Is Your Soil STARVING Your Lawn from Nutrients?September 1, 2016
Discover the Importance of Soil pH
Why is Soil pH Important?
If your soil has an imbalanced pH level you could be limiting nutrient uptake, inhibiting the health of your lawn and wasting fertilizer. Soil pH is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. It is measured on a scale from 1-14, 6.8-7.2 being neutral. Anything above 7.2 is considered alkaline, anything below 6.8 is considered acidic. The pH level of your soil determines how easily plants can intake nutrients. Your lawn’s root system needs to absorb important nutrients to stay green, strong, weed free and reach and maintain optimal plant health. If your soil pH is too alkaline or acidic, the nutrients will be locked-up and unavailable for root uptake, which will reduce the health of your plant and the efficiency of the fertilizer you apply.
How do I determine the pH level of my soil?
Home soil test kits are available at your local lawn care center or have your soil analyzed by a lawn service, a private lab, or your local cooperative extension services, whose tests cost as little as $15 apiece.
How do I correct my soil if it is too alkaline (7.5-14)?
If your soil is too alkaline, you must add a source of acidity to it. The acidic element most commonly used to balance alkaline soils is Sulfur. Follow the application instructions on the Sulfur label to successfully neutralize your soil pH.
How do I correct my soil if it is too acidic (1-6.5)?
If your soil is too acidic, you must introduce alkaline material to your soil. The most suggested alkaline material to add to an acidic soil is calcium. The proper amount of calcium that your soil needs can be found in lime. The higher the calcium percentage in your lime the more affective it will be to balance your pH. Lime will reduce the acid in your soil and balance your soil pH. Follow the application instruction on the lime label for optimal results.
- Different grass types can tolerate a range of pH levels -- see a grass species pH chart below. Note that some grass species such as centipede prefer a more acidic soil with pH levels around 5.0 - 5.5 considered optimum.