As summer winds to a close yet again, we had been experiencing hot and abnormally dry conditions in parts of the New River Valley recently. But as the kids are back in school now, many of us shift our focus to fall—the football, kids’ activities, and a break from the heat of summer with some cooler weather.

As we transition from the dormancy of the dog days of summer to the growth that typically comes to our cool season grasses during the more mild fall weather, we at Green Care are also focused on fall. From core aeration and overseeding to fall fertilization, this is one of our busiest seasons!

Another important service we offer at this time of year is lime applications. We thought we’d share a little information with you about this service and why it can be so beneficial for your lawn!

What is Lime? What Does Lime Do for My Soil?

Made from ground limestone rock, lime is a treatment for acidic soils. Most soils in our area are naturally acidic, meaning they have a low pH. Soils with a low pH are not able to provide adequate nutrition to growing plants, so correcting soil pH issues helps to build a healthy soil. Regular liming can help correct these soil pH issues.

How Do I Find Out If My Soil Needs Lime?

To find out if your lawn needs lime, and how much it may need, a soil analysis is required. These tests measure the pH and nutrients levels of your soil, which can help you know what lime and/or fertilization needs your lawn requires for optimal plant growth.

Green Care can provide you with a complete graphical soil analysis. Each analysis is comprised of 25 to 30 subsamples, taken from each area of interest at your site. These are mixed together and sent to the lab for analysis. The results and our recommendations are then sent to you.

When Is the Best Time to Apply Lime?

Fall is one of the best times of year to apply lime to your yard. This is because it takes time for the lime to react with the soil and change the pH. By applying it in the fall, the more frequent rain and snow of the fall and winter seasons helps to break down the lime, assisting the soil’s pH gradual rise. So a fall application gives your lawn all winter to make the change, allowing for the grass that grows in the spring to be as healthy as possible.

Why Apply Lime to My Yard?

Lime applications can have many benefits for your lawn, including:

  • Helping build healthy soil

  • Balancing the pH level
  • Providing some of the calcium and magnesium to the soil that grass needs to grow and be resilient through times of stress such as extreme temperatures, drought, or excessive precipitation

  • Nourishing beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms in the soil

  • Encouraging thatch breakdown

  • Increasing the effectiveness of fertilizer

We hope this information is helpful as you think about your fall lawn care needs. If you feel out of your league when thinking about what type of lime to apply and how to apply it, Green Care can help. If you don’t already, let Green Care handle your lime application, as well as other weed control and fertilization services throughout the year with a personalized program that is custom fit for your lawn.

If you’re interested in a lime application for your lawn this fall, get in touch with us today to start the process of soil testing and finding out our lime and fertilizer recommendations!