pH: What's Your Soil Saying?
Soil pH and Your Lawn
Maintaining the pH level of your soil is crucial for your lawn to reach its full potential. You may need to adjust the pH level of your soil if your lawn isn't responding to fertilizer applications or if it suffers from:
Mossing • Matting • Thinning Turf • Disease
Soil pH affects how nutrients are absorbed. If your soil is too acidic, minerals can reach a toxic level, which interferes with plant growth. If your soil is too alkaline, it can't dissolve nutrients and is unable to feed your lawn properly.
Testing Soil pH
The best time to test soil pH is in early spring or fall. If you've recently applied fertilizer or other amendments to your soil, wait about a month before testing so the soil can absorb the necessary nutrients. And, if you're planning to reseed or plant anew, you can test your soil 4–8 weeks beforehand.

Test your soil only when it's soft and dry, and be sure to remove surface debris before taking a sample. Dig a small hole 6–8 inches deep with a stainless steel trowel (avoid galvanized, bronze, brass or rubber tools), and then scrape small strips of soil from the side of the hole.
pH Test Kit
The soil test kit comes with everything you need to test 10 different soil samples. You may want to test multiple samples throughout your yard at different depths. By following the directions in the packet, sampling and testing your soil will be quick and easy.
Adjusting Soil pH
Acidic Soil
If your soil tests strongly acidic, you can apply lime. Pulverized lime, finely ground limestone, can be applied with a drop spreader. Make sure the surface of your soil is moist when spreading lime.
Alkaline Soil
If your soil is alkaline, you can use a spreader to apply gypsum, making sure to water the grass after each application. You can also reduce the alkalinity of your soil with nitrogen, sphagnum peat, and organic compost or fertilizers.
An Easier Approach
One of the easiest ways to balance the pH of your lawn is with the Menards® Premium Lawn Fertilizers. Each application is rich in nitrogen and will feed your lawn for 2 months, helping balance the pH while providing your grass with nutrients.
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