Written by 12:16 pm Fertilizers, Lawn Tips • One Comment

Soil pH & Your Lawn

Person inspecting soil quality
If you have made sure that your lawn is receiving the proper amounts of water, sun, and nutrients and it still does not have the lush green color that you are looking for, you may be dealing with an iron deficiency or a soil pH imbalance. Soil’s pH level indicates how acidic or basic it is and determines how well your plants absorb and utilize nutrients. The PH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is considered neutral. As a point of reference, when something is neutral, it has the same pH as a glass of pure water. Many people overlook soil acidity. However, it is essential you maintain an appropriate pH level in your soil if you want a healthy and beautiful lawn. The lower the number on the scale, the more acidic the soil is. Likewise, the higher number on the scale the more basic your soil is. Most grasses and plants thrive in soil with a pH level between 6.5 to 7.0. Therefore, you will need to test your soil with either a handheld pH meter like the Luster Leaf Rapitest Digital Soil pH Meter 1845 or utilize a, more in-depth, chemical-based PH test.

Treatment for Low Soil pH – Acidic Soils

If your soil pH test results fall below the 6.5 ph level, your soil may be too acidic for your lawn to grow. However, adding lime is a common solution for lowering the acidity of your soil. Lime is a natural calcium based mineral that will raise the alkalinity of your lawn. Apply lime to your yard in the fall. This gives the soil time to absorb the mineral before the heavy growing season in the spring and summer.

The amount of lime that is needed to change the pH of your soil will vary. Specifically, the more you need to increase the pH, the more lime you will need. Therefore, refer to your pH test and manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.

If you wish to raise the pH of your soil, it will take time as it is not an overnight process. Frequently test after application to ensure that too much lime is not added. Also, frequently testing will indicate if additional treatment is needed. After your yard’s pH is where it needs to be, further lime application should only be required every few years.

Recommended Lime Treatments

Fast Acting Lime - Covers 5,000 sq. ft.
Hydrated Lime - Available in 2 lb. & 5 lb. bags
Spray-on Liquid Lime

Treatment for High Soil pH – Basic Soils

If your soil pH test results are above the 7.5 ph level, your soil may be too basic for your lawn to grow. Sulfur is commonly used to reduce the pH of the soil and should be applied in the spring or fall. This gives the soil time to absorb the mineral. Much like lime, lowering the pH of the soil will take time. Once the desired pH is reached, treatment will need to take place only on an as-needed basis.

Recommended Sulfur on DoMyOwn
Recommended Sulfur on Amazon

Iron Deficiency

If your lawn is receiving the proper amount of nutrients and that your soil’s pH is at an appropriate level and your lawn is still lacking the lush green color that you are looking for, your grass may be missing out on another important micronutrient: Iron. If your yard is not receiving a proper amount of iron, you may see signs of interveinal chlorosis. Interveinal chlorosis is characterized by yellow or brown streaks in the blades of grass. Iron is an essential element in the production of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is an important part of the photosynthesis process, which is how a plant produces its energy. Healthy levels of chlorophyll are indicated by a dark green color in lawns. Iron deficiencies are common in yards with a soil pH of 6.5- 7 or higher. Your entire lawn may suffer from discoloration, or only parts may show signs of distress. It is recommended to apply an iron supplement to your yard during the spring growing season when your lawn’s nutritional needs are the greatest. If you are treating your soil for a high pH level, consider supplementing your sulfur treatment with a solid chelated iron product such as Southern Ag Iron Granules. Liquid iron should also be in your lawn maintenance toolbox. The product temporarily boosts the green color in grass. Also, it provides more immediate results than solid chelated iron products. Liquid applications are absorbed quickly through the blades of your lawn, providing a more immediate effect. We recommend using Southern Ag Chelated Liquid Iron or Fertilome Liquid Chelated Iron.
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