Soil Test Your Landscape in Early Winter

So when is the best time to lime your yard? First of all, spring isn't the best time to lime which lots of homeowners believe. Actually, now is the best time. Second, you really need to lime your landscape say every 2-3 years. Now, if you live in certain parts of Kentucky or even Ohio, you may never need to lime because of the limestone rock base there. In West Virginia, only the southeastern part of the State is rich in limestone rock but even then, the people there need to check the soil say every 5 years or so.

Taking and filling out the forms required of a soil test is quick and easy. For most of us, the only way we'll know if our soil needs lime is to take a soil test. I've mentioned it before, but no matter how much fertilizer you use or the amount or kind of herbicide you apply to control weeds, if the soil is too acid and hasn't had lime applied to it, you are wasting time and money. Lime is added to lawn soil to increase the soil pH. Soil pH is expressed in numbers. A soil pH of 4-5 is good for azaleas and rhododendrons and blueberries. 5.5 is great for strawberries. 5.5-6 is adequate for potatoes while most all other vegetables and lawns grow best at 6.5 pH. You add lime to raise the soil pH but, on the other hand when you want to lower the pH say to raise strawberries, you need to add compounds high in sulfur like aluminum sulfate that is available at most lawn and garden centers. Remember, you can't wait till next spring to find out you need to change the soil's pH. In most cases, it takes about 4-6 months for the lime to react with the soil to change the soil pH to where you want it. Last comment, get your soil test now by contacting your local County Extension Office.

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