lime - Knowledgebase Question

New Milford, Co
Question by bob30256
March 3, 2010
I have been told that I should apply lime to my lawn to help when I seed. My property is lined with Old Maple trees, and getting grass to grow is frustrating. My question is how much lime to apply, how often and how long to wait before I seed.

Answer from NGA
March 3, 2010


Maple trees can make the soil acidic, which might make it difficult for turfgrass to grow. If you had a soil test done which indicated a need for lime, there are two types of lime that you can use on your lawn, namely calcitic and dolomitic. Calcitic lime only adds calcium, while dolomitic lime add calcium and magnesium to your lawn. Calcitic lime is the cheaper option. However, it's best to use the dolomitic variety, especially if your lawn is composed of sandy soil. Sandy soils are usually low in magnesium, so the lawn would benefit more from dolomitic lime. There are granular forms and pelletized forms of lime. Use a spreader to get complete coverage and set the spreader to the setting as recommended on the lime package. Lime is easy to find in the garden center - look near the fertilizer area and you should find several brands.

But, before you apply lime - especially if you have not had your soil tested - you should be aware that it is very difficult to get grass to grow beneath maple trees. Not only do the trees cast a lot of shade, the soil beneath them is usually dry because the tree roots compete with other plants for moisture (and nutrients). So instead of trying to grow turf beneath maples, you might want to consider growing a dry shade loving ground cover. Hope we've covered all the bases! Best wishes with your landscape.

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