Certain deficiencies in the lawn are quickly remedied with lime. However, an application according to the watering can principle can do more harm than good. Here we explain in a practical way when a lawn should be whitewashed.
A simple test signals that the lawn needs lime
If the moss grows in the lawn, this deficiency indicates an imbalance in the soil composition. In order for a lawn to develop into the longed-for velvety-green carpet, the soil must not be too acidic.
A pH value between 6 and 7 is therefore desirable. If the value falls below 5.5, annoying moss takes over. The administration of lime restores the balance.
An uncomplicated pH value test from the hardware store or garden center provides additional security.
Without any previous knowledge of chemistry, you can use a coloring reaction to determine how the lawn is doing. If you want to know exactly, you can commission a special laboratory to carry out soil analysis.
Both of these appointments have proved their worth
In principle, you can lime your lawn at any time if the pH value is too low. On these 2 dates a year, however, the grass surface is particularly receptive to treatment:
- In spring, immediately after scarifying or aerating
- In autumn, when the lawn is aired again at the beginning of September in preparation for winter
If all moss and weeds have been combed out with the scarifier, lime penetrates the soil much more efficiently. The same applies if the soil has been loosened with soil nails or spoons.
Do not lime if the pH is high
Do not confuse the way lawn lime works with a weed killer. Lime increases the pH value and thus deprives moss of its livelihood, as it requires acidic soil. However, if the pH value rises into the alkaline range above 7. If the acid content is already at a high level, lime acts as a fertilizer for weeds.
Liming the lawn skilfully at the right time
If the decision has been made between spring and autumn as the best time for liming, the exact time comes into focus. These aspects are relevant:
- The lawn is freshly mowed to 3-4 cm (1.2 inches)
- Ideally, the grass area has been scarified or aerated beforehand
- The weather will be dry and windless
When choosing a date, it is advantageous if the weather forecast announces rain for the next few days. In this case, Mother Nature provides the necessary watering, which would otherwise be done by the lawn sprinkler.
Experienced hobby gardeners wait 3-4 weeks until the next application of fertilizer, as the effects of both preparations cancel each other out.