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4 Signs of Acidic Soil (Low pH)

Posted by Brian Gerber on Apr 18, 2022 2:37:48 PM

Do you live in the Northeast region of the US? Have you noticed yellow spots in your lawn or patches of grass that seem limp? Stunted growth in your yard?

These could all be signs that your soil’s pH is either too acidic or too alkaline.  While both can be an issue, we are going to discuss high soil acidity.

Many lawn grasses thrive in a pH of 5.8-7 on the 1-14 scale.  In New England, our soil pH is generally slightly acidic. For this reason, New England lawn programs should include a Lime treatment. 


What are signs of acidic soil?
  • Stunted grass growth, wilting grass blades or yellow spots in lawn.  Acidic soil can not uptake the proper nutrients.  If your fertilizer program is having little impact, this could be why. 
  • Weed infestation - many weeds such as dandelions, horsetail, knotweed and sorrel thrive in acidic soil.
  • High Volume of Oak and Pine Trees or moss which also thrive in acidic soil. 
  • Sandy or clay soil. Certain types of soil are naturally more acidic. 

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Why is Acidic Soil bad for my lawn?

Acidic soil inhibits your lawn’s ability to take in nutrients. 14 of the 17 nutrients that are essential for plant growth are found in soil.

How to Correct Acidic Soil? 

Not only can Lime ‘sweeten’ your soil and make nutrients more available, it can improve the impact of a fertilization program and improve how well water is able to penetrate your lawn. 

Lime is made from limestone rock and naturally contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate which will increase soil alkalinity and allow already existing nutrients to be more available to plants. 

Lime conditions your soil and increases calcium levels. Calcium is essential to cell wall division which contributes to every aspect of plant growth.

What can cause my lawn to become acidic?

  • Environment - pollution, climate, location, leaves or compost can all contribute to changing your soil pH
  • Heavy rainfall or overwatering can leech away calcium, magnesium or sodium. 
  • Fertilizers that are too nitrogen heavy. 

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Since 2007, Green Meadow Lawn Care has provided homeowners throughout the greater Tolland, Connecticut area with premium fertilization programs, tick control, mosquito management, seeding & aeration and tree & shrub care.

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