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  • Writer's pictureRandy Lopez

Lime and Gypsum Treatments - Healthy Soil Structure = Lush Lawn

Soil acidity or alkalinity (soil pH) is important because it influences how easily plants can take up nutrients from the soil. If your soil is too acid, your lawn won’t get the benefit of the fertilizers you’re feeding it with.

What is soil pH?

pH is simply a measure of how acid or alkaline a substance is. A pH of 6-7 is neutral, below 6 is acid, the lower the number the more acid the site. There are stacks of gardening books that list the preferred pH for specific plants.

What soil pH is best for grass?

The good news for most lawns is that they will tolerate a fairly wide range of soil pH. Anywhere from about pH 5.5 to 7 is great.

How does lime help reduce soil acidity?

A hungry lawn needs feeding but if your pH is not correct it simply won’t take what you feed it. Lime is very alkaline so helps by reducing soil acidity which in turn improves the uptake of major lawn nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. It also provides a great source of calcium and magnesium for the lawn and helps improve water penetration.

How to test the acidity of your soil

By doing a pH test on your site or underlay you can determine the acidity/alkalinity. With a simple soil test kit it’s really easy to do yourself.

Improving Soil Structure with Gypsum for a Lush Lawn

If you have heavy clay soils, it can be harder for grass roots to penetrate through the soil to get the water they need to look lush and stay healthy all year round. Using gypsum is a great way to give your grass a helping hand.

How gypsum helps improve soil structure

Gypsum is a soft white-grey mineral known as a ‘clay breaker’ because it helps to improve the physical condition of heavy clay soils.

In layman’s terms, if you look at compacted soils under a microscope they look like a jar full of sand. If you mix gypsum with the soils it will then look like a jar full of marbles, with air pockets around them. The result of this occurring is to allow better water and root penetration. Root development and the intake of other essential nutrients are assisted as well by the calcium content of gypsum.

How to use gypsum to improve your lawn

As a rule gypsum is best cultivated and mixed into clay or heavy soils prior to laying turf or adding turf underlay. If you have an existing lawn that is suffering from compaction, using gypsum will also help relieve compaction in most clay or heavy soils. First aerate the lawn, then spread 1-2kg/m2 of gypsum over the lawn and rake in. If you’re unable to aerate the lawn first, water the gypsum in heavily once spread.

Remember good soil structure will give you a great lawn.

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