Adding Lime to an Acidic Lawn

acidic lawn

Got yellow grass or stubborn bare spots that won’t fill in, even with fertilizer due to an acidic lawn? Do you have moss and too many weeds where turfgrass should be growing?

You’re probably dealing with an acidic lawn. To maintain healthy grass, your lawn needs balanced soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A soil test is the only way to know if your soil is too acidic.

Lawn pH matters because it affects nutrient availability for the grass. If turfgrass refuses to grow in an area, you want to test the soil to see if you have an acidic lawn.

If the soil is too acidic, essential nutrients get locked away, and the turfgrass can’t use them. This leads to weak, yellow grass and more weeds. Balancing the pH helps the grass grow thick and healthy, making your yard look better and easier to maintain.

Read more: Preventing Lawn Pests and Fungi

Lime will correct an acidic lawn by balancing the pH to a healthy range of 6.0-7.0.

Understanding Soil pH and Your Acidic Lawn

Soil pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity. It affects how well plants can take up nutrients and minerals from the soil. A balanced pH lets the turfgrass access nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are keys for growth and health.

Different types of grass prefer different pH levels:

  • Bermuda and zoysiagrass prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil, around 6.0 to 6.5.
  • Fescue and perennial ryegrasses do well in marginal acidic soil between 5.5 and 7.5.
  • Kentucky bluegrass favors slightly acidic soil, around 6.5 to 7.2.

Knowing your grass type helps you aim for the proper pH level. But how can you find out how acidic your soil is? Through a soil test.

You can invest in a DIY soil test at your favorite retailer or independent garden center. On the other hand, you can take soil samples from different parts of your yard to send to your county extension office.

If you want accurate soil test results, you’ll find that your county extension office will provide you with the best results, both in accuracy and thoroughness.

Otherwise, DIY soil tests will tell you if you have an acidic lawn. However, the provided steps to relieve the acidity may not be as detailed.

Since some turfgrasses can handle slightly acidic soil, other turfgrass types prefer the balanced area to somewhat alkaline soils. Ideally, you shouldn’t allow your soil’s pH to dip below 6.0, which is too acidic to grow healthy turf.

However, centipede grass, a warm season turfgrass, can tolerate lower pH levels, between 4.5 to 6.0.

Lime and Its Benefits for an Acidic Lawn

If the soil test results show an acidic lawn, you want to buy lime to balance the pH to 6.0-7.0.

Lime comes from ground limestone or dolomitic lime and naturally includes calcium and magnesium carbonate. If the soil test shows that your acidic lawn is also low in magnesium, dolomitic lime is the better choice.

Lime raises soil pH and provides additional calcium and magnesium to your acidic lawn, but lime doesn’t replace fertilizer for balanced nutrition. Instead, its purpose is to make the soil more pH-balanced.

Using a fertilizer spreader on your lawn, put down pelletized lime with a drop spreader and ground lime with a broadcast spreader.

How to Properly Apply Lime to Your Acidic Lawn

Before you open that bag of lime to put in your spreader, ensure you’re dressed to keep your skin, eyes, and nose from inhaling lime dust, which irritates these tissues.

Learn more: Picking the Best Lawn Spreaders in 2023

You should also wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to protect your legs and feet from lime irritation.

Timing Is Everything

What are the best seasons for applying lime to an acidic lawn?

Because of ample rainfall and cooler temperatures, the fall and early spring break down the lime to absorb into the soil.

If you need to choose, fall is the best time to put down lime because the winter freeze/thaw cycles help to allow the soil to soak up the lime. Plus, cool season turfgrass is actively growing and will uptake any nutrients from the ground.

Also, you don’t want to wait too long to put down lime in the spring because the turfgrass won’t have time to take in essential nutrients before the hot summer months.

Finally, keep an eye on the weather forecast. You don’t want to apply lime before heavy rain, which causes lime to leach out and run into storm drains.

Here is your step-by-step guide for applying lime to your acidic lawn:

  1. Test Soil: Start with a soil test to confirm your lawn needs lime and how much to apply.
  • Choose Lime: Pick the correct type of lime based on your soil test results.
  • Gear Up: Wear safety gear like gloves, goggles, and a dust mask.
  • Calibrate Spreader: Set your spreader according to the lime package’s recommendations.
  • Prep Lawn: Mow the lawn and remove any debris. Water lightly if the soil is dry.
  • Fill Spreader: Load lime into the spreader, ensuring not to overfill.
  • Apply: Start spreading lime, walking at a steady pace. Cover the perimeter first, then fill the middle in a zigzag pattern.
  • Double Check: Go over the lawn a second time at a 90-degree angle to the first pass for even coverage.
  • Water: Lightly water the lawn to help the lime penetrate the soil.
  1. Clean Up: Wash the spreader and any tools. Store leftover lime in a dry place.
  1. Keep Off: Keep people and pets off the lawn until the lime is watered in and the ground is dry.
  1. Always follow the lime manufacturer’s guidelines for best results.

Repair Your Acidic Lawn with the Help of Brinly Fertilizer Spreaders

You don’t have to be stuck with yellow turfgrass that grows weakly due to an acidic lawn. Get a soil test and buy the right type of lime to correct your acidic lawn.

Our fertilizer spreaders will put down lime on your acidic lawn. We have many other lawn and garden products to help you with creating and maintaining a beautiful property throughout the year:

You can buy your Brinly fertilizer spreader online. If you have any questions about your Brinly lawn and garden product, contact our customer service today by dialing 877-728-8224 or filling out our contact form.

Sources:, Liming Turfgrass Areas., Skip the Soil Test Kit. Here’s What to Do Instead., Why, When and How to Apply Lime to Your Lawn.