One of the most easily overlooked steps in getting your lawn ready for the growing season, is to pH test your lawn. A pH test will give you an idea of how acidic your lawn is. This lets you know whether or not you should apply lime to your lawn and increase the acidity. (This article gives an overview of why you need to issue a pH test.) Even if you think you know the acidity level of your soil, you never know how much it has been affected by the long winter. For this reason, it is always a good idea to conduct a pH test east spring. In this post, we review this vital springtime procedure.
How to conduct a pH test
The pH test is an easy procedure that anyone can accomplish with relatively little effort. If you’re into science, you could test your soil using an actual pH kit, the way you did when you took chemistry class. However, if you’re not much into science there is a much easier method that still gives pretty accurate results. Start by scooping a sample of soil into a container. Add vinegar and see whether the soil starts fizzing. If it does, you know the soil is alkaline. If it doesn’t fizz, the soil is acidic.
If your soil is alkaline-rich, you will want to apply lime. Ideally, your soil should be slightly acidic. Acidity is measured on a scale of 1-14, with numbers under 7 being more acidic and those over 7 being more alkaline-heavy. Applying lime (using a spreader) will give your soil essential nutrients, including nitrogen, iron, and zinc. Make sure that you don’t just apply lime on a regular schedule, as this can make it so that you apply it to soil that is already acidic and risks skewing the pH too far in the acidic direction. Because you want your soil to be irrigated when you apply lime, be sure not to apply lime when your grass is wilted or covered in frost.
Conducting a pH test should be viewed as a necessary procedure in getting your lawn ready for Spring. By following these pH test instructions, you ensure that your soil is in the right zone for the entire growing season!