Improving The pH Of Your Soil

The health of your lawn can be greatly affected by the pH of your soil.  Lawn grasses flourish at pH of 5.5 - 7.0.  There are some varieties of grass, fescues, that can tolerate more acidic conditions but they do better within the general parameterss of 5.5 - 6.5.  Perennial rye grasses are more fussy and prefer pH 5.5-6.0.  Adding fertiliser to your soil won't help maintain your lawn if the soil is too acidic as acidic soils leach out nutrients.  If the soil is too acidic then adding lime to change the pH is your best option.  

Some indications that your lawn might need lime:

  • live in rainy area and acidic loving plants such as rhododendrons thrive in your garden?
  • lots of moss growing through your lawn?
  • no matter how much fertilizer you apply, after a couple of cuts grass loses lush green colour again?
  • regularly re-seeding but lawn never thick and lush?

The only way to find out for sure is to do a soil pH test.  Simple kits can be bought on our website, Soil Testing Kits, or you can send a soil sample to your local agricultural college.  Soil test kits will tell you the pH, N, P and K of your soil.  The agricultural college will tell you your soil pH and the quantity of lime required to raise the pH to an optimal level for your lawn (tonnes/hectare).

Amount of lime to apply?

The amount of lime to apply is not only determined by soil pH but also by soil type.  Heavy clay soils require more lime to raise it by 1 level than compared to sandy soils.  Please see the table on our Garden Lime page.

When to lime?

Many gardeners prefer to lime in the autumn before the first frost. This gives the soil all winter to absorb the lime.  If you haven't sown your grass seed apply lime to the soil while preparing it, best to have it mixed in before your roll the ground before seeding.

You should see a measurable difference in your soil pH around 4 weeks after application, but it can take 6-12 months for the lime to fully dissolve.  You won't see the full effect until it is completely incorporated with the soil.

Links to the products mentioned above:

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 01259 760400.