A healthy lawn

When you talk about fall lawn care it’s mostly all about aeration, seeding, and fertilizing. But there is one more critical element that can help your lawn and garden actually benefit from the nutrients in the soil – Lime.

a bag of Encap Fast Acting Lime

Agricultural lime is a soil additive made from pulverized limestone or chalk. The primary active component is calcium carbonate.

Places like the beautiful Pacific Northwest enjoy higher rainfall levels than other parts of the country. As a result, the rain can actually leach, or wash away, the calcium and magnesium in the soil, making it too acidic.

All plants have a pH preference, and grass is no exception. If your soil is too acidic (or too alkaline), your lawn simply cannot access the important nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil. The goal is to keep a very slightly acidic soil, because:

  • It improves the uptake of major plant nutrients.
  • It improves water penetration in your garden.
  • It provides a source of calcium and magnesium for your plants.
  • Moss prefers a less alkaline soil. We prefer less moss in our lawns.
a chart of the effects of soil ph on nutrient availabilityChart of the Effects of Soil pH on Nutrient Availability. The green area represents the optimum pH range for your lawn. Chart courtesy of avocadosource.com.

The reason to apply agricultural lime is to correct the unfavorably high levels of acidity in your soil. Strong acidic soils reduce plant growth – and we don’t want that! A simple way to know for sure, is to perform a soil test using a soil pH meter.