Oklahoma State University



In general, native, warm-season grasses tolerate moderate soil acidity, but liming is advantageous on very acidic soils, especially for switchgrass establishment. Liming is recommended if soil pH is less than 5; although no information is available on acid tolerance of common switchgrass varieties. The amount of lime needed is based on the buffer index of the soil. Lime should be applied, and preferably incorporated before establishment. However, lime also can be applied on established stands although it takes longer to neutralize soil acidity.

Amount of lime recommended for switchgrass establishment. No lime is recommended when soil pH is 5.0 or higher, regardeless of the buffer index.

Buffer Index Tons ECCE lime/A*
>6.6 1.0
6.5 1.2
6.4 1.4
6.3 1.6
<6.2 2.0

*Tons of aglime/A = Tons ECCE lime required/% ECCE (This number is available from a lime vendor).


Soil testing is needed for the above recommendations. Please see OSU Extension Fact Sheet PSS-2207 on how to collect a representative soil sample.

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