Calcium is a fundamental element to the growth of healthy, green grass. It’s a macronutrient that plays a huge role in cell structure, tissue formation, and growth processes. However, an overabundance of calcium can impair lawn health, and excessive amounts may cause concern.
Maintaining a healthy lawn begins with understanding how calcium works in your soil. This article will cover the role of calcium and explain how to lower calcium on lawn or maintain its appropriate amounts for your particular application.
- Role of Calcium in Lawns
- Symptoms of Too Much Calcium on Lawn
- 1. Slow Growth
- 2. Yellow, Brown Lawns
- 3. Gumming of Irrigation Systems and Mower Blades
- 4. Reduced Nutrient Absorption
- How to Lower Calcium on Lawn
- 1. Planting leafy root crops which have high oxalate levels
- 2. Adding Organic Matter
- 3. Water More Often
- 4. Compost
- How to Lower Calcium on Lawn (FAQs)
- Can you have too much calcium on lawn?
- What causes excessive calcium in soil?
- Does calcium change soil pH?
- What happens if a plant has too much calcium?
Role of Calcium in Lawns
Calcium plays a critical role in the growth of turfgrasses, helping to form cell walls, fibrous roots, and chlorophyll. It also contributes to proper pH levels in your soil by metabolizing other minerals that can affect acidity or alkalinity.
Also, calcium is vital in stimulating enzyme activity within plants. Enzymes are vital for photosynthesis and take place during cell division, helping to speed up cellular production. With adequate amounts of calcium within your soil, grass can grow stronger and leafier, allowing it to survive the stress of outdoor conditions.
Although calcium is crucial to developing healthy grass, an excess of this mineral can pose health hazards. Essentially, too much calcium in your lawn can inhibit the proper growth, development, and decomposition of turfgrass.
To put it simply, excess calcium creates a buildup of salts in the soil. Although not harmful to humans, the salt buildup can be detrimental to turf grass, causing damage to grass leaves and blades.
Symptoms of Too Much Calcium on Lawn
1. Slow Growth
Calcium is essential for healthy lawn growth. However, too much calcium can inhibit your grass from reaching its full potential, slowing down its development cycle. This leaves your lawn susceptible to disease and drought conditions.
2. Yellow, Brown Lawns
High calcium levels can cause yellowing of the green grass blades and leave brown patches where the grass has died off.
These conditions may also be caused by poor fertilization or bad watering practices. Either way, the culprit could be your soil’s calcium levels.
3. Gumming of Irrigation Systems and Mower Blades
When there is too much calcium in your lawn, the compounds can have a sticky effect on equipment such as sprinklers or mowers. Such gumming causes inefficient water distribution and clumping of blades, which are often hard to clean.
4. Reduced Nutrient Absorption
Calcium-rich Lawns can prevent the absorption of zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and nitrogen in their foliage. This deficiency causes your grass to be pale and thin, making it easy for weeds to thrive.
Also, lacking these nutrients makes your lawn more susceptible to disease, pest infestation, and drought.
How to Lower Calcium on Lawn
Before you start lowering calcium levels, you’ll need to conduct a soil test to get accurate readings. You can purchase testing kits at your local garden center, or if you already have a kit, you can send in a sample using the instructions provided. Below are some ways you can employ to reduce calcium in lawns.
1. Planting leafy root crops which have high oxalate levels
The tops of root crops like spinach and Swiss chard contain oxalic acid, which acts as a chelating agent in the soil, helping to remove excess calcium.
It does so by forming new compounds called oxalates, which bind to the existing calcium compounds, making them easier for your plant to absorb.
2. Adding Organic Matter
Organic matter like peat, compost, or rotted leaves can help reduce calcium levels. How? Organic matter is low in calcium and high in acidity.
As it breaks down over a few months, it will bring your soil down to more manageable pH levels. Be sure to incorporate organic matter into your lawn at a rate of 2-4 inches every year for maximum results.
3. Water More Often
Changing your watering schedule can help bring down unwanted levels of salts and calcium. If you water less frequently, the salt in the soil will begin to break down at a faster rate, bringing it into equilibrium with other compounds within the surface layer. To lower pH levels, water your lawn every day for 30 minutes.
However, if high amounts of calcium are causing your lawn’s yellowing or stunted growth, try watering once a week for 30-60 minutes. This will allow time for new foliage to develop while allowing enough time between waterings for your lawn’s deeper root systems to suck up any excess minerals that build up over time.
As an alternative to relying on organic matter alone, another option is compost. Composted plant-based material comes from any source–leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, dried animal manures–and doesn’t require as much space or time as ordinary composting methods.
It’s beneficial for quickly transforming soil conditions that would otherwise take months to improve! Compost contains microbes and other beneficial organisms that speed up the degradation rate of organic matter. It’s also rich in slow-release nutrients, both chemical and biological, that are essential to crop growth.
How to Lower Calcium on Lawn (FAQs)
Can you have too much calcium on lawn?
It is possible to have too much calcium, but in most cases, it’s just a matter of knowing how much is too much. Often, it goes hand in hand with high pH levels when it combines with carbon compounds to form calcium carbonate.
What causes excessive calcium in soil?
There are three primary causes of excess calcium in the soil. First, your soil may be naturally high in lime. Second, it may have been fertilized with a high-calcium product, like bone meal or dolomite.
Finally, it may be due to your lawn being too close to a body of water, which can leech calcium into the lawn.
Does calcium change soil pH?
Calcium as a compound does not affect the acidity or alkalinity of soil; however, it is an active ion in calcium carbonate, which does change pH levels.
What happens if a plant has too much calcium?
Excess calcium can cause several problems in plants. It may lead to stunted plant growth and yellow leaves. In extreme cases, it can cause root and stem rot.
How severe the problem depends on the calcium concentration in your soil and how quickly the pH level changes.
In this article, we’ve discussed how to lower calcium on lawns. With a few simple modifications, you should be able to get your lawn back into good shape.
Be sure to check with a professional before beginning any treatment, and take the time to learn about new techniques for growing a healthy lawn! Also, remember to take a soil test to determine if you actually need to lower calcium levels.