What is Lawn Lime Application?

Lawn lime application is a process that involves spreading lime on a lawn to adjust its pH level. pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is, and it plays a crucial role in the health and growth of plants. Most lawns thrive in a slightly acidic to neutral pH range, typically between 6.0 and 7.0. However, over time, the pH of the soil can become too acidic, which can negatively impact the lawn’s health and appearance.

Why is pH Level Important for Lawns?

The pH level of the soil affects the availability of essential nutrients to plants. When the pH is too acidic or too alkaline, certain nutrients become less available to the grass, leading to nutrient deficiencies. This can result in a weakened lawn that is more susceptible to diseases, pests, and weed infestations. Additionally, an imbalanced pH can hinder the effectiveness of fertilizers and other lawn care products.

How Does Lawn Lime Application Work?

Lawn lime application works by raising the pH level of the soil, making it less acidic. Lime is a natural substance that is rich in calcium and magnesium carbonates. When applied to the lawn, it reacts with the soil, neutralizing the acidity and increasing the pH level. This process helps to restore the balance of nutrients in the soil, making them more available to the grass.

When Should Lawn Lime Application be Done?

The timing of lawn lime application depends on the specific needs of the lawn and the region in which it is located. In general, it is best to apply lime in the spring or fall when the grass is actively growing. This allows the lime to have enough time to react with the soil and adjust the pH before the peak growing season. However, it is important to note that lime should not be applied at the same time as fertilizers, as they can interfere with each other’s effectiveness.

How to Determine if Lawn Lime Application is Needed?

Before applying lime to a lawn, it is essential to determine if it is necessary. The best way to do this is by conducting a soil test. A soil test will measure the pH level of the soil and provide information about its nutrient content. Based on the results of the soil test, a lawn care professional or homeowner can determine if lime application is needed and how much lime should be applied.

Benefits of Lawn Lime Application

Lawn lime application offers several benefits for the health and appearance of the lawn. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Correcting pH Imbalances: Lime application helps to correct acidic soil conditions, creating a more favorable environment for grass growth.

2. Enhanced Nutrient Availability: By adjusting the pH level, lime makes essential nutrients more available to the grass, promoting healthier growth.

3. Weed Control: A balanced pH level can help prevent weed growth, as many weeds thrive in acidic soil conditions.

4. Disease Resistance: A healthy lawn with a balanced pH is less susceptible to diseases, as pathogens often thrive in imbalanced environments.

5. Improved Fertilizer Efficiency: Lime application enhances the effectiveness of fertilizers, allowing them to be better absorbed by the grass.

Types of Lime for Lawn Application

There are two main types of lime used for lawn application: agricultural lime and dolomitic lime.

1. Agricultural Lime: Agricultural lime, also known as calcitic lime, is primarily composed of calcium carbonate. It is the most commonly used type of lime for lawn application. Agricultural lime is effective in raising the pH level of acidic soil and providing calcium to the grass.

2. Dolomitic Lime: Dolomitic lime contains both calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. It is often recommended for lawns that require additional magnesium. Dolomitic lime is especially beneficial for sandy soils that are prone to magnesium deficiencies.

How to Apply Lime to a Lawn?

When applying lime to a lawn, it is important to follow the recommended guidelines to ensure proper application. Here are the steps to apply lime:

1. Test the Soil: Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient content of the soil.

2. Calculate the Amount of Lime: Based on the soil test results, calculate the amount of lime needed for the lawn. This can be done using a lime calculator or by consulting a lawn care professional.

3. Choose the Right Lime: Select the appropriate type of lime for the lawn based on the soil test results and specific needs of the grass.

4. Prepare the Lawn: Mow the grass to a shorter height and remove any debris or weeds from the lawn.

5. Apply the Lime: Spread the lime evenly over the lawn using a spreader or by hand. It is important to avoid applying lime in windy conditions to prevent drift.

6. Water the Lawn: After applying the lime, water the lawn thoroughly to help the lime penetrate the soil.

7. Monitor the pH Level: Regularly monitor the pH level of the soil to ensure it remains within the desired range. Additional lime applications may be needed in the future to maintain the pH balance.


Lawn lime application is an essential practice for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn. By adjusting the pH level of the soil, lime helps to optimize nutrient availability, control weeds, and enhance disease resistance. It is important to conduct a soil test before applying lime to determine if it is necessary and to choose the right type of lime for the specific needs of the lawn. Following the proper application guidelines will ensure the best results and promote a thriving lawn.