Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lawn Care: Spring is Coming (Lime!)

JUST a heads up: I am laying some lime down right now...

Spring is coming -- and it's almost time to get your lawn into shape. When you are out running errands, make sure you get your fertilizer, lime, and compost/manure. More on compost/manure and aeration soon.
  • Most people know it's good to lay down fertilizer. It's best to feed your lawn at least 3-4 times a year. However, if you only do 2, make sure you do your fall feeding (helps promote strong roots for the winter and starts the spring off stronger) and early spring feeding. I like to spread out feedings and do 1 or 2 feedings during the growing season -- as well as a winterization (just before the lawn goes dormant).
  • Thus, for Fertilizing, I aim for April (after first short mowing), June, August, and Oct.
  • Lime: The ph of soil in the Eastern Part of the US is relatively low due to rain and humidity. Rainfall leaches calcium and magnesium from the soil, creating an "acid" condition or low ph (below the 6.2 to 6.5 ph desired by healthy lawns). The low ph prevents the grass from absorbing nutrients and giving us the nice green color we like.
  • First, test the soil to make sure you need lime. The best time to lay lime down is the fall, so it has time to settle in. Some like to lime in the early spring to get ready for the growing season. When you lime, try to space it between (or before!) fertilizing your lawn.
  • I like to lime either in the fall (after the last feeding) or spring (before the first feeding).