LIME – DOES MY YARD NEED IT
Many of you may have heard of the process of liming your lawn, but may not be aware of how this process can benefit your lawn. Liming is a method of improving the efficiency of fertilizers applied to your lawn.
One of the indicators used to evaluate the health of your lawn is the soil pH. Soil pH is a measure of whether the soil is acidic or alkaline. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14. Soil pH levels approaching 1 are very acidic whereas levels approaching 14 are very alkaline. A pH level of 7 indicates the soil is neither acidic nor alkaline and is often referred to as being neutral. Lawns prefer a slightly acidic soil pH in the range of 6 to 7. This is true of many shrubs, although certain acid-loving shrubs such as azaleas and camellias prefer a pH in the 5.0 to 5.5 range.
When plants are growing in ideal soil pH levels, nutrients from fertilizers are readily available for uptake by plant roots. When the soil pH is either too high or too low, certain plant nutrients tend to react chemically with other components found in soil to form insoluble compounds which cannot be absorbed by plant roots.
As a general trend, the soil pH tends to decrease over time because rainfall and irrigation tend to wash out soluble basic components in the soil. Therefore, the soil tends to become more acidic. Over time, plants may develop nutritional deficiency symptoms because the nutrients are unavailable by the plant even though they are present in the soil. The nutrients may be in the soil, because fertilizer was applied, but the nutrients may be in a form that cannot be absorbed by plant roots. To counteract this effect, horticulturists apply some form of liming material. A liming material raises the soil pH so that nutrients will become soluble and available for toot uptake. Therefore, the fertilizer efficiency is greatly improved.
If you are interested in finding out if liming would benefit your lawn, Rich-Way will provide a soil test to determine if you need this service performed. The normal fee is $25.00, but when you mention that you saw this on our website we will waive this fee.
Written By: Mike Binkley
CEO, Rich-Way Landscape