The ideal soil pH for grass can keep your lawn lush and healthy. However, only some homeowners make the connection between soil pH and the health of their grass.
As you maintain your lawn, you may focus solely on your grass while neglecting to pay close attention to your soil. However, the soil beneath your grass is equally essential. As your lawn’s foundation, it provides a support system for the roots to access the water and nutrients, particularly phosphorus, they need for proper growth.
Your soil pH directly impacts how well your grass can absorb these essential nutrients like nitrogen. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline, the health of your grass will decline, resulting in a lackluster lawn with yellow grass or bare spots. With a few simple steps, you can determine the pH of your soil, take action to balance the pH levels, and restore the vitality of your lawn.
What’s the Ideal Soil pH Level for a Healthy Lawn?
The ideal pH level for grass is between 6.0 and 7.0, which allows the grass to uptake nutrients from the soil and helps to prevent disease. While grass can tolerate a bit outside this range of soil pH levels, soils that are too acidic or too alkaline can lead to poor grass growth.
Why is Balancing Soil pH important?
Balancing soil pH for grass can be the key to growing a healthy, vibrant lawn. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with seven being neutral. Anything below seven is considered acidic, while anything above seven is alkaline.
Benefits of a Balanced Soil pH
A balanced pH in your soil can lead to the following benefits for the health of your lawn.
- Grass can absorb nutrients more effectively
- The overall health of your grass is improved
- Disease, pests, and weeds are less likely to be a problem
- The soil is more aerated, which is vital for root growth
- Water infiltration and drainage are improved
What are the consequences of an Imbalanced Soil pH for Grass?
If the pH of your soil is outside of the healthy range for your grass, it can affect the plant’s ability to take up nutrients from the soil. Imbalanced soil pH for grass can lead to poor growth or even death.
What happens if the soil is too acidic?
Lawns need a slight acidity to stay healthy and green, but too high levels can prevent the grass from absorbing nutrients. As a result, one of the first signs of too much acidity is usually yellowing grass and, eventually, bare patches.
Homeowners often mistakenly conclude that their grass needs more fertilizer. However, the grass in acidic soil can’t absorb it. In the process, you’ll waste fertilizer and may even worsen the acidity level as too much fertilizer, especially one too high in nitrogen, can create an acidic environment for your grass.
What happens to grass if the soil is too alkaline?
If soil is too alkaline with a pH above 7.2, grass will not be able to grow. The roots will not be able to take up nutrients and water, and the grass will eventually die.
What causes Soil pH to become unbalanced?
Many factors can cause soil pH to become unbalanced. One common reason is the overuse of chemical fertilizers, which can change the pH, making the soil more acidic or alkaline.
Also, the leaching of minerals from the soil can cause an imbalance in the soil pH for grass. When water percolates through the soil, it can carry minerals with it. Plants and weeds can also take up soil minerals leaving the pH unbalanced.
Other common reasons include the following conditions in the soil.
- Lack of organic matter
- Imbalanced nutrient levels
- Improper irrigation or drainage
- pH-altering chemicals
How do I know if my lawn pH is off?
Several visual signs can indicate that the pH of your lawn is off. Your grass will appear yellow or pale. Also, weeds are more likely to grow in lawns with a lower pH because they are better able to tolerate the conditions. Finally, bare spots are another sign of a pH imbalance because the grass can’t get the nutrients it needs from the soil.
Lawn pH Test Kit
If you suspect that the pH of your lawn is off, there are tests that you can perform to confirm this. You can learn about the pH level of your soil with a test kit purchased at most garden stores or online. Also, you could conduct a home test by following various videos or instructions found online.
How do I balance the pH in my lawn?
Once you know the pH of your soil, you can take steps to adjust it if necessary. There are several products available that can raise or lower the pH of soil.
You can correct a low pH by applying lime to your lawn. Another option is to add organic matter to the soil. If your soil’s pH is too high, you can apply sulfur to your lawn.
7 Tips for Maintaining an Ideal Soil pH Level for Grass
Follow these tips for maintaining an ideal soil pH level for grass.
- Test your soil regularly and adjust the pH level accordingly.
- Choose the most suitable grass species for your area.
- Consider using lime or sulfur to adjust the pH level of your soil.
- Make sure your soil is well-drained.
- Mow your lawn at the proper height.
- Fertilize your lawn regularly.
- Hire a reputable lawn care company to maintain your lawn
Keep Your Lawn Healthy with Terra Lawn Care
If you’d like more information about balancing your soil pH for a lush and healthy lawn, we’re here to help. We want you to have the best possible lawn, and we’re available to answer any questions that you may have about exactly how to achieve it. Contact Terra Lawn Care online or call 610-275-2170 for a free estimate for your next lawn care project.