If you’ve spent all summer wondering why your grass is thin, patchy and yellow while your neighbors have lush, green lawns, it’s time to learn about soil pH and the impact it can have on your lawn.
Think back to high school chemistry class. You might remember the teacher explaining that water is a neutral substance, while some other things, like vinegar, are more acid. On the other end of the scale, base- aka alkaline – substances, like soap. The way most students learn about pH is with litmus paper – a small sample turns red when exposed to an acid, and blue when exposed to a base.
Here’s what a lot of homeowners don’t know: your soil has a pH level, just like those liquid samples back in chemistry class. Ideally, a nicely balanced soil is optimal for growing most varieties of grass. However, it’s very common, particularly in the Norwell area, for homeowners to have low soil pH.
How do you know if your lawn has a low pH problem?
Unfortunately, you can’t just stick litmus paper on your lawn and determine what’s going on with your soil. For the most accurate answer, you’ll want to have your Norwell lawn care team test the soil. But for a quick and easy assessment look for any of the following signs of low soil pH:
Yellow spots in the lawn – especially if you don’t have a dog!
Stunted, sparse grass growth
Leaf blight – a fungal growth that thrives in low pH conditions
Wilting grass, even when there’s been rain
Pine needles – Pine trees thrive in low acid soil. Oaks are another common sign to watch for.
What can you do if your soil has low pH?
Fall is the ideal time to have your Norwell lawn care service address soil issues. The process involves soil testing and then treatment with the appropriate balancing soil supplements. When your lawn’s pH is properly balanced, fertilization treatments are more effective, which means better grass growth.