How much lime should you apply?

njgardener_2007October 4, 2007

We had chemlawn come out and check our lawn (when we got the estimate, we decided to do it ourselves). They said we need a lime application.

We don't know what the pH of our lawn is - but our grass is brown and dead and our soil is very sandy.

How much lime should we apply? IS there a specific brand? When do you apply it? We are going to be overseeding this weekend - can we apply lime at the same time or will it hurt the germination process?

Please help

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I would check if you need lime with an actual soil analysis, but a low PH level shouldn't make your grass become brown and dead. pH is important, but it is one of those high-level improvemetns, i.e. you will still have grass that is living and doing OK, just nto as well as it would if the pH was correct.

You can lime and seed at the same time. I limed my lawn, my pH was very low, and I used 50lb / 1000 sq feet (make sure you get granular!!)

I will rpobably need to put down another 50/1000 in the spring. You shouldn't do more than 50lb / 1000 at one time.

It sounds more like you either have an issue with a lack of water, or possibly disease or overfertilizing?

Can you describe your lawn care practices for us? i.e. watering frequency, mowing, fertilizing, what kind of grass you have, is it brown everywhere or in some areas, etc. ?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 1:15PM
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Billl(z7 nc)

You should not apply any lime until you determine the PH of your soil. Don't trust the chemlawn guy. They make money by selling services, so they often tell customers they need everything. You can buy a test kit or you can contact your county extension services about their testing procedures. If you get the full test, they will recommend how much lime and how much fertilizer is needed.

Anyway, lime would have nothing to do with your grass being brown. If you have sandy soil, you will need to water religiously to keep the lawn from gong brown in summer. Cutting it on the highest setting helps, but grass needs water or it will go dormant.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 1:16PM
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Thank you so much for the replies.

parafly9: The ChemLawn guy didn't say our problem was JUST the lime, there was a list of things - but I didn't go into it since I was trying to keep the question specific to lime. So he said we need a lime application, grub control, thatching and slit-seeding. All of which we are going to try to do ourselves since there estimate is out of control!

We really are beginners to this lawn care thing as we recently moved into our new home. So we've put down the Scotts 5 step program, we have a sprinkler system and watered every day in the summer. We put weed control in the summer which helped at first but they came back. So wejust continued watering not knowing we had a grub problem all summer long which probably factors into our lawn condition. We also had a bad weed problem which never went away and we kind of gave up on it. And by fall, the lawn was beyond hope - weeds, brown, and dieing. So we are hoping to fix it up for next year. Thats our story! :) So I think you guessed right - the lack of water and care probably is why it is brown - and not the lime issue. thank you for your help - we have 10,000 sq feet of lawn and so we will buy lime according to what you said - but yes we will buy a kit and take it from there. My main concern was how much to put and if I can do it with the grass seeds - which you answered. How often do you have to put the lime - you mentioned doing it twice a year? I guess you test your soil in spring and apply accordingly? Or do you just apply lime twice a year, every year???

billl - Thats for your responses as well - Yes I am going to look into buying either the kit or calling the township tomrorow. Does the township charge for this service? Any idea how much it is in HD or lowes? As mentioned above - yes our lawn has got a lot of other issues - so the browning could be due to that. Since I am new at lawn care - I wasn't sure which was the main cause - I guess it is a combination of all.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 5:52PM
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you said you watered every day in the summer, that's your problem. Check out the FAQ. You want to water once a week in the summer, deeply, not daily, about an inch per week. Pelletized lime is about $4 for a 40lb bag. Don't spread lime without a soil test. Go to your extension office and pick up a test for $10. The kits aren't very accurate.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:14PM
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Forget the Scotts 5 step program first of all. Try Lesco or Milorganite products next year. Forget the fertilizers that have weed and feed in one. Use a liquid weed killer as needed.

Get a ph test kit at Home Depot for $20.00. Get your ph to between 6.5 and 7.0. Use granular lime. If we have another dry season next year, dont fertilize in the summer. Apply Milorganite instead and water in 1.0 inches once per week. This method gave me great results this year. I must say, I too have had some brown areas, but I've also had the best yard on the block. This year has been tough on lawns because how dry its been. So unless you want a 2-300 dollar water bill per month, lets hope for more rain in 2008!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 2:10PM
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