Lawn soil Ph measurement

Asked September 21, 2019, 3:56 PM EDT

I recently had a Ph test of my lawn soil performed at American Plant in Bethesda. I can't attest to the accuracy of their testing method but the results of their test determined a Ph measurement of 5. (I recently had the lawn aerated and the soil sample was a collection of soil cores from different sections of the lawn). I would like to know how many pounds of lime product, per 1000 sq. ft., should be added to my lawn to reach the optimal Ph level necessary to sustain a lawn of fescue grass. I have also been experiencing a lot of moss growth over the last couple of years. This fall I aerated and added 60 lb per sq.ft. of gypsum to try to better the condition of the clay soil. (The soil sample I provided for the Ph test was gathered before I added the gypsum.)

Montgomery County Maryland lime soil test lawn

1 Response

We recommend that you submit soil samples to a reliable soil testing lab. Results will give pH, liming, and nutrient deficiencies. Based on pH the lab will send you liming recommendations and how much to apply per 1000 sq ft. Here is our website on soil testing including a video and a chart of regional soil testing labs. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing
https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/Soil_testing_p...

Here is some information on moss. There may be several reasons you have moss in your lawn which include poor soils, shade, poor lawn care practices, acidic soils, etc. These conditions are unfavorable for grass so the grass thins out and the moss moves in.

You can eliminate the moss by raking and disposing of. However, if you want to get rid of it you need to correct the conditions that favor its growth. See above.
Begin by testing your soil for pH and nutrient deficiencies.
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing

Options include planting grass, alternative groundcovers, and some actually cultivate the moss. There is nothing wrong with leaving the moss as it is if you want. It makes a suitable and low-maintenance ground cover. Here is our page on moss including control and a link from Va Tech if you want to grow moss. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/moss-your-landscape

Marian