Soil health is critical for maintaining healthy plant life. The core nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are the food that your plants and grass need to survive and look their best all year long. So, what role does lime play in keeping your soil plant-friendly?
What is it For?
Lime is a soil amendment, but it’s not your standard nutrient. Plants don’t need lime as a nutrient to thrive in the same way they need nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. However, lime is a critical component of plant-friendly soil. Without it, your grass will struggle, which can cause it to deteriorate.
One important thing lime does is it makes it easier for plants and grasses to absorb nutrients in the soil. Even if your soil is rich in nutrients, it’s all for nothing if it doesn’t have enough lime to allow your plants and grass to absorb those nutrients and thrive.
The other reason lime is important is that it balances your soil’s pH. Without enough lime, your soil will become too acidic, and your plants and grasses will struggle. When the soil becomes too acidic, competitors such as lawn moss will start to grow and choke out your grass. Keeping your lawn’s pH in check will prevent this from occurring so your grass can continue to thrive.
When Should You Apply it?
Acidic soil will give way to lawn moss, weeds, and rampant lawn disease. If you begin to notice that your lawn is struggling, you should have your soil tested to determine the pH level. If the pH is low, you should add ground limestone to your lawn. This can be done at any time of the year, even in winter.
How Do You Get Your Soil Tested?
If you want the best method for soil testing, you should take soil samples from various areas of your lawn and send them out to a soil testing lab in your state. Every state is different, so do some research on where you should send your samples. These tests are often free of charge or offered at a very low cost. The samples will be carefully and thoroughly tested by the testing lab, and you will receive pinpoint accurate results in a few weeks. The lab will even send recommendations on how you can fix any issues detected with your soil.
There are over-the-counter soil test kits you can purchase, but these are not as accurate as a professional test, and they won’t offer advice on how to mitigate any issues with your soil. Thankfully, their most accurate reading will be for pH, so this is a viable option if you only want to check the pH and get instant results.
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