Friday, 24 February 2012 13:47
Soil pH and Your Lawn: What You Need to Know
What is Soil pH?
Potential hydrogen, (better known as pH) is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity of soil. pH is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, where 7 is neutral, less than 7 is acidic, and more than 7 is alkaline. While thinking of pH and your current Ottawa lawn care regime, it's important to keep in mind that this is a logarithmic scale. This means that the difference between a pH of 7 and a pH of 6 is actually 10 times the acidity; the difference between 7 and 5 is 100 times the acidity, and so on. Clearly, when the soil's pH is out of balance, it will have a major impact on your Ottawa lawn care approach.
Why is Soil pH Important to Your Lawn Care in Ottawa?
Potential hydrogen is extremely important when thinking about your Ottawa lawn care because it's an indicator of the availability of other nutrients in the soil. Even though only hydrogen ions are measured during a pH test, this number can be used to reveal deficiencies of several other important nutrients.
Most acidic soils (those with a pH of 6 or less) have deficiencies in:
If your soil is extremely acidic, with a pH of less than 4, it may have toxic amounts of aluminum or manganese.
Alkaline soils (those with a pH of more than 7) may be lacking in the following:
How to Increase the pH Levels of Your Soil
You can decrease the acidity levels in your soil by adding the following minerals to your Ottawa lawn care regime:
- Agricultural lime (calcium carbonate)
- Dolomite (Magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate)
It's important to note that you should only use dolomite in your Ottawa lawn care regime if your soil is deficient in magnesium, since many of the acids in soil are already too high in magnesium. Therefore, adding more magnesium is a waste of your money and can cause the ratio of calcium to magnesium to become extremely unbalanced.
Need help treating the pH levels of your soil? Then contact a representative from Nutri-Lawn Ottawa! Our professionals know exactly how to treat the acidity of all soil types.
How to Decrease the pH of Your Lawn
Decreasing the level of alkaline in your soil is as simple as applying sulphates of iron and ammonium to your lawn care regime in Ottawa. Ask about our Kelp Biostimulants if you're pH tests are coming back abnormally high.
How the Type of Soil Can Affect Your pH
The texture of your soil – whether it's more clay-based or mostly sand-based, for example – as well as the amount of organic matter present will play a role in the material needed to alter the pH of your Ottawa lawn. For example, clay soils need much more lime to shift the pH than sand soils.
The addition of organic matter (also known as fertilizing) is always beneficial to the soil. Fertilizing will serve to shield plants against any acidity in the soil, allowing it to still grow plants, even if it has a lower pH range. Regardless of whether this organic matter is manure or compost, it will benefit your lawn.
What is an Ideal pH Range for My Soil?
A simple answer is: it depends.
Plants have different pH needs based on the type of soil they're used to growing in. If you are unsure about the ideal pH conditions for your grass, contact one of our professional lawn care technicians. Nutri-Lawn offers a number of environmentally friendly fertilizer and mineral treatments.