Q: I think I made a big mistake with my new bermudagrass sod lawn. Someone told me I needed to put down lime to reduce acid in my Georgia red clay. No one told me I should have the lawn tested first. To make a long story short, I applied ten bags of lime to nine hundred square feet. What do I do now?
A: You’ve put yourself in a bad spot. The normal rate for lime is 40 – 80 pounds per 1000 square feet. You applied approximately 400 pounds per 1000 sq feet.
Fortunately, since lime dissolves and travels very slowly in soil, I think you can rent a sod cutter and lift/remove all of the sod in the area where you applied lime. Afterwards, have the Gwinnett Extension service (404-897-6261) perform a soil test on soil from the area to determine the pH (acidity/alkalinity) level.
It is possible that the lime didn’t move very far and that the soil you’ll have left is not terribly alkaline. You may be able to correct its pH with sulfur, to counteract the excess lime. Tilling in a two- inch layer of soil conditioner would also neutralize surplus lime. Once the soil pH is corrected, you can plant sod again.