Before we know it, the magnolias will be in bloom, and spring will arrive in full force. Fertilizing your lawn in spring is incredibly beneficial. All those nutrients help your grass kick off the growing season, green up faster, and build a strong root system that helps the plants withstand stressors like drought and heat. Unfortunately, your lawn might not be receptive to fertilizer. Why? The soil’s pH level could be too acidic. When that happens, the earth won’t absorb nutrients from fertilizer. This means any money you spend on fertilizer will be wasted. To fix pH imbalances, you’ll need a lime application. Today, we’ll show you how to spot the signs of a lime imbalance and how to prevent future nutrient imbalances with our lawn care services.
Why You Should Add Lime To Your Spring Lawn Maintenance Checklist
In a perfect world, the earth beneath the turfgrass would always be in the neutral area of the pH scale. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. When soil turns acidic, your turfgrass won’t soak up the nutrients it needs. Many homeowners waste hundreds of dollars applying and re-applying spring fertilizers without seeing their lawn come back to life. Unfortunately, no fertilizer will help until the pH level is restored. That’s where lime comes in. As the lime breaks down, it increases the amount of calcium in your lawn. The calcium helps combat the acidic particles in your lawn – generally too much hydrogen and potassium. When it rains, or you water the lawn, these acidic particles are neutralized and turn into water, clay, and carbon dioxide, and the pH balance returns to normal.
What Changes The pH Level In Soil
Several factors affect the pH scale of your soil. The biggest factor is the amount of water passing through the ground. Too much rain or overwatering the lawn will flush nutrients out of the earth and into the water table. When that happens, all that water washes calcium out with it. As the calcium level in the soil diminishes, the pH level drops off, and suddenly you’re left with overly-acidic soil.
Another factor influencing the soil’s pH level is how often you fertilize the lawn and what kind of fertilizer you use. All fertilizers come with a three-digit number that tells you the mineral breakdown. The first number tells you the amount of nitrogen, the second is phosphorous, and the last number is the amount of potassium. Depending on the ratio of your fertilizer, it could raise the acidity of the soil. Of course, fertilizing your turfgrass as part of your spring lawn care routine is a good thing, but if you don’t keep track of your soil pH, you might be making things worse.
Signs You Have Acidic Soil
The best thing to do is have your soil tested. That will tell you if your soil is too acidic in no uncertain terms. But in the meantime, these are some of the symptoms of an overly acidic lawn.
Little Or No Growth
Acidic soil leaves grass starved of nutrients, which means it can’t grow strong – or at all.
Presence Of Moss
Mosses thrive in acidic soil, so if you’re noticing moss growing in places it wasn’t before, there’s a good chance the soil is overly acidic.
When grass is healthy, it can defend itself against diseases. When turfgrass is starved for nutrients, it becomes weak and prone to fungal and bacterial diseases.
Increase In Pests
Many bugs are attracted to dying grass, so if you notice an increase in insect pests, it could result from an acid problem.
More Weeds Than Usual
Weeds and turfgrass are forever competing for sunlight. When grass is healthy, it grows strong and tall and blocks out the sun, so weeds lurking beneath the soil can’t get the sunlight they need to germinate. But when turfgrass is weak, the weeds will take advantage.
No Luck With Fertilizer
As mentioned above, fertilizer will show no improvement if your soil is too acidic.
When turfgrass looks faded, it’s a symptom that something is out of balance, and there’s a good chance it’s the soil’s pH level.
Let Alpine Tree and Lawn Care Restore Your Lawn
If you’re looking for lawn care near Macomb County, look no further. Alpine Tree and Lawn Care has a 6-step lawn maintenance package that includes all the macro and micronutrients your turfgrass needs to thrive. The easiest way to prevent future pH imbalances is to maintain a regular fertilization schedule. When you hire Alpine, you won’t have to worry! We time our fertilizer applications throughout the growing season, so your grass always has what it needs. To learn more or sign up for service, please call us at (586) 884-7799, or you can reach us through our online form here.
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