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zulli6

lime

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You really need to do a soil test to determine. Fall is the best time to do it IF it needs it.

 

As Cabo mentioned, I have a LOT of pine trees, and New England soil is known to be quite acidic anyway. But I was quite surprised to find out with the various soil tests I did on my VEGETABLE GARDEN (cause lawns are evil, anyway.....wink.gif) this spring that pH was at 6.8-7.0 in most spots (almost TOO basic), and I haven't spread lime in the garden in two and a half years.

 

So it really depends......you want pH for most things (including grass, even though it is killing me to give out tips on growing a useless lawn) to be 6.4-6.8, and that can only truly be determinded via a soil test.

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how do you do a soil test? I test pools all the time for ph, but never a lawn, i don`t know if it is the same. I did add lime to my lawn in march, I have to say it looks great

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View Posthow do you do a soil test? I test pools all the time for pH, but never a lawn, i don`t know if it is the same. I did add lime to my lawn in march, I have to say it looks great

 

There are a few ways.......you can take samples and send them out to be tested at a college or extension service (if you have one in your area.) This is by far the most accurate, but you have to wait for the results.

 

 

Or you can by a single shot test kit at a place like Home Depot, Lowes, or a garden center. These do a single test of pH, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous (4 individual tests, one for each component.) They have a couple of vials and a capsule for each test, along with instructions. You simply take some soil samples from various places in the lawn, mix them all together, and then do the test on the mixed samples. They cost maybe $3-$4. Be sure to use DISTILLED water for the test if you go this route.

 

 

Or you can buy a chemical test kit for about $25 that will do 20 tests of each of the above mentioned components (that is what I have for my vegetable garden, as I do individual tests on the different beds so I can tailor the nutrients to what I am growing in each bed.) These are a bit more accurate than the single shot test kits mentioned above. They contain various chemicals that extract the nutrients from the soil sample, and then other chemicals that are used as indicators. Every thing you need is in the kit (i.e., no concerns about getting distilled water to do the tests.)

 

 

There are also soil test meters that you just stick the prongs into the ground, but they are not terribly reliable. They run about $10-$20.

 

 

If you only want to test for pH, since you do pool tests, one thing you could try is taking a bunch of soil samples from around your yard, mix them together well, and then add about a gallon of DISTILLED water to the soil. Shake the mixture well, let it settle overnight, and then test the clear liquid on top as you would testing pool water.

 

 

And you guys that are liming twice a year, you are wasting your money. Even quite acidic soil would only need to be limed PERHAPS once a year, more likely every two years.

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Lime must be down for 4 to 6 months before you begin to see any results in the root area of grasses.

 

That is the reason to lime in the fall so you see results in the first growing period after liming.

 

You should test before applying lime. Not that it will do any damage to grasses but just a waste of time and money.

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