Time for the Lime

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and got to enjoy the Holidays with loved ones.

I really hope everyone was able to get those mower blades sharpened, and the mowers tuned up with new filters and spark plugs. January is that time of year where you should be applying Lime, which is Calcium (Ca+) and Magnesium (Mg+). There is always that misconception that it will adversely change my pH, but there are maintenance rates and there are pH correctionally rates.

The most common Lime for lawns is agricultural ground limestone. The three main types include: ground limestone and calcic limestone (Dolomitic Lime), containing finely ground pure calcium carbonate; burnt lime, also known as quick lime or caustic lime (CalTurf Pro); and hydrated, or slaked, lime (fine powder).

Lime is a truckster for other nutrients, having calcium readily available in the soil to help control the water movement and conductivity, which means it can deliver more nutrients from the soil solution, such as nitrate (NO3-). Calcium (Ca) is responsible for the production of healthy cell walls and is very important in the growth of strong roots and shoots. Magnesium (Mg) is very important part of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green color of the plant through photosynthesis. Magnesium will increase Iron (Fe) and Phosphorus (P) utilization.

To sum up, having Calcium and Magnesium in your growing environment will produce a healthier, more resilient stand of turfgrass. More importantly, applying these nutrients with lime before you lay sod is quintessential to correct any deficiencies, and to prevent the plant/sod from becoming stressed and susceptible to pathogens. If you want to have good sod and a good stand of grass, you need to know your soil/pH. Get that pH right so you can apply lime at the maintenance rate/yearly for a better quality/healthier turf.

If you are getting ready to lay some sod, please call me, and I can help with a recommendation on which lime will help soften up clay, so you are successful on your sod installation.