September 25, 2011 Off

Lawn Care: Lime Important to a Heathy Landscape

By in Lawn Care

You may not be aware of this, but the soil in your yard is most likely sour. And a healthy lawn finds sour soil a difficult place to grow. “Sour soil” refers to its chemical make-up and most yards in the Upstate have acidic soil, making them “sour.” In a nutshell, what is making the soil acidic is hydrogen ions. For the growing grass and plants in your yard, this means a lack of calcium and magnesium. Imagine all those hydrogen ions sucking up these beneficial elements. Unfortunately, high acidity can make getting other helpful nutrients hard for your plants. The best way to determine the acidity of your soil is to take a sample to the local County Extension office, run by Clemson. The good folks there will test your soil and tell you exactly how sour it is.

You can “sweeten” acidic soil with lime. Lime application is a crucial aspect of lawn care because it is an alkaline — a compound of calcium and magnesium (and you thought those were just good for bone health!). These elements help reverse the negative impact of acidic soil. Lime is not a fertilizer, but an important ingredient to making your soil more plant and grass-friendly. In addition to lowering the acidity of the soil, lime also makes detrimental elements, such as iron, less soluble and harmful to plants. Also, it helps plants take in necessary nutrients, especially phosphorous, making your fertilizer more effective. And lime increases good bacteria activity, which is great if you are using compost.

Some well-meaning gardeners can get a little over-zealous with lime application. In this case, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and over-applying lime can be just as harmful as never applying it at all, making your yard too alkaline, and your plants and grass unhealthy. Also, there are many types of lime and some are caustic. There is an art to its application and nothing should be done until your soil is tested. An experienced lawn care team can help you with determining how much and what type of lime you need, as well as when and how to apply it. Your yard is your little piece of the world. You want to make it as sweet as you can.

Written by Rich Regan - Blue Dot Landscaping - Visit Website

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