Lawn with a High pH

Signs of a Lawn with a High pH

Soil pH refers to the pH level of the lawn soil. The preferred pH range for most lawn grasses is between 6 and 7, and anything above 7.5 is considered high pH. It is essential to keep the soil pH in the preferred range to ensure the grass grows healthily.

If your lawn has a high pH level, it is likely to be unhealthy, and the grass and other plants might not grow properly. The pH of your soil is a general indicator stating lawns’ acidity and alkalinity. Higher pH means more alkaline, which is unhealthy for your plants.

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Some common symptoms or happenings that indicate that your lawn has high pH are that the lawn might get a little yellow and form limp, bare patches, the soil gets hard and more compact, fertilizers don’t work well, etc. All these things indicate that the lawn has high pH and needs attention.

Here are some more signs indicating a high pH level of a Lawn and some known ways of prevention.

Noticed yellow spots on your plants

Witnessing yellow spots on your plants is a clear indication that the soil on your lawn is more alkaline than the usual level. If the situation is left untreated, the leaves will start fading and gradually turn whitish, and eventually, the plant might not survive. This phenomenon of leaves and plants turning yellow is also referred to as “Lime-induced chlorosis.”

The best way to treat your plants in this situation is to use artificial sulfate on your soil and decrease its alkalinity. This process takes time, and you should apply it every four months until you get assured the pH level is neutral.

Stunted growth in your yard

The pH level does not determine the fertility of your soil, but it does affect the nutrient absorption capability of plants. High pH levels significantly hamper the growth of plants and vegetation in your yard. You might be using the best fertilizers, but if the soil doesn’t allow the plants to absorb the needed nutrients, it will stunt their growth.

If you do not treat the soil and leave the plants in this situation for long, they will grow weak and gradually grow unhealthy and die. You need to increase the soil’s acidity and bring the pH level to a neutral level of 6.0 to 7.0.

To prevent this sign of high pH, you should add more organic matter to your soil. It has been found that soil with more organic content has lower pH and aids in better plant growth. Organic matters like vegetable leftovers and manures like animal dung are very beneficial.

pH level testing

Weak stems on plants

Plants absorb nutrients through their roots in a dissolved state. If the soil has a high pH, it doesn’t allow nutrients like iron to get dissolved easily, and thus, the plants cannot get enough nutrients through their roots. Weak stems on plants are a common symptom when the soil is alkaline as the plants cannot take the necessary nutrients from the soil.

Weak stems will eventually get plants to fall and grow even weaker, and if proper care is not taken in time, the plant might die.This can be prevented by adding sulfur annually to the soil and ensuring that organic matter is provided to the soil at regular intervals. Acidifying fertilizers can also help in this situation, and appropriately using them will make your soil healthy and nutritious again.

Discolored foliage

This is one of the most common signs of a high pH lawn. Discolored foliage is due to the high alkaline content in the soil. The leaves turn pale at the start and then gradually fade from yellow to white. You need to correct the pH level of your soil to solve this symptom. To solve this issue with your plants, you need to use acidifying fertilizers and add organic matter to your soil to balance its pH levels.

What to do to prevent high pH in lawns?

To have a healthy lawn with lush green plantations or grass, you need to take care of some essential aspects. One of them is a balanced pH level. High pH level in lawns causes a number of problems to the vegetation.

To prevent high pH levels in lawns, here are some things you can do.

  • Mix organic matter into the soil and make sure to water it regularly. You can use peat or sphagnum peat moss to increase the soil’s acidity. Sphagnum peat moss is highly acidic and will help the soil reduce pH better than other organic additions.
  • Use elemental sulfur on the soil. Sulfur oxidizes in the soil slowly to form sulfuric acid ensuring that the soil lowers its pH value. Treating the soil with elemental sulfur will increase its acidity and help balance soil pH.
  • Add acid-based fertilizers to the soil. Ammonium sulfate fertilizers are a good option and can be used often.
  • Make sure you check the soil’s pH level regularly after some interval, and if you find the pH level is 5.5 to 7.5, stop using any acidifying methods mentioned above.

What are the signs of a low pH level on a lawn?

Low pH levels in a lawn can spoil the soil quality. Various kinds of acidic soil-loving weeds start growing on your lawn. Weeds like plantain, shepherd’s purse or crabgrass and moss are clear indicators of acidic soil or low pH level. If you regularly take care of your lawn, fertilize it, and still find your glass getting yellow and bare patches or thin areas, you should check the soil’s pH level.

These are some signs that your lawn might be suffering from a low pH level:

  • Yellow spots on the lawn.
  • The grass is turning yellowish.
  • Stunted grass growth.
  • Weeds and moss are actively growing.

Effects of low pH level on lawns

Lawns having low pH levels do not support the growth of neutral or alkaline plants, and various types of weeds and moss grow, making the lawn untidy. Soil starts losing its quality; the grass starts getting yellow and trees like oak and pine grow better. Fungal diseases like leaf blight thrive and affect the plants on the lawn.

What test should I perform to determine the pH level of a lawn?

There are many ways of testing the pH level of a lawn, but the easiest and the most effective is soil pH test strips. The process is not complicated, and we will guide you on How to take a pH Level Test for Lawn. Follow these steps to determine your lawn’s pH level:-

  1. Dig soil samples from various places on the lawn. Digging 4 to 6 inches below the soil will be optimal.
  2. Take the samples and place them in different glass bowls. Remove all the stones and other debris.
  3. Add distilled water to the glass bowls. Make sure you add equal amounts of distilled water and soil.
  4. Stir the soil very nicely and let that solution rest for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Separate the water and the solids with the help of a coffee filter paper.
  6. Use the pH test strips and dip them into the liquid. Observe the change in color of the strips in different glass bowls. The color indicator information will be described in the pH strips box.
  7. Check the most common color, and you will get to know if the soil is acidic or alkaline.

Soil pH level testing

What can I do to correct the pH level of a lawn?

Maintaining the pH level of a lawn is not that complex. You need to know what to do and when to do it. The optimal level of pH for soil is 5.5 to 7.5. Anything below and above this isn’t healthy for your lawn.

Testing the soil from time to time and observing the grass and plantation gives you information about the condition of the soil. Also, you will get to know what has to be done. If you find the pH level is higher, use acidic fertilizers and add sulfur to the soil. If the pH is low, try adding lime to your soil and removing weeds and mosses.

Tips for maintaining a balanced pH level of a lawn:

  • Check the pH level of your soil at regular intervals.
  • Add sulfur when the soil is more alkaline.
  • Add lime when the soil is more acidic.
  • Observe any changes in the color of the plants and grass and take action within time.

If followed and used accordingly, all the above points can keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. You can grow plants and make sure they do not go through any issues related to soil pH levels.

 Lawn care is all in the details, and we take care of every single one to give you the lawn of your dreams. Contact us today!