Does My Yard Need Lime?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Like most homeowners, you would do anything to have your lawn look as luscious and green as possible. You have likely tried everything from aeration and fertilizer to high-end sprinkler systems, perhaps with disappointing results. Lime is a popular way to encourage healthy lawn growth. Many homeowners have asked themselves the question: does my yard need lime?

Your yard needs lime if the pH level is below 6.2 and if your lawn lacks key nutrients like calcium. Another sign that your yard needs lime is that your grass is yellow even after adding fertilizer and watering it. The average lawn needs 50 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet, and you typically only need to add lime every 2-3 years.

However, you can add lime each year if the soil becomes alkaline after a year. Adding too much lime to a lawn can hinder nutrient absorption in the soil and the grass won’t grow well. Follow along as we explore whether your yard needs lime and highlight the benefits.

How Do I Know If My Lawn Needs Lime?

The biggest sign that your yard needs lime is that the grass is yellow. This is especially true if it’s only spring or early summer, a time of year when your grass should be green and lively. You also likely need to put lime on your lawn if you live in an area where it rains frequently.

Heavy rain can throw off the pH balance in your soil, which can make your lawn struggle to thrive. Clay soil and sandy soil also need lime because of how naturally acidic they typically are. Another sign that your lawn needs lime is that you recently added fertilizer, but it hasn’t yielded any results.

Fertilizer isn’t enough to save your lawn if the soil is overly acidic or basic. Test your soil to check the pH level to see if your lawn needs lime. If the pH level measures below 6.2, you likely need to add lime to your lawn to raise the level.

Benefits Of Putting Lime On Your Lawn

The main benefit of putting lime on your lawn is that it will increase the absorption of nutrients in the fertilizer. This helps your lawn grow, thrive, and maintain a healthy color. Lime can also balance your soil’s pH to the optimal level to maximize grass growth and thickness.

Putting lime on your lawn can also reduce the risk that moss and weeds will grow. You can also increase the calcium level in your soil that’s essential for healthy grass growth if you add lime. Lime can also increase the efficacy of fertilizer, which helps your lawn yield the best results.

Soil cannot fully absorb the nutrients from fertilizer if the pH level is too high. Your lawn is less likely to struggle through a drought if it is infused with lime. Lime also helps to keep pests out of your lawn that can hinder grass growth.

When Should You Put Lime On Your Lawn?

Fall and spring are the best times to put lime on your lawn. Lime can easily break down in the fall and spring and speed up the effects on your lawn. You won’t see the best results if you put lime on your lawn in the summer or winter.

It will take too long for the lime to take effect if you apply it during the winter and summer. The lime may not effectively break down if you apply it during the winter, especially if you live in a cold climate with lots of snow. Applying lime in the summer won’t likely yield results until the fall when it’s often too late.

How Much Lime Does My Lawn Need?

The average lawn needs 50 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet. Never exceed the recommended amount of lime for your lawn. Adding too much lime to a lawn can lower the acidity level in the soil too much, and your grass won’t grow thick or evenly.

Apply the lime in two doses on different days if you have to add more than 50 pounds. This will ensure that you don’t waste the lime or make your lawn too alkaline. Apply lime before you add fertilizer if your soil is too acidic to increase absorption for the best results.

Do You Need To Put Lime On Your Lawn Every Year?

You only need to put lime on your lawn every year if the soil pH level tests below 6.2. Otherwise, you typically only need to apply lime every 2-3 years. That’s how long it takes for most lawns to become more alkaline.

However, you will need to put lime on your lawn more often if you live in an area with acid rain. Acid rain is terrible for soil and can throw off its pH level. States such as Connecticut, Michigan, Maine, Kentucky, and North Carolina are known for having acid rain.

Do You Put Down Lime Or Grass Seed First?

Ideally, you should put down lime before you plant grass seed. This way, you will see results within 50 days or less and your grass will grow thick and green. Try to put the lime 6” deep beneath the top layer of soil so that it will work as well as possible.

With that said, you should apply fertilizer before you apply lime. That way, the nutrients will already be in the soil and the lime will simply boost its absorption and performance. You can apply lime and fertilizer at the same time if the soil tests neutral.

Can You Walk On The Lawn After Adding Lime?

You shouldn’t walk on your lawn immediately after you add lime. First, you need to water your lawn to kickstart the process. Avoid walking on your lawn for the first day or two after you apply lime.

This will give the soil enough time to absorb calcium and other important nutrients. You can walk on your lawn at any time after the lime has been absorbed without disturbing the soil.

Does Lawn Lime Kill Fleas?

Lawn lime can kill fleas and other pests. You can’t guarantee that lime will kill all fleas, but it should at least reduce the flea population in your yard. Cockroaches, aphids, squash bugs, and beetles can also die when exposed to the lime on your lawn.

Mosquitoes and slugs also avoid lime in many cases. Many homeowners also use lime to repel snakes, but it’s not as effective as using ammonia.

Summing It Up

Your yard needs lime if the soil is too alkaline. Test your soil to see if it is below 6.2 on the pH scale and add lime if it is. Ideally, you should add the lime 6” deep into the soil for the best results.

Lime can encourage healthy growth and make your grass come in as green and thick as possible. You can repel many pests with lime, such as beetles, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and even snakes. Apply lime once every 2-3 years or sooner if your soil becomes too alkaline.

Related Guides

Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

More by Nick Durante