Hand holding clump of soil

What’s the Deal With Soil pH?

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It’s easy to think that the problems that arise from common issues in lawn care are due to pests, improper care, wrong grass, the weather, and even the people in the vicinity — but one thing may not be what’s on the forefront of your thinking: the pH of your soil.

Lawn care can be thought of as one big farming project, and if you want to make sure that your lawn looks immaculate, you can follow the example of hardworking farmers everywhere and know the kind of soil you have in your lawn. If crops can’t grow without the proper kind of soil, how do you think your grass will fare?

What is pH?

A soil’s pH level determines how acidic or alkaline it is to the organisms that get sustenance from it. If you ask commercial lawn care providers,they will explain that soil pH levels are like the weather for your soil — too much of one end or too little of another leads to a whole host of problems for your lawn.

A general rule of thumb is that plants thrive in acidic pH soil: plants get their raw material like nutrients in a form that they need. Measuring your soil’s pH level is easy enough. There are kits sold online and in many stores. But you can check with your landscape contractor so they could help you with your lawn care needs.

Why does it matter?

Aside from allowing your soil to be ideal for planting your grass on,  soil pH can only work with certain kinds of plants. Some plants require higher acidity levels in their soil — think of hardy plants or trees — while others may need a more alkaline pH level, like flowers or shrubbery.

Soil pH doesn’t just affect your plants, but also the other organisms that help maintain the minute ecosystem in your lawn. Nutrients are often equally distributed among the greenery in your yard, and that includes the minute things that you can’t see such as bacteria in the soil.

What Can I Do If My Lawn Has a Problem?

Hand feeling the lawn grass

Plants thrive in slightly acidic soil because it gives them the right amount of factors to thrive. For lawns, this is a double-edged benefit: if you do find a problem, the patch is easily visible, but the visibility is precisely what makes the yard unappealing. Of course, there are other sources of problems like pests or fungi, but when it comes to soil pH, simply introducing elements to balance the acidity levels should be enough.

The two kinds of additives used for this are limestone (which raises pH levels) and sulfur (which lowers them.) It’s essential to do your research before checking which one you should choose, and checking the kind of soil itself — since there are some varieties which contain a mix of other ingredients that can complicate the repair process. If you’re ever in doubt, the best thing to would be to call a professional in commercial lawn care services to help diagnose and fix the problem.

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