That's incorrect. The pelletized "lime" sold in big box stores is
actually limestone (calcium carbonate). Real lime from a tile/concrete
place is hydrated calcium oxide. The pelletized product is much easier
to handle. But real lime reacts much more quickly whereas limestone is
used for monuments. Acid rain certainly has caused damage to limestone
things but it takes many years.
Now, if you want a really strong base order anhydrous calcium oxide from
a chem supply house, but be careful with it because it sucks the water
out of anything it's in contact with. I'm experimenting with a cheap
compromise -- good old fashion wash lye, sodium hydroxide. It's quite
basic and should be effective at raising the pH of the lawn.
Of course, JoeM should test his soil pH before doing anything. Mix
together samples from a half dozen spots so an average is read.
No, it is correct actually.
He's speaking of agricultural lime and the difference between the
pelletized and pulverized variety's, in which case there is no difference
besides a bonding agent to hold the pellets together.
I agree. The lime products associated with cement are not found at
garden shops. What you buy at the garden shop is suitable for lawns,
regardless of the form. And I agree that the pelitized form is much
easier and less messy to apply, though more expensive.
ok, now that ya'll got the lime all identified, I'll share a lawn
care tip. it's been noted already how pulverized lime clogs the
spreader and is no fun to work with. but pulverized lime will go
into the soil faster than pelletized. you need to speed up the
obtaining of the desired result from your lime application.
[impatient customer] mix 60/40 pelletized/pulverized in the
spreader hopper. MIX well with stir stick and then apply. this
trick has only been field tested in a broadcast type spreader,
therefore at this time there is no data available for the use of
one of those crappy drop type spreaders.
I don't doubt that this could work and be a lower cost solution, but do
you really think it works any faster? Doesn't the pelletized form
just effectively become the pulverized after the first rain or water
Sure does, and I imagine one would need a fairly calm (no wind) day to
apply pulverized limestone with a broadcast spreader unless you don't mind
looking like casper the ghost when you're finished. :-)
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed chiefly of calcium carbonate, which
in its' pure form is white. Limestone varies widely in color due to other
material that accreted in the sediment.
The lime associated with building is not calcium carbonate but calcium
hydroxide which is quite caustic.
Calcium Oxide is caustic in its anhydrous form. When it absorbs water
it goes to CaO * 6H20 or maybe CaOH as you suggest. Pardon me if I got
this wrong -- it's been nearly 50 years since I was in high school
field test data has shown a faster rate of change in the soil pH when
pulverized lime was applied at the same rate as pelletized lime on two
separate plots controlled and held to the same conditions.
mixing in the prescribed 60/40 pelletized/pulverized manner offers a
better way to work with pulverized lime in order to gain a faster change
in the pH.
under the heading "Selecting a Liming Material" you'll see and read.
"The finer the limestone particles, the more
rapidly it becomes effective"
"The finer the grind of the limestone the faster
it will change the soil pH value."
I don't think we are disputing the fact that finer ground limestone
will work faster. But isn't pelletized aboput the same grind just
made into pellets with some kind of binder that dissolves quickly with
limestone should be applied two to three months prior to
planting to allow time for it to neutralize the acidity.
The most important factor determining the effectiveness of
lime is placement. Maximum contact of lime with the soil is
Most liming materials are only slightly soluble
so incorporation in the soil is a must for lime
reaction. Even when properly mixed with the soil, lime will
have little effect on pH if the soil is dry.
essential for the lime-soil reaction to occur.
In the case
of lawns, it can only be surface applied and watered into
what the author is attempting to convey is, that it is not how fast
the water dissolves the lime but it is more about a reaction occurring
in the soil when lime becomes properly mixed with the soil.
what about when to use? I have soil test results for my front and back
yard. I am supposed to apply lime and fertilizer to the back,
fertilizer only to the front. I will be seeding new fescue
(establishing, not overseeding) both yards this mid september. I plan
to mix the lime pretty well into the top 6" of the soil and the
fertilizer as well. Is this right? Do i do this way before or right
before i plant the seeds? or should i fertilize after i plant and have
mowed a few times? i have read both and am looking for some opinions.
thanks for any help!
ps. i'm in central NC
takes lime 3 to 4 months to break down and
even begin to change the pH of the soil.
this places you far far ahead of most people. my compliments
for your having tested to determine the requirements of your
soil rather than just tossing a bag of this, that, these and
those while thinking "yep, that ought to do it."
lime now. if the recommendation was for 400 pounds of lime then
break that into 4 100 pound applications spaced by a week and a half.
doing this reduces the abruptness of the lime coming due and makes
for a softer transition.
fertilize after planting and best to wait until grass is about 1/2
to 3/4 of an inch tall. then apply your fertilizer.
here's a cheap trick for making a NEW lawn jump to life in the first
weeks after the new grass sprouts. get the miracle grow feeder jar
and hook it in line with your garden hose lawn sprinkler. fill miracle
grow feeder jar with miracle grow bloom buster 10-50-10. The second
number in a fertilizer formula is the phosphorus content. Phosphorus
is used by plants to increase fruit development and to produce a strong
root system. get the root system established first. build a good
foundation first. a house built on a weak foundation will not last and
the same is true of your lawn. hook the miracle grow feeder jar to your
lawn sprinkler. when the water is clear in the miracle grow feeder jar
then that's enough for that spot. refill miracle grow feeder jar,
relocate and repeat until complete coverage of your lawn has been
accomplished. do this once a week for 3 weeks.
granular starter fertilizers have a high middle number but ALL of
them have to much nitrogen. Nitrogen is used by plants for producing
leaf growth and greener, lusher leaves. the problem results when the
grass blade growth exceeds what the roots can feed. like the house
built on a poor foundation, it looks nice for awhile but then it falls
3-9-9 is the mix I use for the first several granular
fertilizer applications on new lawns.
if you can drive to Wendell I'll give you a phone number
for a Farm supply house where you can purchase good quality
fertilizers at great prices. they carry a 3-9-9 with all
sub-elements. great stuff for young lawns.
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