Winter is excellent time for applying lime to your lawn (12-08-08)
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Most lawns of warm season turf species in much of the state have received a good frost and have gone dormant for the winter. Once the leaves have been raked and a final mowing has been done, we, just like the turf, are probably ready to take a couple months off from our lawn maintenance activities. But wait! If you have taken a soil sample recently and found that the soil pH is too low for healthy turf growth, then now is the time to start correcting this problem.
Liming sources (calcitic lime and dolomitic lime) take months to alter the pH so putting lime out now will give you a head start for next spring. The winter rains during these idle months will help get the lime reacting in the soil. No more than fifty pounds of a liming material per 1,000 square feet should be applied at any single application. Therefore, if the pH is very low it may take a couple of tons of lime per acre to actually get the soil within the range you need for good turf growth. You may have to apply lime several times over the course of the year. For those who have not taken a soil sample from their lawn in the past couple of years it would be prudent to take one now.
Published December 8, 2008
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org