Lime Treatments for Your Lawn: What Lime Does to Soil and When to Apply It


Cool-season grasses that grow in Northeast Ohio, like tall and red fescues, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass, typically flourish in soil with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.0. If your lawn’s soil pH is too acidic or too alkaline, it prevents your grass from absorbing essential nutrients, causing it to turn yellow or brown, and in some cases, it may even die. However, with the right soil pH, your grass will become healthier and greener, which is why you may want to consider testing your soil and adding a lime treatment to your lawn care schedule.

What is Lime?

Lime, sometimes called garden lime, is ground up limestone. It is used to change the pH of soil that is too acidic, making it easier for plants to absorb nutrients. Additionally, lime contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, which are essential for healthy grass growth.

Why Add Lime to Your Lawn?

Lime balances your soil’s pH. In Northeast Ohio, when your soil’s pH is between 6-7 it can more easily absorb nutrients especially from fertilizers, which ultimately help develop strong grass roots creating a healthier lawn.

Signs that Your Lawn May Need Lime

In general, if you are maintaining and watering your lawn regularly and it still looks unhealthy, your soil is likely too acidic, and it might be a good time to conduct a soil test. Here are a few other signs your lawn may need lime:

  • Your grass has become yellow or brown in color
  • You’ve noticed moss throughout your lawn
  • You see an increase of weeds, lawn diseases and pests
  • Your lawn appears to be thinning

When is the Best Time of Year to Apply Lime?

The best time of year to apply lime to your lawn is in the spring or fall. Because it takes a few months for lime to break down into the soil, LawnMatters recommends adding lime in fall. The increase of rain and snow combined with the freeze thaw cycle throughout the winter will help integrate the lime into the soil, preparing it just in time for new grass growth in spring. However, if your lawn is too stressed or wilted from a harsh summer, we may suggest waiting until spring for treatment.

If you decide to treat your lawn with lime on your own, be sure to review your soil test to ensure you are using the correct amount of lime based on your soil type and pH results.

Greater Cleveland Ohio Lawn Care Services

LawnMatters offers lime treatment services for all grass and soil types in Northeast Ohio. We can help you create stronger grass roots that improve the thickness and overall health of your turf. Contact us to learn more.

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