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Deb Green

lowering soil pH in established lawn

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This is actually two questions!  The simple question is, is there a way to lower the soil pH of an established lawn?  My second question is, what is the chance that the soil pH is really the problem with a lawn that has been growing there a long time?  These questions came up when a friend wanted to use some of my soil sulphur to apply to his lawn before a rain.  I told him not to add soil sulphur to his lawn!  Would likely cause more harm than help.  

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Soil pH can be a problem for any plant, and even an established plant/planting might benefit if the pH is way off. Soil sulfur pellets scattered evenly and watered in well can make that change.

However, lawns usually do fine even on slightly alkaline soil.

Unless someone has a soil test that proves the area really is too acid (lower than 6.0) or too alkaline (over 7.8) for good lawn I'd tell them not to waste their money. If the lawns' not growing well and someone wants to do something without a soil test basis I'd say aerate and put down a slow release fertilizer. IT does a world of good and costs enough that people feel they are doign something, anyway. We can rent an aerator for the day for aboiut $100 (you can do a lot of lawn in a day so go in with friends). A client I worked with this week nabbed the lawn care crew that aerating at a neighbor's, and they did her lawn for $45. The slow release fertilizer, say 60 pounds of poultry manure or hollytone -- enough to supply the lawn for about 6 weeks -- might cost $60-70.

 

Janet

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Thanks. I'll pass this on. He did have a soil test. He didn't show it to me and couldn't remember anything other than it said suggested soil sulphur so I don't know how how low the pH was.

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