Ph Tester And Recommended Lime

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by cenlo, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. cenlo

    cenlo LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 322

    I realize that a soil probe which measures a low ph doesn't always require lime, but I would think that in 95% of the time it does. Do you agree? In Ontario, were I am, 100% of the lawns are acidic. I am testing between 3-6.5 on all properties. The problem is finding a table or guideline for the #'s of lime per 1000ft2. Also how accurate are the testers. I do not clean mine often, and I do get different readings on each lawn. Is the pelletized lime that much better for established turf?

  2. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,568

    All pH testers are not created equal. Alot of them suck, and all of them need to be amitained according to the instructions they came with.

    As far as how much lime to put down. Ballpark, around 5lbs per k, per .1 of pH you're trying to correct. Going from 6.0 to 6.5 will take roughly 25lbs per k, give or take.
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    It depends on what you are trying to grow there. Many plants prefer an acidic soil, but most turf grasses prefer something sweeter or closer to neutral. Your best bet for accurate readings and recommendations will be an agricultural agency that provides soil testing. Here in the states we have county extension services that are usually allied with a state university for laboratory testing. Lesco also provides a reasonable soil testing service and there are independent labs. Sometimes just adjusting the ph, is not enough.

    Unless you have purchased a high quality tester, usually a few hundred dollars, most testers are not very accurate or consistent. If you are getting readings of 3.0, it would have to be almost bare soil, as I don't know of anything that will grow there. Battery acid is around 3.0.

  4. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,568

    Yeah, a pH of 3? I'd be nervous walking on that barefoot.
  5. cenlo

    cenlo LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 322

    Would it be the same amount to topdress. I will not be tilling in into the soil.
  6. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,250

    Do a soil test at whereever Canadians get those done. Here the County Extention Agent does them and provides recommendation for "your specific need"
    (that is the fertlizer portion) the test will show you how much lime you have "per acre" you will have to calculate how much you will need based on their analysis. There's no easy way around it but the nice thing is that is only takes a week-10 days here.
    What is in the soil that makes it so acidic? Sulfur and lots of ore type minerals?
    Top dressing is done essentially to improve micro-nutrients that heavy rainfall leach, lots of chemical use, loss of micro-organisms, and of course the leaching of the nutrients of the soil due to the particular soil.

    I sure would start with a through soil test and go from there.

    Hope this will help

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