Getting the right soil pH is a corner stone in building t a nice lawn. If the pH
is off the grass cannot up take nutrients. Grass seed may grow and look good for
a while but eventually it will die off. This is so important that The Maryland Department
of Natural Resources requires lawn care professionals to test the pH and show that
the are taking steps to maintain it. This law, the nutrients act of 2001, is a derivative
of the Clean Water Act. The Soil testing also gives us useful information about how
compacted the soil is and the nutrient levels.
Step 2 - Getting the pH Right
Once the tests are complete we apply the correct amount of lime to your lawn. The
amount needed can vary greatly. I have seen lawns with needs ranging from 15 to 145
lbs.per 1000 sq. Ft. The most you can apply at one time is 50 lbs per 1000 sq. Ft.
When applying lime we usually recommend aeration at the same time to help the lime
get into the soil. Aeration is always good. We ill talk more about that next. Last
thing, be aware that it takes 3-6 months for lime to actually get in and change the
pH of the soil. If your pH is off, you need to wait before you seed. Otherwise you
are throwing your money away.
Step 3 - Aeration, Aeration, Aeration
Almost every soil test I have run has shown compacted soil. Aeration helps to correct
this. As cores are taken from the ground the surrounding soil expands to fill the
openings. The result is looser soil that water and nutrients can more deeply penetrate.
The roots from your grass now have to travel deeper to get water and nutrients thus
the grass is healthier and more drought resistant.
When a lawn is compacted the water and nutrients cannot get in. The roots of the
grass stay near the surface as that ids where water and nutrients are. This is the
biggest cause of thatch and thatch promotes disease and unwelcome insects to your
lawn. Additional , with the roots near the surface, your lawn is more acceptable
to damage from droughts and from foot traffic
Step 4 - Fertilization
Your lawn needs to be fed. Spring, when your grass is actively growing and Fall when
the roots are actively growing is the best times to feed your lawn. Do not fertilize
in the summer as you can burn out your lawn and always use a slow release fertilizer.
Watch the weather and don’t fertilize when there is a chance of heavy rain in the
next couple days. These are the things that we do.