Will Grass Grow on Top of Crushed Limestone?

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Will Grass Grow on Top of Crushed Limestone?
It's important to avoid using more than the recommended rate of crushed limestone, to prevent making soil too alkaline. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Grass will grow on top of crushed limestone as long as this soil amendment has been thoroughly worked into the soil. Proper limestone application is imperative for healthy grass growth, because turf cannot absorb the nutrients in soil that's outside of its preferred pH range. You should amend your soil with limestone, before installing your grass, if the existing pH is under 6.0. Performing a soil pH test will help you figure out how much limestone to use.

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Soil pH

Grass prefers to grow in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, according to the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program. When grass is sodded or planted outside of its preferred soil pH range, roots cannot absorb the proper amount of nutrients for establishment or growth. Limestone is used to make the soil more alkaline to favour grass growth. For example, soil with a pH of 5.6 to 6.0 should be amended with 22.7 Kilogram of limestone per 1,000 square feet, according to Cornell University. Applying the right amount of limestone, though, isn't enough for healthy grass growth; you must properly distribute and work lime into the soil.

How to Apply

Amend your soil when the ground isn't frozen, or right before you plant your grass. Cool-season grass is typically planted in early spring or fall, while warm-season grass is planted in spring. Pour the proper amount of crushed limestone into a drop spreader. Push the drop spreader slowly across the lawn to achieve even coverage. Work the crushed limestone into the first 6 inches of topsoil, then water the soil.

Seeding or Sodding

You can seed or sod your lawn, depending on how much money you want to spend, how much work you want to put into establishing a lawn, and the time you have before the winter months. Grass seed is less costly than sod, but takes weeks instead of hours to establish. Sod is the most-expensive option but can establish quickly, which is crucial before the arrival of cold weather. Seeds and sod will grow on top of the crushed limestone in the soil. As the limestone decomposes, the soil pH becomes more alkaline, which benefits grass growth.

Maintenance

You need to conduct a soil pH test at least 3 months after amending the soil; limestone takes 3 to 6 months to alter the pH. Gardeners who have acidic soil that needs several applications of limestone should avoid using more than 22.7 Kilogram of limestone at one time, especially on grass. For instance, lawns with a soil pH of 4.9 or below should receive 22.7 Kilogram of limestone 4 times throughout the year, according to Cornell University. Excessive amounts of limestone spread over grass raises the risk of the grass burning.

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