Now that the COVID pandemic is slowly ramping down, the last thing we need to deal with is a lawn that is too embarrassing to host barbeques, late-night campfires, and your children and their friends to play on. If your Latrobe area lawn is experiencing weak growth, is consistently overrun with disease, insect infestations, or weeds, it may not just be heat stress. It may be time to think about having your soil tested for its pH levels and perhaps an application of lime.
Learn what types of ailments grass displays when it suffers from a pH imbalance, what you can do about it, and how you can get your lawn back to the neighborhood entertainment venue.
Symptoms of pH Imbalance
- Weak growth
- The presence of lawn moss
- Insect infestation
- Failure to respond after treatment with fertilizer
- Washed-out color
Why is the pH level of My Soil So Important?
The pH level of your soil is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. It’s important because your grass’s growth and health depend on it. When soil falls more on the acidic end of the pH scale, it affects how well your soil absorbs nutrients. This means that no matter how much or what kind of fertilizer you put down, your grass can’t use it.
Soil pH balance is measured on a scale from one to 14, with seven considered neutral. Measurements below seven are considered acidic or “sour,” while any number above seven is alkaline or ”sweet”. Most plants prefer neutral soil with a pH balance between 6.2 and 7.2. Your pH levels can be determined through a simple soil analysis or test.
What Causes a pH Level Imbalance?
Your lawn’s pH levels are naturally determined in part by your geographic location. Most soil here in the northeast is naturally acidic. But other lawn stressors such as tons of rainfall, heat, and drought can impact your levels as well. Soils tend to lose acidity when they lack vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which typically happens during large amounts of rain and poor drainage.
What is a Soil Analysis?
A soil analysis is a detailed report of your soil composition. While you can buy kits at your local home goods store, we recommend having a trained lawn care professional perform it. A professionally done analysis will remove about a dozen small samples of soil from different areas of your lawn in order to determine an accurate result of your lawn overall. By combining the data from all the samples, your lawn tech will then create a detailed report.
This report will note key things like:
- Which nutrients are low
- Which nutrients are high
- The pH level
- The presence of any pollutants or contaminants
Correct Soil Imbalance With Lime Treatment
You can correct the soil acidity easily by liming the soil or adding basic materials to neutralize the acid present. Lime treatment can help your soil absorb nutrients and plant growth better while helping to promote an overall healthier root system. Limestone acts as a soil acid neutralizer and consists of either calcium and magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate.
However, different soils will require different amounts of lime to adjust the soil pH value. Other factors to consider include the texture of the soil and organic matter content.
Timing of Lime Applications
Here in the northeast, lime applications are typically applied in the fall. Generally, for best results, limestone should be used two to three months before planting to allow time for it to neutralize the acidity. Applying a lime treatment around October or early November will be the most beneficial for your lawn. Lime takes several months to dissolve and change a soil’s pH level fully, but the rain, snow, and freeze-thaw cycles we have here in PA will help break down the lime faster.
LawnRx Will Conduct a Soil Analysis & Treat Imbalanced pH Levels With Our High-Quality Lime Treatment
At LawnRx, we know lawns. Our team of professionals understands our region’s unique growing conditions, unpredictable weather patterns, and property needs. We offer a soil analysis to test your soil’s pH balance and determine if any corrections need to be made. If we discover it’s required, we will provide you with lime treatment to help restore the pH balance in your soil as needed. Our lime treatment will allow better absorption of the nutrients and promote plant growth for an overall healthier root system.
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