The Importance of Testing Your Soil pH Levels in Tennessee

Posted on January 25, 2021

In Knoxville, we don’t usually think too much about lawn care in the winter because everything stops growing and we start to spend more time inside. However, Knoxville has milder winters than the northern parts of the country. Because of this, we have more time to feed and nourish our lawns and help prepare it for spring.

Check the Soil Nutrientssoil testing by hand

The winter is a great time to assess your soil and determine what is lacking. Fertilizers contain three main nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Depending on the fertilizer, these NPK values will have different numbers next to them. To find out exactly what nutrients your soil is lacking you should perform a soil test.

A soil test will show you your soil’s pH levels. When pH levels are below 7.0 the soil is considered acidic. Acidic soils prevent basic nutrients like phosphorus and potassium from being absorbed by the roots. Fertilizing acidic soils is a waste because plants are unable to use the nutrients efficiently. An application of lime can bring down soil acidity and restore soil pH levels. 

When soil pH is above 7.0 they are considered alkaline. You can lower your soil’s pH or make it more acidic by using sphagnum peat, elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, iron sulfate, acidifying nitrogen, and organic mulches.

Keep Mowing But Cut Shorter

If your Knoxville lawn consists of cool-season grass then it does grow in the fall and spring. If your yard consists of warm-season grass then your lawn is currently preparing for its winter dormancy. The grass will continue to grow until the first hard frost. Long grass can result in it matting and leave your lawn vulnerable to diseases. Before your final mow of the season, lower your mower blade one inch. This lower cut will expose the crowns of the blades to more sunlight and allows it to store energy during the winter.

Get Leaves Off Your Grass

A lot of us aren’t too motivated to get out and rake all those leaves when they cover our yard. But procrastination could severely damage your lawn. Leaves and debris create a barrier over your grass that blocks out light and traps moisture. This can create ideal conditions for snow mold or other problems.

It’s Not Too Late to Aerate Your Yardaeration

In Knoxville, you can still get your yard aerated if it has not frosted yet. Aeration can alleviate symptoms associated with soil compaction and thatch buildup. The process works by pulling up thousands of plugs from your yard to open up your roots and expose them to air, water, and nutrients. 

Keep Watering

As long as our grass remains frost and ice-free it still needs to be watered. In the winter you can reduce your watering schedule to at least once per week. This will ensure your grass is getting enough water to store up for winter.

Get Help From the Pros at Emerald Island Lawn Service

It’s not too late to sign up for lawn care services for next year. All of the chores that need to be done may seem overwhelming. Luckily, the lawn care pros at Emerald Island can take some of the work off of your shoulders. Our tree and shrub program will ensure that your ornamentals stay strong and healthy through the winter.

Is your grass looking tired and weak? Ask about our aeration and overseeding programs as well.

Tired of mosquitoes keeping you from enjoying your outdoor spaces in the summer? Call and ask about our mosquito prevention program.

Give us a call at 865-588-4497 for more information. You can also request an easy quote here.

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