Can I lime now?

I've been reading up on lime and one web site says to put lime down in fall and spring. I'm in the Atlanta area with a soil ph of 5.5. My yard is beautiful with expensive fescue sod that is 1.5 years old. Can I put down lime now (in July)?
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John
I would take any trees you have into consideration. E.g., if you have a pin oak and the turf is part of the root zone of the oak, you would greatly effect the absorbing process of your oak by liming.
So my first question is what trees do you have.
2. Are the trees properly mulched?
3. Do you desire a reply keeping your trees in mind? I.e., if you have trees.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.

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I looked at your web site. What is the radius of the mulching area. My trees are mulched, but I don't know if they are "correctly" mulched.
For the sodded area, I have 2 trees that are mulched. In my back yard (non sodded), I have about a dozen trees. Should I mulch them as well?
You say it could effect the absorbing process of the trees. In what way would it effect them?
Thanks!
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OK, you could mulch you whole yard if you like. But really, you could mulch to the drip line. Beware that small amounts of mulch properly applied can make a big difference. In Hawaii they mulch to the drip lines because they have to recycle all that material because they have no room to establish a land fill. I start my applying about 4' wide circle around the tree. Again for more specific suggestions go here -
Mulching - http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html and http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/M/ Look up "Mulch"

Keep mulch back at least 6" from the base of the tree or trunk flair. 3-4" thick and flat.

I would. But do not dig out the turf because the turf roots grow deeper than the absorbing non-woody roots of the trees. If we dig out the turf roots we remove the tree absorbing roots. Just cut the turf low and place mulch on top.

Example is pin oaks. They require acidic soil. By raising the pH we tie up certain elements such as iron. I did some soil research in old growth forest and found that eastern hemlocks like a pH of 4.5. Depending on your tree species the pH requirement will vary. I would hate to see your turf to well and the trees die. I would think if you gave your trees a mulched area it would help.
I would suggest something like this: http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/mul2.html
I do not have all the answers, however if there is anything I can do to help you, I will.
I would then keep the lime application back from the mulch.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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Thanks for the awesome assistance. My mulched trees are not correctly mulched. I'm gonna fix tomorrow and mulch every tree in the back yard.
:)
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Yes. Use granular dolomite lime or pelletized calcium carbonate, not hydrated or burned lime. It's best to apply lime to lawns soon after thatching and plug aeration.
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In the past year and a half, I've aerated twice. The grass in the backyard has really started responding. Should I aerate my sodded area? Aerating is what I'm planning on doing this fall.
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If the sod looks really good, I'd wait until it's nice and cool outside for everything.
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I have never aerated because my soil is not compacted. If your lawn is used for sports, bicycles, games, it may benefit from aeration. You may be better off spreading organic material (compost, old manure, leaf mold, etc) to encourage earthworms which will aerate for you.
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wrote:

which I personally think is a very good idea. Compost etc (but not too thickly) on the grass, use a organic fertiliser, mulch the clippings back into the soil. If you do that however cut the grass higher. Worms will leave earth mounds that if you cut too low will mush the grass. People with low cut fanatically manicured lawns will not spread anything to encourage worms. They will rely on artificial fertilisers & chemicals sprays.
I had a debate recently with one grass outfit who wanted to sell me some synthetic fertiliser. I wanted some poop based stuff help with humus and worms. They argued I didn't want worms as it would cause mounds. These people almost scalp their lawn, couldn't understand that I cut mine higher. If you want worms in the lawn cut higher & avoid worms mounds & all will be fine.
rob
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I guess you don't want to respond with respect to any trees that might be involved in your alteration of soil chemistry.
Most tree problems are trouble in the rhizosphere. For those interested in protecting trees here's the article. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/RHIZO.html
and
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/CHEM.html
Be careful with these articles because you might learn something.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.

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Yes! I think it will improve your lawn. Test again in 6 months and repeat application if pH is below 6.5. You may find your lawn pH can differ in places. There is some controversy about applying lime and fertilizer at the same time. The pellitized lime is easier to apply than the ag lime.
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