Your lawn needs some tender loving care throughout the year.

And while some of the lawn care treatments and services you receive may seem straightforward, other maintenance tasks might seem a bit more confusing. 

For instance, one such service that may make you scratch your head a bit is lime applications. You may have heard about them or you may have heard a neighbor talking about them. You may have even seen them being performed at some of the home lawns on your street. But you might not understand how they work or what they do to help your lawn.

We’re here to help. 

Northern Virginia lawn soils can sometimes require lime to help improve your lawn’s health and growth. 

Let’s look at lime treatment for lawns and what a lime treatment does for your lawn to give you more insight into this necessary service.

What Are Lime Treatments for Lawns?

Lime treatments for lawns are in a category of lawn care treatments called soil amendments. These are applications that improve the condition of your soil so that what’s planted in it can grow much better.

Here, we’ll try to answer the most common questions we get about lime treatments for lawns in Northern Virginia.

1. What is Lime?

Lime treatments for lawns are technically comprised of ground limestone. 

When you add it to the soil, it can increase your soil pH. Your soil pH is important because it can impact your lawn’s color and vigor. 

High-quality pelletized limestone that also includes calcium and gypsum is what we prefer to use. Calcium and gypsum make the lime act faster. Calcium also helps reduce soil compaction, which is a nice bonus. This is preferable over powdered lime, which is fairly dusty.

2. How Can You Find Out Your Lawn’s Soil pH?

A soil test is a crucial step in finding out what nutrients your Northern Virginia lawn might be lacking. This can reveal fertilization specifics and any other treatments your lawn might need for improved color, density, and health. 

I bet you didn’t know that if your lawn soil’s pH is off, then the fertilizer you’re feeding it might not be working. In fact, poor pH can limit nutrient uptake. In Northern Virginia, lawns tend to be on the acidic side. Lime treatments for lawns can help to correct your soil’s pH and bring it back in a better balance. 

Read Our Complete Guide to The Perfect Lawn
Also, not all lawn care professionals conduct free soil tests on their customers’ properties. Turf’s Up believes in soil tests to ensure we know the conditions we’re dealing with in order to truly improve your lawn.

3. What Does a Lime Treatment Do For Your Lawn?

As we mentioned, the first, and most important step, in lime treatments for lawns is a soil test. You have to know where your soil pH is at before you can amend it. This is crucial because if you don’t test your soil first, you could be making your soil condition worse instead of better with lime. 

Soil test results

In Northern Virginia, the score of 7 is neutral. Most lawns here, though, are usually between 5 and 6, which is low and considered acidic. 

This proper pH enables your lawn to uptake nutrients, which is where lime can help. If your pH is out of this range, your lawn can’t effectively take in those nutrients from the soil.

4. How Many Lime Treatments Do I Really Need?

If your pH is low, lime treatments for lawns help raise it, bringing it into that more neutral range. 

When you send in your soil test, the results will come back recommending a certain number of pounds of lime per square foot. Usually, lawn care professionals will recommend no more than 50 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet in a single application, which is as much as your soil can absorb at any one time. So if your soil test comes back requiring a higher number, you’ll need multiple lime applications over a period of time to ensure your soil gets the lime it needs to adjust its pH. 

Some soils will respond better to lime than others, but typically when the soil test report says you need a certain amount of lime per 1,000 square feet, that’s exactly what ends up bringing your soil to the right levels. 

Testing your soil again after a lime treatment plan is complete should show a pH improvement.

5. What Are Proper Lime Application Techniques?

Lime applications for lawns are typically done using a lawn spreader, similar to how you apply granular fertilizer. Your lawn care technician will calibrate that lawn spreader properly to ensure accurate lime application. 

Then they will follow soil test guidance to deliver the right amount of lime your lawn needs.

lawn care expert applies lime

This is certainly a lot to process and remember. That’s why it’s beneficial to hire a professional to conduct soil tests and apply lime treatments for lawns. Not only do they have the necessary experience and proper equipment to do the job right, but they are also familiar with this region’s lawn care rules and application best practices and can ensure you receive the right amount of lime.

6. When Should Lime Be Applied in Northern Virginia?

As long as the ground is not frozen, you can apply lime at any time of year, but we prefer to apply lime treatment for lawns in the fall. 

This gives your lawn soil the chance to soak up the lime through the winter, so your pH can adjust come springtime.

7. How Quickly Does Lime Work?

How quickly lime treatments for lawns work depends on how poor your pH is. 

healthy green lawn

The amount of time it will take to raise your soil pH depends on just how low it is. Typically, this can take one to two years since it takes a full year for lime to break down.

8. What Might Happen If I Don’t Fix My Soil pH?

If you do not take the steps needed to adjust your soil pH with lime treatment for lawns, then your grass is not going to be as healthy as it could be. 

Not only could your lawn lose color and vigor, leaving you with thin spots, bare areas, or an off-color lawn, but it can also encourage weeds to thrive.

9. Is Lime Lawn Treatment Safe For Dogs?

Rest assured. According to Virginia State University, calcitic and dolomitic lime are nontoxic to humans, pets, and wildlife. 

dog sitting on grass

But since any dust like lime can irritate your pet’s eyes, lungs, and skin, it’s best to wait until the lime application is incorporated into the soil before letting your pet use the yard.

Make Sure Your Lawn Gets What It Needs

You want to know that your lawn is getting what it needs at the right times, including lime treatments for lawns. 

But it can certainly seem frustrating not knowing if your soil is sufficient to grow a thick, green lawn or if your efforts are being wasted because it needs a proper pH adjustment. 

This is why it’s so crucial to choose a lawn care company in Northern Virginia that knows local soils and can understand everything your lawn needs to thrive. You certainly have better things to do than worry about whether your lawn is getting every treatment it needs at the proper times. You just want to trust that it’s in the right professional hands and that it looks good.

That’s where Turf’s Up can help. We have decades of experience in Northern Virginia lawn care, and we’ve seen more than our fair share of local soil. We’re happy to take this worry off of your mind and improve your soil pH with lime applications. 

Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for lawn care services in Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you have the best lawn on the block. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your yard. 

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