1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Lime then fertilizer?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by titan, May 5, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I just picked up a few bags of pelletized lime and nitrogen based grass fertilizer. Can i apply both at the same time?
    What works best for a green - chemical - free lawn?Should I apply lime then wait a few days before applying the fertilizer?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    It really all depends. The best way to judge that would be to get a pH test done on the soil to know where you are before you put the lime down. I believe the steps would be to adjust the pH first, and then add the fert. I don't think it would be good to drop one down on top of the other, but a lot of that depends on your location and soil conditions.. A high N should help green up the lawn, but you need to make sure it will be able to get where it needs to go.
  3. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    you can do both at the same time. Harley is correct in that the only was to get the pH right is to have it tested, then calculate the amount of lime you need to raise the pH. In choosing a fertilizer, you ought to consider more though than just the Nitrogen....theres also phosphate and potash. Think "up, down, and all-around".....the first number, Nitrogen, will cause the grass to grow and green up, above the ground, but wont do alot for root structure. The phosphate encourages root development, which is important, especially in dry areas, and the potash helps the overall health of the grass (all-around). A good balanced fertilizer is best. Anyhow, Im sure theres guys here who know alot more abt this than I do, so I'll let them take it away.....
  4. restorer

    restorer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    831
    Loc:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Some garden centers can test your soil. In the US many state extension services will test real cheap, or free. I don't know what agency you have in Canada, but there should be some Agricultural agency. If you supplement without , you are just throwing chemicals that may or may not help. In some areas the soil conditions are universally consistent. Where I am it's alkaline, has a unique standard fertilizing formula for grass, you area may also. It's worth the test even if you have to use a commercial lab and pay a little more.

    BTW, I am familiar with lime as a soil supplement, but have always thought of it not being a topical. I have always thought it needed to be mixed with the soil. My part of the country produces a lot of lime for agri and industry. I have only seem it in a dry powder form, have I missed something? I don't have any lawn or garden fight now, so I have not kept up with the soil supplements.
  5. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    I only know a little about this from my landscaping days, but we used to apply the powdered lime directly to the top of the grass using a spreader. It would make it green up in now time, HOWEVER if you miss even the smallest strip down the lawn, it will be a different color in a few weeks. Don't ask how I know about that.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    I've been looking at soil test stuff in the past few days... According to the stuff that came with one of my soil test gizmo's they said AVOID applying lime at the same time as chemical or organic fertilizer. They also suggested adding lime before planting, either fall, winter, or early spring.

    Elsewhere in the folder -
    Avoid adding lime at the same time as sulfate of amonia, superphosphate, basic slag, or animal manures. Lime may be used in combination with sulfate of potash or muriate of potash.

    It is because of the natural drop in pH that there is such an emphasis on adding lime. While lime stimulates the availability of most plant foods, you will see from the pH and Plant Nutrient table that soils should not be automatically limed because large amounts of plant food become increasingly "locked up" over pH 7.

    It sounds to me like if you haven't done any testing, you should do that first, then consider what to add based on those results.

    Gooserider
  8. NewtownPA

    NewtownPA New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    246
    Loc:
    Newtown, PA
    Here is the nutrient availibility chart.

    From what I know (I belong to a lawn care forum as well) the best time to apply lime is the fall, after your last mowing. You should also apply "winterizer" at that time (contains potassium and slow-release nitrogen).

    Three important steps for a nice lawn:

    1. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the very early spring (Around mid-March for me) to control Crabgrass (eg. Scotts Turfbuilder with HALTS). It's too late to do that now.
    2. Mow your grass HIGH. Too many people make the mistake of mowing too low. For Kentucky Bluegrass shoot for 2.5 - 3.5 inches high. Also keep your blades SHARP - as in kitchen-knife SHARP!
    3. Apply grub control two weeks after Japaneese beetles hatch. This will ensure that the mating beetles' eggs are killed. Japaneese beetles are a destroyer of lawns and they are easiest to kill when in the egg/larva stage. GrubEx is a very good brand.

    Attached Files:

  9. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,327
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    When we first bought our house I fertilized, watered, aerated, thatched, and reseeded as needed. But when the typical drought hit in july/august all I had to show was a dormant lawn and a high water bill. Now I find mowing the lawn to be a boring chore, and I don't wish to encourage my lawn to grow any faster than it already does.
  10. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    I have never understood the logic of putting junk on a lawn in order to make it grow - just so that you have to MOW it more often! IMHO one of the best colors to see in a lawn is yellow - as in dandelions which make my bees happy, next best is brown, cause that means it isn't growing much so I won't have to mow for a while. I don't water, except when it rains... I don't put chemicals on the grass except that this spring I was sprinkling my wood ash on it to get rid of it - so far that hasn't visibly made it grow, so I may do it again next year...

    OTOH, if one is doing a garden patch, there might be a reason to use fertilizer on that - My bee supply lady raises llama's and I occasionally go down to her place and pick up a load of "llamadoo" for the garden patch - works great, low odor, high fertilizer value... It's also one of the few times where one appreciates getting a load of chit from a business person :lol:

    Gooserider
  11. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    The less it grows, the happier I'll be.I just want it to be uniformly green.....maybe I oughta just let the moss take over,that should be low maintenance anyway.
  12. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Some folks report good success with clover seed - it doesn't grow that tall and it's green....

    Gooserider
  13. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,327
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    Clover is taking over swaths of my lawn, but I didn't plant it. It's true that those areas don't need a lot of mowing. Other non-grass plants are taking over other sections. But my motto is. if it's greenish and grows in the designated "lawn" area, I mow it and call it the lawn. :coolsmirk:
  14. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    285
    Apply the peletized lime at the beginning of March, in MASS. You can use a rotary spreaded for this is you're using the pelletized lime. Much easier than using a drop spreader and non-pelletized lime.

    Fetilize around mid April, when the forsythia start to bloom (that yellow bush you notice first). I use either Scotts Super Turfbuilderw/Halts (again the forsythia is your clue when using a pre-emergence), Super Turfbuilder or SUper Turfbuilder w/2on. The iron did a nice job this year.

    Forsythia pic: http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&resnum=0&q=forsythia&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi

    I might give organics a shot next year. The MNLA Turf-O-Ganic seems good and more reasonably priced than others.

    Weed-B-Gone for spot treatments of weeds. Be careful, mix to strong and you'll burn your lawn out!

    Grub control in mid June. I use Bayer Advanced because it has Merit. Grubex didn't have any Merit for while. It may have it now.

    I don't fertilize again until November w/the Scotts winterizer.

    Re mowing, I bag my clippings in the spring. I may give mulching the grass a shot in the dry summer this year. I mulched my leaves last year with great results. Get a set of Gator Blades. I buy mine here: http://www.jackssmallengines.com/gator.cfm

    They have something now at home depot/lowes called the Viper blade. It's a gator blade knock off. Haven't used but did look at it in the store. Looks poorly made and a one size fits all. The gators work great, are very inexpensive (like $12-$14) and are made specifically for most models of tractors and mowers. Call up jacks and they'll help you decide which one you need. PLEASE GIVE THEM A SHOT. I waited three long years and tried a variety of gadgets to deal with the leaves. I am very picky! These things work great on leaves!

    Re clover, I've heard all good lawns are at least 25% clover. So, no weed-b-gone to the clover.
  15. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    A couple years back,A guy @ work was looking to unload his deceased father's goat...I tried to talk my wife into letting the free goat look after our lawn care.As you may have guessed, I'm still using my mower;why do women have to look a "gift-goat" in the mouth? :long:
  16. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    285
    Geez, I'm sure glad I wrote all that up for you. Why ask the question about lime, fertilizer or lawns if you don't care.
    Michael Golden likes this.
  17. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Relax Mrfrog-that was a passing joke from my previous homestead.I had 5 partiallywooded acres of pasture.Now that my wife moved me into suburbia I'm supposed to keep my Kentucky blue as blue as the neighbors'.In the end I like a tidy,well-kept yard, BUT it's still just a lawn!!!
  18. NewtownPA

    NewtownPA New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    246
    Loc:
    Newtown, PA
    "Just a lawn"! ;) :) Ha!

    Hey, some of us are as proud of our "just a lawn" as we are proud of our "just a woodpile"! :)


    I allow myslef to ENJOY doing lawn care as a hobby since then I have something to look forward to once I am done with my wood stove for the season. I'm learning to enjoy each season because it brings something different and fun to my life. :)



    senorFrog,

    You've got some good advice there. This spring I bought the new Toro Personal Pace Recycler mower (awesome mower!) and I specially ordered GATOR blades (from the same place you got them from!)! Two of them in fact. Those blades are awesome once they are sharpened! I never need to bag my grass (and it's better to mulch your grass anyway).
  19. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Got a good scrounge today, though it doesn't exactly count for the wood scrounge types... Went over to my bee supplier's house, she also raises llammas, and I was able to fill 12 recycled 50lb llamma chow bags with "recycled llamma chow" - one of the few times a business that you trade with gives you a bunch of chit and you say thanks :lol:

    I figure that 10 bags or so ought to do wonders for my approximately 10 x 40 berry and garden patch to be. I'm also hitting it with about 15 gallons of wood ash, so I ought to have good fertile soil when all is done. (I will probably offer the other two bags to my neighbors in exchange for their letting me borrow their roto-tiller.

    I figure on keeping the llammadoo off the grass though, as it is already excessively green in spots. However I am VERY happy with this years dandelion crop - the lawn is a wonderful shade of yellow and the bees are really happy with it.... Nice thing about dandelions is that they don't take a whole lot of mowing, just wait until they mostly get seed heads, then run over them to get the seeds airborn and spread around the neighboor hood... I love the spirit of community sharing! :coolgrin:

    Gooserider
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Sounds like you're due to make some dandelion wine Goose. Maybe come out with the first dandelion mead!
  21. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    The idea is tempting, BG, but I don't do it for a couple of reasons...

    1. It is a huge amount of work - the flowers take a fairly heavy amount of processing, considering that it must be done one flower at a time. (You have to remove the green "cup" and the stem from each blossom or the result will be bitter...) and it takes a lot of flowers.

    2. The bees need them - If I grab the flowers it takes them away from the bees, and the dandelion plays a major role this time of year, as it is one of the first really prolific high nectar / high pollen flowers. Dandelions are a bee favorite almost any time they're available, but it are particularly useful in the early part of the year.

    The hive population drops drastically over the course of the winter, coming into spring with basically just enough to start raising the next generation. As the weather starts to warm, the queen starts laying eggs again (she shuts down for most of the winter), and they begin raising young, but it is a slow process at first as they can't care for more than a certain amount of brood with the surviving workers (who need to keep the brood warm among other things) As the weather warms, and the population starts to grow, the queen shifts into "high gear" and will start laying over a thousand eggs a day, all of which require feeding, care, etc. The dandelion is a critical nectar source at this time, and taking it away would slow the hive population growth, which would impact my honey production later in the season - I want the population to get into the 30-50 thousand bee range as quickly as possible, and stay that way most of the summer, because that will give me maximum honey production.

    Now if I found a big field of somebody elses dandelions and was invited to scrounge, it might be a different matter.... :)

    Gooserider
  22. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,572
    Loc:
    Newfields NH
    You can certainly apply lime and fertilizer at the same time. Lime is a relatively slow acting mineral, it's influence on pH will take weeks to exert itself. And it would be a good idea to get a simple pH analysis done on your lawn though in your area your soil will almost certainly need liming to raise the pH towards more optimum turf conditions. Chemical fertilizers are salts, they will dissolve in water, and are very fast acting. Because chemical fertilizers are salts, they can burn in larger quantities just like table salt or rock salt would. Apply at half the recommended rate back and forth one way and then the remainder back and forth at a 90% angle to the first application to avoid the dreaded "stripe" appearance. To go as chemical free as possible, consider using a mulching mower. Those grass clippings have a lot of nutrients in them so reuse them. A good mulcher cuts them into small enough peices that they are easily digested back into the soil. When you spring fertilize, most of the groth activity occurs where it is warmest, ie the grass blades and you get faster leaf growth (a lot of mowing), when you fall fertilize the ground is warmer than the air and you get stronger root growth which is the key to strong grass plants. Mowing frequently (groan) is the key to a healthy lawn with minimum chemical applications. You should try to never remove more than 40% of the grass blade at any one time to avoid shocking the plant. A healthy lawn will have far less weed invasion. Even so, you may have to use a chemical broad leaf weed control every 2nd or third year to keep things within reason. Insects (&%#@*!) may just plain be a fact of life. In New Hampshire, every year I have problems with sod web worm. I use one application of chemical insecticide around the end of June to minimize the damage. I have to research what I used last year but it was the lowest toxicity to earthworms that still provided good control. You may deal with chinch bug, Japanese beetle and/or June bug grubs, or not much at all. Use insecticides as seldom as you can get away with and pay attention to the correct rate of application and that they are effective aginst the pest you have. Too little or too much are equally bad, too little because you make a wasted application that doesn't give you control. Also pay atention to damage to fish or aquatic creatures due to runoff if you live near water sources and try to choose a material that is not toxic to fish. The last couple of years I have been using my mulching mower to mulch all my leaves back into the lawn in the fall. I can mulch about 4-5" of dry leaves into the lawn over the few weeks they are coming off the trees. It seems like a lot but by a month into the spring growing season they have been almost completely absorbed adding valuable organic matter and nutrients! You must mulch them though, not leave them whole where they would mat and suffocate your lawn. I do add fertilzer and extra lime in the spring to provide the nutrients necessary for the leaves to decompose. So, to summerize, use a mulching mower and mow frequently, use weed and insect control only when needed. In the early fall do your main fertilizer application (Mil-Organite, and Cock-aDoodle-Doo are good slow release non chemical fertizers for lawns, though I have nothing against chemical fertilizer). Mulch all your leave into you lawn and lime. In spring, a light fertilizer application a week or two into the growing season and lime again if necessary. Again, mow frequently. Water occasionally and deeply if very dry, though grass can tolerate some drought and bounce back okay. Just try to avoid the grass getting real crispy.
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,340
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    To clarify the lime bit.....?

    Our lawn needs lime - lots of it. We had it tested, put lime on at least twice and it still needs more - probably a lot more. We are using pelletized.

    So, the question is, can a relatively small application of pelletized lime be put down at virtually any time (by itself), or should one only do spring/fall?
  24. senorFrog

    senorFrog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    285
    Craig, I can't answer your question specifically. What I was told by a very knowledgable friend is that it's virtually impossible to over-lime here in New England. The soil is just so naturally acidic. He also told me that lime takes several months to work itself into the soil. I've found this to be true, you can see the pellets will take weeks to disolve and break up. Even with all the snow, sleet melting or rain we have around here. I put mine down very early in the spring. You could put it down in late fall too. Lime comes in small bags and you have to put in on heavy. I use about 25-30 bags per year. I use the pelletized too so I can put it down with a rotary spreader and it's nice five foot swath. :)

    I 've read very conflicting info on if you can put down lime and fertilizer at the same time. Not that it will do any harm. More like one will cancel the other out. I put it on separately.

    I'm not sure if lime will "burn" grass like fertilizer will if you put it down in the hot summer.

    PS - Why not put down a heavy application in the fall after leaf season. Then another in early spring?
    loadstarken likes this.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I suspect this will be heresy to some, but I keep looking for ways to reduce the amount of lawn. Creative landscaping provides much more visual interest than a slab of green. Good landcaping can provide food and habitat for many birds.

    A lawn really does little for the environment and can be replaced by much more interesting landscaping or other low-maintenance, low water ground covers. Lime is not a big deal, but chemical fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides are. The fact that lawns create such a large-scale market for pesticides and herbicides is frightening. That stuff can and does eventually accumulate and show up in ground waters. In some countries it's banned outright.

    But if you are going to pamper a lawn, getting the ph correct is the right place to start. AFAIK, there isn't a wrong time to apply lime.

    http://reallawnsense.com/blog/?page_id=65
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page