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When to Apply Lime to a Lawn in The Northeast

Posted by North Atlantic Landscape on Mar 11, 2021 8:58:41 AM

When to Apply Lime to a Lawn in The Northeast

Planning plays a vital role in maintaining a robust and beautiful lawn. While mowing, leaf removal, and fertilizing are components of any successful plan; one step is often neglected—using lime. Let's uncover the details on this important soil supplement and when to apply lime to a lawn in the Northeast.

What is Lime?

First of all, lime is not a fertilizer and doesn't take the place of one. Technically called a soil amendment, lime treats the soil to reduce acidic conditions and increase plant-healthy alkali pH levels in the soil. Lime, which contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, comes from pulverized limestone rock.

Why Should I Apply Lime to My Lawn?

According to the University of New Hampshire, soils in the region are naturally very acidic, with a pH range of 4.5 to 5.5. However, most lawn grasses do best in soils with a 5.8 to 7.2 pH. This ideal pH range allows natural soil ingredients and nitrogen-rich fertilizers to be adequately absorbed by the grass. The correct application of lime to an acidic lawn reestablishes pH balance and an optimal growing environment for a lawn.

What Are Symptoms of a Lawn That Is Too Acidic?

Determining the state of your soil is critical. Without knowing pH levels and other conditions, the use of lime and fertilizer can cause harm to your lawn and make correcting efforts even more of a challenge. Avoid store-bought testing kits. Instead, rely on a comprehensive soil test usually offered through a county extension office. Regionally, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension provides a soil testing service.

Test results will reveal the current level of your soil's pH and nutrients. Many soil test results will also include recommendations for needed fertilizers and soil amendments, like lime.

Can The pH Level of Soil Change?

Yes, a changing pH level in your soil is not unusual. Rain can wash away the soil's calcium, causing the pH level to drop and the acidity level to increase. A lack of rain can then increase the alkaline level of the soil as well. And, the application of fertilizers and lime affect pH level as well.

If needed, begin with a soil test. Then consider spring a good time when to apply lime to a lawn in the Northeast. The grounds warming cycle will have started, so the soil will do a better job of absorbing and distributing the lime.

Also, springtime application of lime will allow for the benefits to be visible in a few months while the lawn is growing and thriving during the summer. Fall application of lime can be helpful if required. The rain and snow common in the fall and winter help the soil absorb the lime.


North Atlantic Landscape has built a reputation for quality work and transparent values in the site work, snow management and trucking sectors. Our approach to landscaping is exactly the same. Invest in the best equipment, hire the best personnel, develop the best management plan and do what we said we would do. NAL provides commercial and residential landscaping services throughout the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire, York County in Maine, and Essex County in Massachusetts. Request your free landscape assessment today!