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How to Balance Lawn PH

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How to Balance Lawn PH

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Overview

Keeping lawns looking good throughout the season takes nurturing. Some of that nurturing is making sure that your soil's pH level is balanced. Lawns thrive and look lush when the pH level is between 6.5 and 7.0 . Too high a pH level can be corrected with sulfate, while soil with a low pH can be corrected with lime. You can correct your soil acidity once you know how to balance the lawn pH. Purchase a soil test kit, which is available at most hardware stores and plant nurseries.

Step 1

Use a soil test kit to measure the pH levels in areas of your lawn. Read the instructions on the kit. By testing different areas of your lawn initially, you can treat the lawn as necessary and create a balanced pH level throughout. Most test kits require that you use a small amount of air-dried soil

Step 2

Place a handful of test soil on a plastic bag to air-dry. Again, get samples from different areas of the lawn. Allow the soils to air-dry for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Add two full droppers of the purple reagent to the vial supplied from the soil test kit. Fill the vial to the designated mark with water. Swirl the vial to mix the reagent in the water.

Step 4

Obtain a level spoonful of soil and place the soil in the vial. Put the cap on the vial and shake the vial for two minutes.

Step 5

Compare the color of the liquid above the settled soil in the vial to the color chart inside the test kit. Determine if the pH level is too low, too high or if it is correct.

Step 6

Apply ground limestone to your lawn if the pH level is below 6.5. Purchase 25 lbs of ground limestone for every 1,000 square feet of lawn needing treatment. Limestone is available at hardware stores and nurseries.

Step 7

Pour the ground limestone into a seed spreader and spread the limestone at a rate of 25 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Follow the instructions on the bag of limestone for spreader application. This is a fairly light application designed to bring the pH level up gradually rather than applying too much.

Step 8

Water the lawn well with a garden hose. Do not wash away the limestone, but do allow the water to soak into the soil and the limestone. Test the soil again in one month.

Step 9

Reduce the pH level of the soil if it is 7.0 or over. Use commercial pelleted aluminum sulfate to effectively lower the pH level.

Step 10

Pour the aluminum sulfate into the spreader and apply the aluminum sulfate at a rate of 5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Follow the directions on the bag for correct spreader application. Water the lawn well and test the soil again in one month.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Plastic bag
  • Spoon
  • Ground limestone
  • Seed spreader
  • Garden hose
  • Aluminum sulfate pellets

References

  • Lowes.com Testing Soil pH
  • Usda.gov Nutrient Management
  • Purdue.edu Soil Testing For Lawns
Keywords: lawn pH, balancing lawn pH, test soil pH

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. Ken has written over 350 Home Improvement articles for Demand Studios. He has also been published by The American Chronicle. Kenneth holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Commonwealth College in Richmond, Va.