Can A Lawn Be Over Lime? (Landscaper Thoughts)

Lime is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy soil and grass growth, but can a lawn be over-limed? Our article on Can a Lawn Be Over-Limed? shares a landscaper’s thoughts on the impact of over-liming your lawn and how to avoid it.

For more insights on lawn nutrients, read our articles on Can a Lawn Have Too Much Lime? and Can a Lawn Have Too Much Nitrogen?. Our website offers a wealth of information on lawn care and maintenance, so dive in and explore.

Lawn Lime PH – Seeding – Fall Fertilizer
Lime can be used to adjust the pH level of acidic soil and promote healthy grass growth.
Conducting a soil test is the best way to determine if your lawn needs lime.
It’s important to follow recommended application rates when applying lime and avoid over-application.
Lime should be applied during periods of active grass growth, typically in the fall or spring.
Over-liming your lawn can have negative consequences such as nutrient deficiencies and stunted grass growth.

Can A Lawn Be Over Lime?

The first step in improving your lawn’s health is to determine whether or not you need more lime. You can do this by analyzing the pH levels of your soil, which will tell you if your soil needs more lime or not.

When a professional tells a homeowner that they need to apply more lime to their lawn, there are several different ways they can recommend doing so. 

The most common way is through granular applications, but they may also suggest liquid applications or even broadcasting materials across the surface of the lawn itself (sometimes called broadcast application). 

Each type has its own pros and cons and should be considered before making a decision about how best to add more calcium carbonate into your soil.

Applying too much fertilizer can harm your lawn and even cause it to burn. If you’re unsure how much fertilizer to use or how often to apply it, check out our gardening advice on burning your lawn with fertilizer for tips on proper application.

What Does It Mean To “Over Lime” A Lawn?

Over-liming is when you have too much calcium in your soil, which makes the soil alkaline. The pH of healthy soil ranges from 5 to 7; alkaline soils are above 7 on the pH scale and can be harmful to plants if not treated properly.

While over-liming is most commonly associated with cationic fertilizers like lime, it can also occur naturally through irrigation water or rainfall that has a high concentration of calcium compounds such as limestone and magnesium compounds such as dolomite (the two main types of base materials used for adding calcium to soils).

Over-liming symptoms include:

Brown leaves on many grasses including annual bluegrass (Poa annua), bentgrass (Agrostis spp.), bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), ryegrass and tall fescue species that turn brown at the tips or margins of their leaves resulting in a scorched appearance; under severe conditions entire plants may wither away completely. Lethargic growth due to poor nutrient uptake caused by elevated pH levels.

Stunted root development which leads to poor turf density and drought stress among other issues depending on what type of turf you’re growing.

Loss of overall vigor due to lack nutrients being made available after they’ve been washed away from where they need them most — near

How Do You Know If Your Lawn Is Over Limed?

A soil test will tell you whether or not your lawn needs more lime. If you have one, and it shows that your lawn needs more lime (and at least half of the recommendations on the bag), then yes! 

If you don’t have a soil test but think your lawn might need more lime because it’s browning out in places, for example you can try feeding it some granular fertilizer (grass-specific) first. 

This can help green things up a bit without having to spend money on a soil test.

Weeds can be a nuisance in any lawn, but using the wrong products to eliminate them can harm your grass. For advice on safely killing weeds without damaging your lawn, check out our landscape advice on how lawn can kill weeds for effective solutions.”

How Can You Tell If Your Lawn Needs More Lime?

You can tell if your lawn needs more lime by looking at the soil, leaves and roots. Soil test kits are available on-line or at garden centers. 

These tests will tell you exactly how much lime you need to add to your soil. You should take a soil sample every year so that you know what the pH level is in your yard and can adjust it as needed.

Is It Possible To Over-Lime Green Grass With Granular Lime?

Yes, but this is unlikely. Most of the time, a lawn needs more calcium and magnesium than it does potassium. When you add too much nitrogen and potassium, these nutrients can interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium. 

Too much nitrogen will also encourage weeds to grow in your lawn. Luckily, unless you have very sandy soil (in which case your soil pH is likely already high), most people won’t need to worry about over-liming their yards.

Is It Possible To Over-Lime Bermuda Grass With Granular Lime?

If you over-lime Bermuda grass, the grass will die. If you have any of the following symptoms in your lawn, it may be over limed:

  • The blades are brown and brittle
  • Dead patches or dead spots
  • No new growth or regrowth of existing leaves

If you notice any of these signs in your lawn, then it’s likely that you’ve over-limed. To fix this problem, all you have to do is apply more water to help leach out some of the excess lime and make sure that no further applications go on until everything looks normal again!

Is It Possible To Over-Lime St Augustine Grass With Granular Lime?

First things first: it is possible to over-lime St. Augustine grass, but you’re unlikely to experience this problem. If you do over-lime St. Augustine grass with granular lime, it will show symptoms of iron deficiency (such as chlorosis).

That said, most people don’t need more than one application of granular lime per year for their St. Augustine lawns and most recommend not applying any more than 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet per year. 

Over-liming can cause iron deficiency in St Augustine grass because it inhibits the plant’s ability to take up enough iron from the soil through its roots (a process called “iron chelation”).

Is It Possible To Over-Lime Zoysia Grass With Granular Lime?

You can over lime zoysia grass, but it’s not an easy thing to do. Zoysia is one of the most sensitive types of grass when it comes to lime. 

If your lawn is already on the edge, you can easily over lime your zoysia lawn by applying too much granular calcium and magnesium sulfate (dolomitic) fertilizer.

You need to keep this in mind:

Zoysiagrass requires regular applications of dolomitic limestone (calcium and magnesium) every year to maintain good health. 

If you don’t apply any dolomite at all for two or more years, your zoysiagrass will begin to show signs of yellowing and browning within two or three months after its last application was made and that’s with zero weeds present during those times!

Even though this type may still look green when compared with other types such as St Augustinegrass or tall fescuegrasses which become dormant during winter months due cold temperatures, they’re really quite dead underneath those seeds because they haven’t been getting enough nutrients from their soil over time.

Although we think our yard may look nice without having weeds growing in them right now thanks again goes out

Lime is a helpful soil amendment for improving soil pH, but too much lime can harm your lawn. Learn about the potential effects of over-liming your lawn and how to prevent it in our experience-based advice on whether a lawn can have too much lime.

Is It Possible To Over-Lime Tall Fescue Grass With Granular Lime?

Yes, it is possible to over-lime tall fescue grass with granular lime. Over-liming can cause the grass to turn brown and become brittle or die back. 

It can also make your lawn weak and susceptible to disease. If you think that your tall fescue has been over limed you should immediately stop using any type of fertilizer with added lime in it until the soil pH is brought back into balance with a soil test.

Is It Possible To Over-Lime Bluegrass With Granular Lime?

Bluegrass is a low-maintenance grass that requires very little water and fertilizer, making it an ideal choice for Southern gardens. However, bluegrass can also be more sensitive to lime than other types of turfgrass. 

If you over-lime bluegrass with granular lime, the grass will turn yellow or brown as a result. This can make your lawn look unattractive and cause it to decline in quality over time if you do not act quickly enough.

Is It Possible To Over-Lime Ryegrass With Granular Lime?

You can over-lime ryegrass with granular lime if you do it too much or too often. When the pH of your soil is too high (above 7) for an extended period of time, the roots will not be able to absorb nutrients from the soil effectively. 

As a result, this can cause yellowing and wilting of leaves as well as brown patches in your lawn. The roots may also start dying off due to lack of nutrients being absorbed by them.

Watering your lawn is essential for keeping it healthy, but too much water can be just as damaging as too little. Read about the signs of over-watering and tips for proper lawn irrigation in our observation-based article on when a lawn can get too much water.

What Are Some Of The Signs That Indicate Your Lawn Might Need More Lime?

If you have a question about whether or not your lawn needs more lime, look for these signs:

Your lawn is yellowing. A healthy lawn will have a bright green color to it as opposed to being yellow or dull in hue. Overly-limed turf takes on an overall yellow appearance, even if the grass blades themselves are still green.

Your lawn is thinning out. Because of its nutrient deficiency, the plant begins to wither away and leaves start appearing where there were none before. This may also be due to excessive heat or drought conditions that cause stress on the plants’ root systems leading them to die off completely (or partially die off).

It Is Hard To Have Too Much Calcium In Your Soil

If a plant does not have enough calcium in its system, it will use potassium instead. For example, if you have an acidic soil and your plants are showing signs of potassium deficiency (yellowing leaves), then this could be due to not enough calcium in the soil to neutralize the effects of high pH.


The bottom line is that it’s hard to have too much calcium in your soil. The best way to keep on top of this important nutrient is by testing regularly and applying lime as necessary. 

We recommend that you use a soil test kit when performing lawn tests so that you know exactly what kind of nutrients are needed and how much they should be applied.

Over-fertilizing your lawn can have serious consequences, including damage to the soil and plant roots. Check out our landscaper advice on whether a lawn can be over-fertilized for tips on how to properly fertilize your lawn and avoid over-application.

Further Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Liming Your Lawn: This article provides a comprehensive guide for beginners on how and when to apply lime to your lawn.

Can You Put Too Much Lime on Your Lawn?: This article explores the potential consequences of over-liming your lawn and provides tips on how to prevent it.

Does Your Lawn Need Lime?: This resource explains the benefits of lime for your lawn and provides information on how to determine if your lawn needs it.


What is lime, and why is it used on lawns?

Lime is a soil amendment that helps to adjust the pH level of acidic soil. It is commonly used on lawns to help improve soil quality and promote healthy grass growth.

How do I know if my lawn needs lime?

The best way to determine if your lawn needs lime is to conduct a soil test. Soil tests can help you determine the pH level of your soil and whether it is too acidic for healthy grass growth.

How much lime should I apply to my lawn?

The amount of lime you should apply to your lawn depends on the pH level of your soil and the type of grass you have. It’s important to follow the recommended application rates on the lime product you are using and avoid over-application.

Can I apply lime to my lawn at any time?

While lime can be applied to your lawn at any time of the year, it is best to apply it in the fall or spring when grass is actively growing. Avoid applying lime during periods of drought or extreme heat.

What are the potential consequences of over-liming my lawn?

Over-liming your lawn can harm your grass and soil by increasing the pH level to a level that is too alkaline. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, stunted grass growth, and an increased risk of disease.