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Lawn Care Guide: Step 3 Adjust Soil pH


As you map and take soil samples from your lawn, pay attention to the texture of your soil. It will help tell you if it needs amendments to make it more "plant friendly". Does it contain lots of organic matter (dark and moist), have a dense clay texture or a porous sandy composition? It is important to know how easily water, grass roots and air will penetrate.

A clay soil can become compacted and may have too little pore space. Sandy soils can be too porous, allowing for poor nutrient retention and too quick drainage. Your Southern States Lawn Expert can help you decide if you need to add compost, humus or top soil to improve these different soil types.

Select and Add Soil Amendments

Now you're ready to improve the growing condition of the soil. Based on the results of your soil test and your own observations, your Southern States lawn expert can explain:

  • The best way to correct your soil's pH
  • Which lawn fertilizer will give you the best results
  • When and how to apply the treatments
  • Which lawn tools to use for even distribution
  • How to prepare the existing soil to receive the treatments (you may need to break-up compacted soil, add additional top soil or enrich the texture with compost, organic humus or liquid carbon)
  • Anything you don't understand about lawn care, just ask us - we can help!

Adjust Soil pH

To get the most from your lawn fertilizer applications, your soil pH needs to have about a 6.5 value. It is best to have the pH analyzed with a soil test each year or anytime you notice a decline in the appearance of your lawn.

Liming can be done in spring or fall, but is not recommended during the hot summer months. To raise the pH of your soil, add lime (see chart below).

Limestone: lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. to raise pH to 6.5*
Soil Texture
4.5pH
5.0pH
5.5pH
Sandy Loam
42 lbs.
35.3 lbs.
14 lbs.
Loam
84.3 lbs.
70.3 lbs.
28 lbs.
Clay
116 lbs.
96.7 lbs.
38.7 lbs.

*Application rates are averages based on using Southern States Pelleted Limestone. Always follow package directions for appropriate application rates.

Soil ConditionersPelleted Lime

Pelleted Limestone:

  • Helps adjust soil pH for optimum turf growth
  • Water activated pellets condition soil quickly
  • Uniform coverage during application
  • Non-burning
    40 lb. (102-37218Pulverized Lime)

Pulverized Lime:

  • Supplies calcium and magnesium
  • Enhances fertilizer effectiveness
  • Non-burning
  • Dissolves naturally
  • For vegetables and flower gardens
    50 lb. (102-00315)

Solu-Lime® Enhanced Calcitic Lime:Solu-Lime Enhanced Calcitic Lime

  • Raises soil pH efficiently
  • Saves time and money
  • Improves soil structure
  • Apply any time of year
  • Professional quality
  • Ideal for lawns, landscapes, trees, shrubs, fruits, vegetables, and wildlife food plots
  • University tests show 1-50 pound bag gives equal or better results than 5-40 pound bags of pelleted limestone
  • Adjusts pH faster than typical lime
    12 lb. (111-10720) for containerized plants, small areas and gardens
    30 lb. (111-10730) covers 5,000 sq. ft.
    50 lb. (111-10750) covers 8,000 sq. ft.Pelleted Gypsum

Pelleted Gypsum:

  • Aerates, ventilates and softens hard clay
  • Helps air, water and fertilizer reach grass roots
  • Improves soil moisture retention
  • Contains sulfur to make soil more acidic
    40 lb. (102-37301)

Solu-Lime® is a registered trademark of Solu-Cal USA.

 

On to Step 4: Choose the Right Grass Seed

 

Table of Contents
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