Calculating Lime, Fertilizer and Sod in your yard (more)

In this edition:
  • how do I calculate how much lime to put in my yard?

  • how do I calculate how much sod or seed I would need in my yard?

  • important note at bottom for our maintenance clients

Middle Tennessee typically has a high acid ph and lots of clay. Lime pellets break down both the clay and acid content to a more manageable and broader plant loving level. Yes, there are plants, like azaleas, that like acid, but not too much acid nor do they like being planted in dense clay. Lime helps resolve those issues. But how much lime do you put down? Well, that would vary based upon the soil acidity in your lawn. February is a good time to take a soil sample to see how much acid your yard contains, but in general, we would use about 40 lbs of pelletized lime per 1,000 sq. ft about 2 to 3 times per year.

In plainer terms, take the square footage of your lawn areas (see diagram). Let's say you have 2,000 square feet of lawn, you would use 80 lbs. of pelletized lime. 3,000 sq. ft you would use 120 lbs. of lime (adding 40lbs for each 1,000 sq ft).

Being able to calculate your square footage is important in putting proper amounts of seed, fertilizers, etc., in your lawn. If this is rocket science to you or you don't have the tools or time to do it --- see the note below this next section.

Here's how to determine square footage (this can also be calculated to find out how much sod would cost, too -- call us for details):

  1. On a piece of paper, sketch out your yard-- don't sweat over it, just a simple drawing is fine.

  2. Section off your lawn into squares and number them.

  3. Take section one and measure it using a pedometer, long measuring tape or "guestimating" by walking it off. Measure both ways to find the length and width.

  4. Repeat this step for each square. Do not include garden beds, sidewalks, patios, driveways, etc.

  5. Multiply the length x width of each square to find the square feet for that area.

  6. Now add all of the square feet (length x width) from each square together to get your square yardage (a typical E. Nashville house may have 900 to 1200 sq. ft in the front yard alone).

NOTE: While not being 100% accurate is not a problem in calculating how much lime or fertilizer you should be using, being decently close is important. If you're not sure if you've measured correctly, call us or another professional to come and measure for you. We have professional tools to measure you yard and ArtHouse Gardens will do this at no cost. Also, please note the recommendations on the bag of lime (pelletized), fertilizer, seed, etc. These will differ from product to product so use their suggestions. You will need to know your square footage to determine amount of product to use and how many bags to buy.

Want a free quote for sod? Take these same #'s that you've calculated and email us or call us at 615.243.5499. Otherwise, contact us and we'll come out and take the measurements for you and assess your yard. We give advice for free. Last year we gave advice to an E. Nashville neighbor family and they won a neighborhood association award for their lawn.

MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS: This year we will be adding small sections of sod in trouble spots in your lawns at no extra cost . Also, you do not need to put lime down--- we do this for you automatically.


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Nick Glafter said...

Thanks for the excellent contribution to the discussion. I love this image it's beautiful I set it as my background!

Best Sod