Hold up the vial and compare the color of the soil solution to the color-coded chart printed beside the test chamber. It should read between 6.0 and 7.5.
If the reading shows a pH lower than 6.0, your soil is too acidic and you'll need to add lime in Step 4. If it's above 7.5, the soil is too alkaline. For moderately alkaline soil add peat moss in Step 4; for very alkaline soil, use sulfur.
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to remove rocks and to disperse sand and compost
rents for $50 to $75 per day
Walk-behind broadcast spreader,
for applying lime and fertilizer; rents for $10 to $20 a day
Metal garden rake
for dispersing grass seed
Plastic leaf rake,
for working grass seed into the soil
to test the pH level of the soil. Do-it-yourself soil kits are sold at garden shops and hardware stores for less than $15, or for about $10 more you can contact your local extension service for a mail-in kit that takes about two weeks for results.
to mix with existing soil; about 3 cubic yards covers 1,000 square feet
to condition soil before seeding; you’ll need 3 cubic yards per 1,000 square feet
4. PULVERIZED LIME, peat moss, or sulfur
to correct the pH of soil; you’ll need lime if your soil is acidic, peat moss if it’s slightly alkaline, and sulfur if it’s very alkaline.
5. STARTER FERTILIZER
use a 12-25-12 mix; the numbers refer to the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium. You’ll need about 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
6. GRASS SEED
about 4 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet