How to Maintain the Perfect pH Balance for Your Turf

Posted on: 28 August 2014

Is your turf dry, dead and brown? Maintaining a healthy, green turf can be quite an ordeal. Even if you mow regularly and keep your turf fertilised, you could have problems keeping your lawn healthy. Often, the problem is in the pH balance of the soil. This article will highlight how to properly monitor and correct the pH balance in your soil so you can grow greener natural turf.

Testing Your pH Balance

The first step in correcting your soil's pH balance is to test the soil. Get easy-to-use soil pH tests from your local nursery. Place the test strips in moist soil. The test strips will change color according to the pH levels. Test several different spots of your turf to get a comprehensive reading. The soil pH balance scale goes from 0-14, with 14 being the most alkaline and 0 being the most acidic. Natural turf prefers a neutral soil pH between 6.5 and 7.0.

Adjusting the pH with Sulfur and Limestone

Sulfur and limestone are usually used to correct soil pH balance. If your test results read below 6.5, your soil is too acidic. Adding limestone will raise the alkaline levels in your turf. If your test results are 7.0 or higher, your soil will be too alkaline for healthy grass. To make your turf slightly more acidic add sulfur or sulfur-enriched fertiliser. Both sulfur and limestone pellets or seeds can be applied to your lawn with a standard fertiliser or seed spreader.

The Long Term Balancing Act

In some cases, your soil pH will revert back to how it was before you added limestone or sulfur. You can simply reapply pellets to adjust the soil again. However, an easier way to fix the problem is to invest in limestone or sulfur-infused fertilisers. The fertiliser will show the specifications directly on the bag so you can calculate which fertiliser will be ideal for your turf. Weather and run off in the soil can greatly alter the pH balance of your soil. By repeatedly using the right fertiliser, you lawn will be able to withstand these fluctuations.

Maintaining your pH in the long term might require a little bit of care. If you are diligent in balancing your pH at the start of every spring, you will have healthy lawns all summer. The key to healthy a lawn is healthy soil. If you take care of what lies beneath, the lawn that grows above will be beautiful and healthy. For more tips on keeping your lawn healthy, talk to a turf specialist, such as Allwest Turfing.