“Do I really need to apply lime?” This is a question that I hear quite often. The answer is yes, if the soil report states that it is needed.

Fertilization is the easiest way to improve our turf color, density and growth. The most common fertility problem in North Carolina is low pH. What is soil pH? It is the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Simply stated if the pH isn’t between 6.0 and 6.5 then most of our NC turf types don’t perform as well as they could. If the soil pH drops below 5.5 the root system could possibly stop growing, which means that the leaves can’t grow. If a plant isn’t growing it is dying. The exception is centipede grass which grows best at 5.0-6.0.

There are 16 nutrients that are needed for plant growth. Some are needed in large amounts like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium - while others are needed in smaller amounts like iron or zinc. Regardless of the amount, they are all needed, and if there is a deficiency then it is detrimental to the plant. Most of these nutrients are in our soils, and in adequate amounts, but if the pH isn’t correct the nutrient won’t be available. Phosphorous is one of those nutrients that reacts quite dramatically to low pH and starts to become less available at a pH of 6.3. As the pH drops phosphorous will not be available at all and turf needs phosphorous for root growth. Actually, grass needs this nutrient for all growth down to the cellular level.

Applying Lime to Fescue Turf

If you would like more information on Turf Management, please reach out to your local GreenView Partners representative.

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