Bet you thought limes are only for making juice, pie or mojito? Actually, it can be used for your lawn, too. Check out our guide on when to apply lime to your lawn.
When Should I Apply Lime To My Lawn?
Between fall and early-spring is the best time to apply lime to your lawn. If you apply it in fall, try and do so just before the first frost so the lime really gets into the soil and then there is the entirety of winter for it to be absorbed.
The Incredible Lime
Lime is the lemon’s green, and less-popular, sibling. But it doesn’t mean that it’s less amazing.
Both the lemon and the lime are sour but the former has some sweetness in it while the lime has a more bitter accent.
The lemon and the lime are also rich in vitamin C.
There are so many varieties of lime. Here are some of them:
- Australian limes
- Kaffir lime
- Key lime
- Philippine lime (calamansi)
- Persian lime (seedless lime)
- Rangpur lime
The lime may not be as popular as the lemon but it is just as useful. You’ve heard of the lemonade but there is also such a thing as a limeade.
In fact, limes have a higher sugar and acid content than the lemon.
You’ve heard of the health benefits of the lemon water, right? The lime water is also beneficial.
Then of course!
For those who love cocktails, lime juice is actually a popular cocktail ingredient. The mojito, one of the more popular cocktails in the world, has lime juice as an important component.
Then there’s gin and tonic, margarita, gimlet, and daiquiri.
For those with sweet tooth
You’ve heard of the delicious key lime pie, right? Key lime anything is actually really delectable.
Lime can also be made into a sorbet.
Lime is a great ingredient for a lot of dishes because of its acidity. The zest is also really fragrant.
Because of its scent, lime is also used in making perfumes and essential oils.
As to the nutritional content:
The lime is 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 1% fat, and 1% protein.
The vitamin C in the lime is at 35% of the reference daily intake for every 100 grams.
More than that
Lime is actually beneficial to lawns.
No, it’s not because of the nutritional value of the lime. Vitamin C is not transferred to the lawn via lime application.
It’s more on the acidity level.
Here’s the deal
pH (potential hydrogen) denotes the acidity or basicity of certain matter. Since we are talking about lawns, the pH in this topic will refer to the pH level in soil.
The pH is a range between 0 and 14. pH 7 indicates neutral level while below 7 denotes acidity. If the pH level is between 7 and 14, it means that the soil is alkaline.
The lime will help lower the pH level of soil especially if it has gone to a level that is no longer good for the lawn.
Generally, lawns need the soil to be more acidic with a pH level of 6.2 to 7. When the level is around 5, that’s definitely too low.
Having the appropriate pH level of soil will make the lawn healthy.
A healthy lawn means a green and lush blanket of grass.
But that’s not all
Depending on where you are and what type of grass you are growing, the appropriate pH level changes.
What’s clear is that you shouldn’t allow your soil to have a pH level of 5 or it would be too acidic for grass to thrive.
There are some areas where soil with a pH level of 6.5 to 7 is needed to grow healthy grass.
You can have your soil tested for pH level or you can do it yourself using a kit. There is also a DIY soil test using supplies that are usually found in the kitchen.
However you do it
The important thing is that you get the soil tested.
This is not just for the lawn. If you are planning on growing different types of plants, it would be great to know the appropriate varieties to grow on the kind of soil you have.
When to Apply Lime to Your Lawn
There is no way of knowing if the lawn needs to lower its pH level or not just by looking at it. You really need to do a soil pH test.
Circumstances can also cause the change of the pH level of your soil.
You may be using too many nitrogen-based fertilizers. Nitrogen is important in plants and soil, but just like with everything else, too much of one thing can be bad.
When it comes to soil, too much nitrogen could make it acidic.
Then there’s this
Compost can balance the pH level. For example, if the soil is too alkaline, compost could lower it down. On the other hand, if it’s too acidic, the compost can increase the pH level.
While compost has a great balancing ability, the pH level may reach a point that is not appropriate or good for your type of lawn.
Now, the question:
When is the best time to apply lime on the lawn?
BETWEEN FALL AND EARLY SPRING would be the best time.
Doing it in the fall, just before the first frost, will allow the lime to penetrate deeply into the soil and have all winter to absorb it.
During winter, the lawn goes dormant. You don’t want the lime to interact with the herbicides and other treatment you put on to the lawn.
While the lime is applied to the lawn, it is actually used to treat the soil. Remember, the goal here is to reduce soil acidity.
It’s also important to know this
Lime may burn growing grass. It would be wise to wait until the growing season. Summer is really when grass is thriving.
You don’t want to lime when the grass is dry and wilted.
You also shouldn’t lime when the lawn is wet or when the weather is frosty.
Now, if you haven’t planted your grass yet, then you can apply the lime just before you plant. Fall is a great time to plant grass.
How to Lime a Yard
First things first, how do you choose which lime to use? There are so many limes in the market.
The seven we mentioned are just some of them.
In this case
You really need to seek a local expert. The operative word is local. You can’t consult Google in this case because you want something that is best for your region.
There are other factors to consider here like the available limes in your region.
You also need to know what type of grass you are growing as well as the local weather. All these will determine the type of lime you should use.
By the way
You will not be squeezing lime on to the lawn.
Lime for the garden comes in pellet or powder form. The former is easier to spread out.
Read the label of the lime treatment so that you will know the appropriate amount to spread out.
What tool to use?
Use a spreader to scatter the pellet onto the lawn. The spreader is convenient to use and it also makes you work faster.
Here’s a neat trick
Do a horizontal spread first. This means that you go forward with the spreader, turn and find another line to spread more pellets.
After that, you do a vertical walk with the spreader.
You water the lawn so that lime will be properly absorbed by the soil.
Lime is a great source of vitamin C. It also has that acidity that could make food taste fantastic, which is why lime is an important culinary ingredient. Lime is also an important ingredient for a lot of cocktails.
Did you know that lime is also good for the soil? Of course, that would depend on the pH level of the soil. Lime, in the form of a powder or pellet, could help lower acidity of the soil according to what your lawn needs.
When to apply lime to your lawn? Between spring and fall would be the ideal time. This will give the soil enough time to truly absorb the lime and achieve the right pH level.