advisable. Alternatively, the limed lawn can also be blasted.

Time of day

When to limewash during the day depends primarily on the weather conditions. It should be noted here that liming should not be done during direct sunlight, as there is a risk of burning. A cloudy sky is well suited for this lawn care, but during the day there is a risk that the sun will come through unpredictably. Therefore, it is better to use the evening hours for the lime measure.

  • Liming the lawn: preparation
  • Liming before fertilizing

The fertilizing season begins in spring, when it is also the optimal time for liming. It is not advisable to apply lime at the same time. Liming should always be done before fertilizing because it ensures that the fertilizer can achieve maximum effect. There should be an interval of between four and six weeks between liming the lawn and fertilizing, so that the lime has sufficient time to prepare the soil optimally for the following fertilizing.

Scarify first

Before liming the lawn, the area should first be scarified. The purpose of this is to loosen up and aerate the lawn so that the lime can work more effectively. It should be noted that loosened felt, moss and lawn particles are well collected from the surface, so that the lime access to the soil is not made difficult or impossible. Do not wait long after scarifying before applying the lime. With the next downpour, the soil surface may become compacted again and scarifying will lose its purpose.

Other important details

  • Even application of the lime is best achieved by using a spreading trolley
  • Use gloves when filling in the lime
  • Do not walk on the lawn after liming and let it “rest” for four weeks
  • If possible, keep dogs and cats away from limed lawns


After application of lime, it is usually not necessary to lime the lawn again for the following two to three years.


Tip: If liming is too time-consuming or if you want to make it easier, you can spread a two-centimeter layer of sand on the ground and level it. This loosens the soil and usually saves the need for liming for many more years.

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