Here at First Class Lawn Care LLC when we are called to make an analysis on an existing lawn, we always take a free quick soil ph test. It only takes a few minutes and is usually very effective in determining which steps we need to take first. When testing your soil’s ph, it should be in the 6.0 to 7.0 range, with 6.5 the optimum range. If the soil ph is 5.5 for example, the nitrogen that is already in the soil, cannot be available to the grass until the ph is in the range indicated. At that point, we would add enough lime to get the soil in the right range. If your soil is above the 7.0 range than we would add sulfur to bring it down to the right range of 6.5.
We also can send your soil to have it analyzed at a lab, which would show most all of your fertilization needs for that particular growing season. When your lawn has been treated with with chemical fertilizers, the soil becomes sterile over time. Most lawns that have been treated chemically, will need that “fix” all the time to even maintain a decent looking lawn. Soils in the Harrisonburg, Va. area, for the most part, are usually in the 5.5 to 7.2 range, so with a simple ph test they can be corrected usually at a reasonable cost. But in order for you to have a nice looking lawn and get all your soil microbial activity in order, the soil must be in balance.