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Liming the lawn: time and instructions

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Depending on the nature of the soil, lime can work wonders in lawn care. We explain to you when it makes sense to use lime and when not.

© Rosalie P. - Fotolia.com

Everyone wants a green, immaculate lawn. If the soil is full of moss and weeds, liming is certainly an option, but it can also have the opposite effect. Even experts disagree and warn against false euphoria.

Kalken aims to achieve optimal soil quality and create ideal conditions for the growth of the lawn. Lime can enrich the soil with nutrients if they are missing. We will now reveal when the lawn requires lime and how you do it.

Jeder Does every lawn need lime?

This cannot be said. It depends on how the floor is composed. The pH value is an indication. This tells you what the acidity of the substrate is like.

If the soil is neutral, the pH value is 7. Higher values ​​indicate an alkaline soil. A lower pH value suggests an acidic soil.

The pH in brief:

  • > 7 = alkaline
  • <7 = acidic
  • 7 = neutral

If the pH is in the range of 5.5 to 6, the lawn will probably thrive optimally and will not require the addition of lime. However, significant deviations from this ideal value are far more common. This causes deficiency symptoms in the lawn.

If, for example, there is increased moss infestation, this can be understood as a sign of liming the floor. However, you should always play it safe, because moss can have various causes and also occurs, for example, when the soil is too compact.

If the clover is overgrown and nettles find the best growing conditions, this suggests an alkaline soil. So the pH is already raised and this lawn does not need any additional lime.

Tip: Sour clover does not indicate an alkaline, but an acidic soil.

How do I determine the pH of the soil?

© Björn Wylezich - Fotolia.com If you want to be sure whether the lawn really needs lime, you should carry out a test and determine the pH of the soil. Corresponding sets can be obtained from DIY stores and garden centers for around five euros.

The application is simple and straightforward:

  1. Place 100 grams of soil in a sealable jar
  2. Fill the substrate with 100 milliliters of distilled water
  3. mix everything well and wait ten minutes
  4. Immerse the pH test strip in the liquid
  5. Discoloration indicates the pH value

With this measure, the hobby gardener can get a first impression of the condition of the soil and draw appropriate conclusions.

❍ When should you limewash the lawn?

The late winter is the best time to supply the lawn with lime. The exact date is to be determined individually. The floor should no longer be frozen. The lime must be able to penetrate the soil in order to be effective.

It may be advisable to limescale the lawn a few weeks after scarifying. Then the soil is cleared of weeds and at the same time well ventilated. This means that the lime can penetrate the soil unhindered and have a targeted effect.

Which lime should I use?

Lime is not just lime. Carbonated lime is best for the lawn. This is also available under the name "garden lime".

Tip: If you want to reduce the dusting of the lime, use grained varieties.

Quicklime, on the other hand, should not be used for lawn care. This has a strong caustic effect and is not used in horticulture.

The different types of lime are listed in the following overview for better orientation.

Kalkartdescription
RasenkalkLawn lime consists of different compounds. Mostly it is calcium carbonate lawn lime. This carbonated lime is suitable for all soils. The lime dissolves best in acidic soil.
quicklimeWe mainly know quicklime as an admixture of mortar. However, this quicklime is also sold as lawn lime. Quicklime is not suitable for use in the home garden because sensitive plants and microorganisms can be destroyed in the soil
MischkalkMixed lime is a mixture of soda lime and quicklime. Before use, pay attention to the composition. A high proportion of quicklime makes mixed lime unsuitable for the lawn in the home garden.
Lime plusVarious substances are added to this turf lime. Magnesium lime can be used if the soil is demonstrably lacking in magnesium. Algae lime obtained from ground seaweed is quite expensive.

❍ Liming the lawn - step by step

1. Determine the time
2. Verticulate the lawn
3. Apply lime
4. Water the lawn
5. Let the lawn rest
6. Check the pH value

As soon as the snow has thawed away and the ground is no longer frozen, the lawn care can begin. First of all, this is done by verticulating the lawn. This gives the floor an extra dose of oxygen and is well ventilated. A few days after scarifying, the lime is applied to the entire lawn. This can be done by hand or with a spreader.

Attention: If the lawn is limed by hand, it is essential to wear gloves. Direct skin contact with the aggressive lime should be avoided.

If the lime is evenly distributed over the entire area, the lawn is watered thoroughly. The lime can spread better in the soil and quickly neutralize the acid.

Now the lawn should come to rest for a few weeks. It is only fertilized again when the first stalks sprout. It usually takes about a month to get there. After liming, the pH is checked. If no improvement is noticeable, the process can be repeated the following autumn.

Can liming be carried out when it rains?

The floor should be as dry as possible. Therefore, turf lime is not an option when it rains. After liming, however, there can be a heavy rain shower. Then the lime seeps into the soil better.

❍ When can lawn be reseeded?

Lawn seeds can be applied after verticalising and before liming. Then there is a pause of four weeks. Since the condition of the lawn and the climate also play a role, a little sensitivity is required.

The following mistakes must be avoided when lawn care:

  • frequent uncontrolled descaling
  • Limescale lawn when it rains
  • Liming the lawn when there is frost in the ground
  • Lime the lawn with quicklime
  • Constant verticulation
  • very short lawn cut in hot summers
  • Pour in full sun
  • Lawn cut with blunt knives

Determining the pH is the safest indicator of whether the lawn needs lime. Therefore, you should not act on your own initiative. Too much lime damages the lawn and inhibits its growth.

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