Soil Test & Lime

Soil testing is an effective way to tell us about the health of the soil. As a matter of fact, it is recommended by the University of Maryland to be taken every three years as a regular part of your lawn maintenance.

These are the important pieces of data that we obtain from your soil test.

Soil pH

The term pH is used to express the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. It is measured on a 0-14 scale. A pH of 7.0 is neutral, while values below 7.0 are acid and values above 7.0 are alkaline. The pH is important because it affects the availability of nutrients in the soil that are essential for plant growth. The availability of most nutrients is best at a pH of 6.2-6.8. Most turfgrasses grow best in soils of pH 6.1 to 6.9.

Buffer pH

If the soil pH is below 7.0, the lab performs a second test. While soil pH measures active acidity or alkalinity, the buffer pH measures total soil acidity, and determines the actual lime requirement. The lower the buffer pH, the more the soil will resist a change in pH. Therefore, more lime will be required to raise the pH to the desirable level. The acceptable buffer pH index range is 6.8-7.0.

Phosphorus and Potassium Levels

Phosphorus and Potassium are primary plant nutrients that are needed in relatively large amounts for good plant growth. These levels express the fraction of the nutrients that are readily available for the grass plants to use.


Lime is applied to raise a soil with a pH deficiency. MRW Lawns, Inc. applies lime at no more than 50 pounds per 1000 sq. ft. at one time. For example, if your lawn needs 75 pounds per 1000 sq. ft., we would do two applications. The first would be at 50 pounds per 1000 sq. ft. and also a second application at 25 pounds per 1000 sq. ft.


The annual nutrient recommendations for your lawn can be found at the bottom of the soil test report attached.

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