Lime isn’t a single thing. Instead, it can refer to a number of inorganic minerals that contain calcium. This means that one kind of lime isn’t used for the same purposes as another kind of lime, thus making it very important for interested individuals to distinguish between them. Still, certain kinds of lime come up more than others. For starters, lime is often made using chalk and limestone, which are often made out of calcium carbonate. When burned, the result is the very caustic burnt lime, which might be more familiar to interested individuals under the name of quicklime. However, it is possible to add water to burnt lime to create the somewhat less caustic slaked slime. Having said that, chances are good that people are talking about agricultural lime when they talk about lime in an agricultural context, which is notable in that it tends to be crushed limestone rather than burnt lime.
What Is Agricultural Lime Used For?
Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that agricultural lime has more than one potential use. For starters, the stuff is basic. This is useful because soil tends to become more acidic over time for a number of reasons. One example would be how rainwater removes basic ions. Another example would be how decaying organic matter can cause the formation of both organic and inorganic acids. Soil becoming more acidic is a serious problem because that can have a very negative effect on certain biological processes that are important for plant growth. As such, agricultural lime is very useful for increasing the pH of the soil, thus keeping it as fertile for human purposes. Moving on, there are other less important but no less real benefits to the use of agricultural lime. First, it adds a couple of nutrients to the soil, with one being calcium and the other being magnesium. Two, it makes both the nitrogen and the phosphorus that are already in the soil more available for plants. Third, it improves the water penetration for soils that are more acidic in nature. There are other substances that can be used to improve the soil in this manner. However, agricultural lime can be considered both mild and inexpensive when compared with other options, thus making it a very practical choice as well.
Should You Apply Pelletized Lime to Your Lawn?
It is possible for people to conduct soil tests, which can inform them about the acidity of the soil as well as other useful information. This doesn’t mean that they have to conduct soil tests on a regular basis until they see something wrong. Instead, it is common for people to conduct soil tests at certain predetermined times to see whether they should apply pelletized lime to their lawn or not. Of course, different plants do better at different soil pH levels. For grass, the best range would be between 6.0 and 7.0. Sometimes, people will want to seed their lawn. When that happens to be the case, they should conduct a soil test when they are about to seed their lawn. If the result shows that their soil is too acidic, they should apply pelletized lime before seeding their lawn. Of course, this should be happening at the most suitable time for the kind of grass that they are growing. For example, if people are going with a warm season lawn, they should be seeding in the spring when the soil has had some time in which to warm up. In contrast, if people are going with a cool season lawn, they should be seeding in either the early spring or the fall because their grass won’t do so well when the summer comes.
Other times, people will be working with an existing lawn. It is interesting to note that they will have a much freer hand in this case than in the previous case. This is because people can apply pelletized lime to their lawn in spring, fall, and even certain parts of winter in certain regions. There are just a couple of times of the year when they should be avoiding the application of pelletized lime to their lawn. First, the summer is a bad time. This is because the season tends to mean higher temperatures, which are bad because people want cooler temperatures that will prevent the grass from being burned by the lime. Second, the winter can often be a bad time as well. In that case, that is because people will want to avoid applying pelletized lime when the soil is at risk of being frozen or freezing and thawing. Both conditions are bad for the simple reason that both will hinder the rate at which the lime can make the soil less acidic. Otherwise, interested individuals have more options than if they were seeding their lawn. When applying the pelletized lime, interested individuals should make sure to spread them in an even manner. After all, they don’t want a particular part of their time to either become too basic or worse. Instead, they want to make sure that their lawn receives the lime in an even manner. Furthermore, they should also make sure to do so when the soil is moist for best results. On top of that, interested individuals are going to need to water their lawn with about an inch’s worth of water, which should prevent it from burning. Something that they should definitely be concerned about. Be warned that soils don’t necessarily have the same acidity. Some soils are more acidic by nature, meaning that they might need more lime than their less acidic counterparts. If people are unsure about what they are doing, they might want to look further into the issue. There is a lot of interest in the matter, which in turn, means that there are a lot of resources that can help them out. Besides that, there are plenty of landscaping companies out there, which can provide their clients with a lot of assistance with this as well as other gardening topics.