Home generalGrass lime - so you lime the lawn properly

Grass lime - so you lime the lawn properly

  • Determine pH
  • types of lime
  • The best time to liming
  • How much lime per square meter "> Instructions for lime lime
  • Why is the soil too acid?

All that needs to be done is to keep the lawn healthy. So the soil on which the lawn thrives regularly needs water and nutrients. Although many garden owners water properly, they overdo it with fertilizers. According to the motto "a lot helps a lot" different fertilizers are applied. Without soil analysis, however, it is not possible to determine which substances are missing from the soil and which may contain too much. So it makes sense to have a soil analysis done every 3 to 5 years and at the beginning of gardening. It is then determined whether the soil is too acidic. Then the lawn should be limed. Too acid soil is rather unfavorable for grasses. For sandy soils the optimum pH is about 5.5, for loamy soils about 6.0.


Determine pH

The acidity, so the pH can also be determined by yourself, if you do not want a large soil analysis. In principle, indicator paper is sufficient for this. An analysis set, also called a test kit, is better. It is important to perform several measurements in different places.
The test kits are available for about 5 euros in the DIY and garden market. The money is well spent. The test is easy to perform and displays the results quite accurately. To take a sample, a 5 to 20 cm deep hole is dug in the ground. The earth is finely crumbled. Foreign objects should be removed. Then, distilled water is poured into the hole over the crumbled earth. There must be a slush. Inside, the arrowhead of the test kit is inserted. After just one minute, the pH can be read off.

  • pH of 7: neutral soil
  • pH above 7: alkaline soil
  • pH below 7: acid soil

Tip - Even without a test, there are several factors that may cause you to assume that the soil under the turf is too acidic or, on the contrary, too alkaline. If there is a lot of moss among the grasses, this is a clear sign that you should chalk. If, on the other hand, a lot of clover grows between the grass stalks, the pH is too high and should not be whitewashed here.

types of lime

Calcium fertilizer regulates pH, buffers soil acids, improves nutrient availability and promotes soil life. In addition, lime promotes soil structure formation. Lime is not lime, there are different varieties. The calcium carbonate value is different.

Kohlesaurer Kalk - is used in light soils, so mainly in very sandy substrates. Different sieve grades - finely ground - highest reactivity, one speaks of a rather mild liming. The compound is not very reactive. Frequently used for lawns, over-liming can almost be ruled out. Carbonated lime increases the pH level when it is needed. He seems slow, but sustainable.

Grass lime usually contains 95% CaCo3 or a mixture of calcium carbonate and calcium oxide. In the second case one also speaks of mixed lime. Burnt lime should then be contained as little as possible

Quicklime - also known as quick lime - is used exclusively on very heavy soils, ie very clayey. Is obtained by burning of carbonate of lime. Burnt lime is not the same as quicklime. They differ in consistency and CaO value, ie calcium oxide. There are Weichbrannt-, Mittelbrannt- and Hartbranntkalk. Has a corrosive effect, which is why it should not be used by laymen, so not in the home garden.

  • Refined lime, Thomaskalk, converter lime - much more expensive than calcium carbonate, waste product of the steel industry, better as a supplementary fertilizer for special crops, not for grass - simply exaggerated
  • Magnesium lime - good for turf when magnesium is missing
  • Algae lime - from marine algae, expensive, offered as a biological variant, but algae degradation in the sea is also not without side effects
  • Calcium cyanamide - nitrogen fertilizer with CaO, not for turf, as corrosive and aggressive

The best time to liming

At the time of Kalkens there are very different views. This is quite complicated, because all explanations seem somehow logical.

1. Chalking is in the spring or even better, in the fall. This has the advantage that much time passes from the application to the first fertilizer application in spring, which the lime can use to dissolve nutrients from the soil, which are then available to the plants at the most important time. If lime is applied together with fertilizer, many nutrients are lost because they are not dissolved. The plants can not pick them up, they are flushed out. If limed in spring, the first fertilizer must be used. That seems logical.

2. At the time of the snowmelt, but preferably when the ground is still frozen or when it is just thawing. During the snowy season, the acid precipitation increases the acidification of the soil. The soil is less permeable to frost and can not dissipate the acid precipitation. The high concentration leads to the dissolution of the calcium-cement substances between the soil particles. A structural breakdown is the result. A Kalkzufuhr can fix that. However, this is problematic in winter, like the last one. There was hardly a real winter, except in the mountains, with lots of snow and frozen ground. When is the right time?>> How much lime per square meter?

In principle, one should rely on the package instructions and follow them with the quantities. However, a distinction is made between health liming and maintenance liming. For lime reduction more lime is needed and it is a radical intervention in soil life. 400 to 500 g / m² at once are really much. It may be worth considering distributing the amount for two or even three years. In the case of yield calculation, it is then carried out only every three years. Used are about 60 to 80 g / m². In general, less lime is required for light soil and equal pH than for medium and heavy soils.

Instructions for limescale

After a test has determined that the pH is too low, it can be limed. Since the lime is very dusty, powdery, you should protect yourself well. Gloves, long-sleeved clothes and old shoes are standard. Lime can endanger the health of direct skin contact !!! It should not be chalked in wind, because then the fine powder is blown away, or you get yourself a lot of it. If you are sensitive, you can wear a mask. It is enough to tie a cloth in front of your mouth and nose.

It is important that the lime is applied as evenly as possible. Helpful for this is a spreader. For small areas, the lime can also be applied by hand. Then the lime with the rake superficially incorporated into the soil, he glued or encrusted when it is wet, so there is a risk that he spread unevenly in the soil

There are plants that can not cope with lime. If these grow in the immediate vicinity of the lawn, special care must be taken to ensure that the lime does not get into these beds or zones. Particularly affected are moor bed plants and some coniferous species.

Tip - Keep babies and pets away from the lawn for a while. Pets lick their paws off and children like to stick their fingers in their mouths. Both can be sensitive to the lime.

Why is the soil too acidic ">
  • Compacted soil and consequently longer-lasting waterlogging - improvement of the soil necessary or possibly a drainage
  • Shady lawn - Lawn can not dry quickly and not completely - difficult case - better plant groundcover
  • Too much nitrogen in the soil - promotes acidification - use other fertilizers without nitrogen

A Kalkdüngung makes sense only if the soil is really too acidic. That should be proven with a soil sample. Important is the right time of liming. In any case, it should take some time between applying lime and fertilizer. Regular soil tests every two to three years prevent over-fertilization.

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