The acidity of soil can sometimes hinder the growth of plants. Phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium can become much less available to plants when soil is acidic. Also, the levels of other harmful elements such as aluminum can increase, causing toxicity.
Acidification is a natural process but can also be sped up by many factors. Nitrogen in fertilizer and the breakdown of organic matter can speed up the process causing an issue for Zoysia grass. Applying lime will help to maintain the soil to the appropriate levels for plant growth, providing a solution. Before applying, you will want to test the pH of the soil. You should not apply lime without doing so because too much lime can be just as harmful as too little.
Soil pH is a measurement of the acidity in soil. In general, most plants thrive when the pH levels are between 5.8 and 6.5 pH. Zoysia thrives when the pH levels are between 6.0 and 7.0 pH. When the levels are below 6.0 pH, plant growth is limited by aluminum toxicity. When they are above 7.0 pH, manganese and zinc become less available. Liming helps to lower the acidity of the soil causing better growth for plants. One application can last for two to three years, and it should be applied two to four weeks before planting new grass or plants. If you find that your soil is too alkaline, you can apply sulfur to raise the acidity.
Liming supplies calcium and magnesium to the soil. It can come in different forms. The most time-efficient and easiest form for gardeners is liquid lime. Our organic Café Lime here at Zoysia Farms comes in liquid form that is sprayed on with an attached hose-end sprayer. It improves major nutrient uptake and can boost the pH by as much as one point in as little as 10 days. Powdered lime and pelletized lime are other options but tend to be more expensive and more difficult to apply. All are effective in reducing soil acidity however. Overall, lime is very effective in treating the acidity in soils. It can also produce many benefits such as a healthier, disease-resistant lawn. Be sure to apply lime when necessary, so you can achieve the greenest lawn in your neighborhood.