PDA

View Full Version : Fast Acting Lime? Is it a gimmick or does it work?


user786
05-20-2010, 07:30 PM
I have 9000 sq ft of St.Augustine lawn in Central Florida and I just found out my soil is very acidic at ph 5.6 and I need to apply 48 pounds of lime per 1000 sq ft. Here is my soil test results from the state soil extension lab.
http://alturl.com/thzw

I want to get back to neutral soil as quickly as possible and I went out and bought some Encap Fast Acting Lime.
Here is the product...
http://retail.encap.net/Home/Products/LawnCare/tabid/94/FastActingLime.aspx
This thing was 2 or 3 times more expensive than regular calcitic lime. (I can't use dolomite lime as my magnesium in the soil is already WAY too high)

How good is this "Fast Acting Lime" and how soon can I expect to see results after I lay it down? I am planning on laying down all 14 bags of it at once. For my 9000 sq ft lawn that was 420 pounds total to get around the recommendations to get me back neutral.

I will also be putting down some bifenthrin granules to treat for confirmed chinch bug infestation as well. I will be using one bag of this...
http://www.lesco.com/NoCompression/GetData.aspx?Type=ProdResource&ID=3810&.pdf

Am I headed in the right direction?
Encap claims that their product is 4 times more effective than regular lime. So should I apply less of it than recommended in my soil report then?

I don't plan on adding any fertilizer at all right now. I just want to see the results of neutralizing my soil on its own so it can get at whatever nutrients are already there. Then later on in a few months I may put down some fertilizer. I really want to see the proof of how important soil ph alone really is in lawn condition. My lawn has been struggling for years even though I was fertilizing it with good products at the correct rates. The pros told me it was because of the soil being too acidic for it to really thrive was the reason why I didn't get much results out of the good fertilizer I was putting down.

Any input appreciated.

Thanks for all input.

rainbowss
05-21-2010, 12:55 AM
Liming is an internet myth.

Kiril
05-21-2010, 10:44 AM
Liming is an internet myth.

You are on a roll :hammerhead:

@OP

Don't look at the graph ..... look at the numbers.

IMO, the pH is acceptable and does not require liming. You would be better off returning the lime and start a yearly compost top dressing program, especially given your likely sandy soil. This will both help move your pH towards neutral and increase your soils physical and chemical characteristics.

T56 Impala
06-08-2010, 08:13 PM
I'm a little later to the party, sorry.

I have used, and still use, this product for my Roses. It really does a quick repair and does neutralize the soil. Its not over night though. It takes about 3 weeks in prepared Rose beds.

wrager
06-08-2010, 09:34 PM
Liming is an internet myth.

Not according to UMASS and my soil test results.

rtharris
06-11-2010, 11:19 AM
Not according to UMASS and my soil test results.
Posted via Mobile Device

rtharris
06-11-2010, 11:23 AM
Liming a myth huh try telling that to a farmer and see what they say
Posted via Mobile Device

rtharris
06-11-2010, 11:32 AM
Not according to UMASS and my soil test results.
Posted via Mobile Device

rainbowss
06-11-2010, 02:00 PM
You are not a farmer so please...

rtharris
06-11-2010, 03:14 PM
You are not a farmer so please...
Posted via Mobile Device

rtharris
06-11-2010, 03:20 PM
Ur right im not a farmer but i grew up on a farm and i doubt you have a PHd in agricultureor horticulture either
Posted via Mobile Device

rainbowss
06-11-2010, 03:27 PM
I will say AGAIN, you are not farming.

rtharris
06-11-2010, 07:11 PM
I will say AGAIN, you are not farming.
Posted via Mobile Device

rtharris
06-11-2010, 07:19 PM
And i will say AGAIN YOU ARE AN EXPERT AT NOTHING get off the computer and go out into the real world once in a while and u might learn something tangible
Posted via Mobile Device

rainbowss
06-11-2010, 07:20 PM
okay rtharris. I really don't have time to play around with know-it-alls.

upidstay
06-12-2010, 10:59 AM
"Liming is an internet myth"??? Wow. Really? pH is critical to the health of the soil. If you have perfect soil with a very high organic matter content, a slightly low pH will not be much of an issue. But in the real world, where we have crappy soil and can;t afford to do compost and wait for the OM content to build up, liming is the answer.

A pH of 5.5 will tie approx. a third of the nutrients up in the soil, unavailable to the plant, and they will just leach out. Specifically, about 25% of your nitrogen and potassium, plus almost 1/2 of your phosphorous.

I like to get a soil test, correct the pH according to test results, then do a maintenance dose of lime every year. In my personal lawn's case, that meant 85lbs/k. Did it in two apps spring and fall. Now I do about 15klbs/k once a year (alternate 2 apps calcitic, one dolomitic).

To answer the original question, IMHO, the fast acting lime is a gimmick. It does work fast, but the soil quickly re-acidifies.

rainbowss
06-12-2010, 11:06 AM
just bag, don't mulch

Kiril
06-12-2010, 11:13 AM
A pH of 5.5 will tie approx. a third of the nutrients up in the soil, unavailable to the plant, and they will just leach out. Specifically, about 25% of your nitrogen and potassium, plus almost 1/2 of your phosphorous.

Come on man .... please don't add to the propagation of inaccurate information.

upidstay
06-14-2010, 10:07 AM
Well, I heard that from a turf prof at Rutgers, from a few articles in various trade mags, and with my own two eyes.

We had a big estate that was just not responding to fertilizing. We mowed it, somebody else fertilized. The guys solution was to put down 1 1/2 times as much fert as necessary to get it to green up. We took it over, did a soil test (4.8pH). Applied 150 lbs of lime in 2 apps fall and following spring. After that the lawn would respond to fertilizing.

I know you have your own line to sell, but my facts are just that, facts. With data to back it up.

Kiril
06-14-2010, 10:12 AM
Well, I heard that from a turf prof at Rutgers, from a few articles in various trade mags, and with my own two eyes.

We had a big estate that was just not responding to fertilizing. We mowed it, somebody else fertilized. The guys solution was to put down 1 1/2 times as much fert as necessary to get it to green up. We took it over, did a soil test (4.8pH). Applied 150 lbs of lime in 2 apps fall and following spring. After that the lawn would respond to fertilizing.

I know you have your own line to sell, but my facts are just that, facts. With data to back it up.

Is this a response to my post? If you have the data/references to back up your statement then by all means post it .... otherwise I suggest you hit the books.

DavidNJ
12-17-2010, 02:20 AM
Is this a response to my post? If you have the data/references to back up your statement then by all means post it .... otherwise I suggest you hit the books.

I'm a bit surprised at your reponse. A version of this graph is on nearly every university website worldwide:

http://www.calcimolime.com.au/images/graph.jpg

Kiril
12-17-2010, 10:38 AM
I'm a bit surprised at your reponse. A version of this graph is on nearly every university website worldwide:

http://www.calcimolime.com.au/images/graph.jpg

At what response? Certainly not the one you quoted.

DavidNJ
12-18-2010, 11:48 PM
You seemed to question upidstay's comments about the effect of pH on nurtrient availability.

Kiril
12-19-2010, 12:16 AM
You seemed to question upidstay's comments about the effect of pH on nurtrient availability.

I did, and correctly so. This statement is incorrect.

A pH of 5.5 will tie approx. a third of the nutrients up in the soil, unavailable to the plant, and they will just leach out. Specifically, about 25% of your nitrogen and potassium, plus almost 1/2 of your phosphorous.

Capemay Eagle
12-19-2010, 03:12 PM
I started to use the pellet lime and I guess it works. It surely is less messy.

HicksGroundMgt
01-10-2011, 12:58 AM
with over 13,000 posts you'd figure that this guy would know something about lawn care necessities. liming is a integral part of a fert. schedule on any turf.

DavidNJ
01-10-2011, 01:44 AM
Pellet lime and lime/PHCA mixes are a bit different. In a different thread though.

Kiril
01-10-2011, 08:37 AM
with over 13,000 posts you'd figure that this guy would know something about lawn care necessities. liming is a integral part of a fert. schedule on any turf.

Yea .... regardless of your soil needing it or not. :rolleyes: :nono:

DavidNJ
01-10-2011, 11:08 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk4xY4OY1Wc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyfk-MJeR_U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juDXp5tALBc

Kiril
01-10-2011, 11:18 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk4xY4OY1Wc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyfk-MJeR_U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juDXp5tALBc

No offense David, but Ag recommendations are not appropriate for landscapes.

DavidNJ
01-10-2011, 11:24 AM
Nor recommendations, explanations about what is happening. Turf is just another plant. The ag guys even mention lawns and landscapes.

Before applying lime or lime/phca mix, do you check one or more of the soil's: a) pH, b) cation exchange capacity, c) base and calcium staturation, and d) texture/composition?

From info I'm collecting, the PHCA works differently from calcium in how it affects both pH and plant nutrition.

Kiril
01-10-2011, 11:38 AM
Before applying lime or lime/phca mix, do you check one or more of the soil's: a) pH, b) cation exchange capacity, c) base and calcium staturation, and d) texture/composition?

A soil test is required to determine appropriate liming rates and type of lime to use. A pH test alone will not give you the required information.

FYI ... Ca is part of your base saturation.

Nor recommendations, explanations about what is happening. Turf is just another plant. The ag guys even mention lawns and landscapes.

Maximizing yield is not a goal in landscapes. A pH that might be considered unacceptable for crop production might be totally acceptable for landscape purposes.

DavidNJ
01-11-2011, 03:08 AM
It is obviously part of base staturation; however, it is also the element added with lime or lime/phca amendments.

A more diplomatic way of phrasing that would be 'why did you specify calcium percentage and not the base cations?". Says the same thing, but without the edge.

Different crops and different grasses all have their preferred pH levels. Few are lower than 6 or higher than 7.

Kiril
01-11-2011, 08:48 AM
It is obviously part of base staturation; however, it is also the element added with lime or lime/phca amendments.

Not following you. Lime is CaCO3, why would you add more Ca?

A more diplomatic way of phrasing that would be 'why did you specify calcium percentage and not the base cations?". Says the same thing, but without the edge.

huh? Lost me again.

Different crops and different grasses all have their preferred pH levels. Few are lower than 6 or higher than 7.

Most turf grasses will tolerate a far wider pH range than 6-7 and still be acceptable quality.

DavidNJ
01-11-2011, 09:24 AM
Ca is the dominant basic cation, but only one o several. However, depending on the type of lime it may be the only one being added.

Tolerate and trive are not quite the same. A Chrsyler Sebring and BMW 335 are both cars about the same size with 3L 6-cylinder moors. Would you pick the Sebring if they were the same price

Kiril
01-11-2011, 11:10 AM
Tolerate and trive are not quite the same. A Chrsyler Sebring and BMW 335 are both cars about the same size with 3L 6-cylinder moors. Would you pick the Sebring if they were the same price

I recommend you find documentation on pH ranges for turf grass.

DavidNJ
01-11-2011, 11:16 AM
I recommend you find documentation on pH ranges for turf grass.

I recommend that to make a point you state your information and source. It is rather rude to tell someone else what to do.

For example from UMass-Amherst, where many send their soil samples:

Soil pH & Lime Recommendation – A soil of pH 4.0 is extremely acidic, while one of pH 8.5 is very alkaline. Though turfgrasses are adaptable to a wide soil pH range, they generally grow best at levels between 6 and 7. Ryegrasses and bluegrasses prefer a soil pH near 7. Bentgrassses and fescues perform best at pH levels near 6. Since the climate and rock-types of New England tend to produce acid soils, limestone is commonly recommended to raise soil pH.

It is unnecessary to lime soils in turfgrass unless the soil pH is less than 6.4. Liming soils to pH levels above 7.5 can result in micronutrient deficiencies (particularly if certain woody ornamentals are part of the landscape). Lime according to your recommendation. Since dolomitic (high magnesium) lime is so commonly available in our area, many soil tests show high magnesium levels. In these instances, a calcitic (calcium-rich) lime is often recommended. This can be difficult to find at lawn supply dealers. In this case, simply use the best available product. Although lime can be applied at any time of year, early spring is best for turfgrass. Late fall applications have been associated with the development of snow mold. Ground limestone and pelletized lime are the two most common liming agents used on lawns. Ground lime is usually cheaper, but the dust it produces can be a nuisance. Pelletized lime is more expensive (although prices have dropped), but “cleaner” with which to work. The choice of which to use is a personal one. Claims of superiority of one over the other are exaggerated.

Kiril
01-11-2011, 12:30 PM
I recommend that to make a point you state your information and source. It is rather rude to tell someone else what to do.

No offense David, but I didn't state any specific ranges (unlike you) so there is no need to quote a source. It is not my responsibility to do your homework for you. One might even say it is rude to expect people to do your homework, nor should I have to list my qualifications in order to make the statement I did without providing a reference.

Second, you need to be wary of using regionally specific recommendations when making generic statements like you did.

That said, since you expect me to do your homework for you, see attached chart as one resource.

DavidNJ
01-11-2011, 06:15 PM
No offense David, but I didn't state any specific ranges (unlike you) so there is no need to quote a source. It is not my responsibility to do your homework for you. One might even say it is rude to expect people to do your homework, nor should I have to list my qualifications in order to make the statement I did without providing a reference.

Second, you need to be wary of using regionally specific recommendations when making generic statements like you did.

That said, since you expect me to do your homework for you, see attached chart as one resource.

The values in that chart seemed more like "what pH is the equivalent of a 65% minimum passing average?". I was thinking more about the pH levels in the honors classes. I want my tall fescue to go to Harvard or Yale! :)

From Rutgers:

Soil pH Range for Turfgrass
The optimum pH range for most turfgrass species is 5.0 to 7.0 and it varies according to the species or variety of turfgrass. Differences in pH tolerance among varieties within a given turfgrass exist and there is potential to develop more lowpH tolerant varieties. Below is a table of soil pH ranges desirable for the culture of many turfgrasses grown in New Jersey.

Turfgrass Species pH range
Sheep Fescue 5.0–6.0
Redtop 5.0–6.0
Velvet Bentgrass 5.0–6.0
Hard Fescue 5.0–6.5
Chewings Fescue 5.0–6.5
Creeping Red Fescues 5.5–6.5
Creeping & Colonial Bentgrass 5.5–6.5
Perennial Ryegrass 5.5–7.0
Tall Fescue 5.5–7.0
Annual Bluegrass 6.0–6.5
Kentucky Bluegrass 6.0–6.5
Canada Bluegrass 6.0–6.5
Rough Bluegrass 6.0–7.0
Bermudagrass 6.0–7.0
Zoysiagrass 6.0–7.0

Recent research indicates that acid soil pH values (6.0–6.2) can be helpful in culturally controlling the root infecting disease, summer patch. Soil pH levels above the low 6’s appear to enhance summer patch disease development. For this reason, annual bluegrass and Kentucky bluegrass turfs should be limed only when pH values drop below 6.0. Liming rates should be limited to correction of the pH to values not exceeding 6.5 to avoid enhancing the severity of summer patch.

Virtually everything is between 6.0 and 6.5 at its peak. However, the disease stuff said "Recent research indicates that acid soil pH values (6.0–6.2)". Do you have links to that research?

That is a very small range, finer than most pH meters can measure. I believe it would require a meter that requires a sample to be mixed with distilled water in a vial or beaker for measurement with probably a digital meter. It would also be very hard to manage to soil amendments given the long lag time and the natural variation over a landscape.

Kiril
01-11-2011, 09:46 PM
The values in that chart seemed more like "what pH is the equivalent of a 65% minimum passing average?". I was thinking more about the pH levels in the honors classes. I want my tall fescue to go to Harvard or Yale!

No offense David, but I don't think you are in a position to make that statement. Furthermore, it is a residential yard, not sports turf!

To be perfectly honest you are in serious jeopardy of micromanagement here, which in most cases like yours, leads to disastrous results. Why are you looking for ways to reduce your landscape maintenance costs and then want to manage your turf like sports turf?

Best way to deal with soil pH is to pick the appropriate turf for the native soil conditions and keep your SOM at respectable levels ... it is as simple as that.

DavidNJ
01-11-2011, 10:45 PM
The managing at 1/5th of a pH level was a reductio ad absurdum

The chart you posted give a range of 4.7 to 8.5 pH for tall fescue is just wrong. Will it grow? So varieties, probably.. However, any area that has that level will have variations giving dead spots. It is hard to imagine tall fescue looking good at 5 pH or 8 pH.

They also gave the mowing height range for tall fescue as 1.7in to 3in. Do you know anyone mowing tall fescue to 1.7in? On the otherside, 2.5 to 4in is generally given as the mowing height.

The Rutgers recommendations give a tighter but managable pH range, and the mid point in that range is probably spot on.

Note: trying to discredit the other person rather than discuss the data and its analysis is a tactic of Nancy Pelosi and her friends. Are you running for Congress? :)

Kiril
01-12-2011, 09:51 AM
The chart you posted give a range of 4.7 to 8.5 pH for tall fescue is just wrong.

It is? You are basing this conclusion on what? Extension service publications for laymen?

It is hard to imagine tall fescue looking good at 5 pH or 8 pH.

So you can only imagine?

They also gave the mowing height range for tall fescue as 1.7in to 3in. Do you know anyone mowing tall fescue to 1.7in? On the otherside, 2.5 to 4in is generally given as the mowing height.

Mowing height can vary widely depending on the intended use of the area and/or management goals. The range in the chart denotes average cutting heights for a variety of uses. IMO, it does not adequately represent cuttings heights for different management goals.

The Rutgers recommendations give a tighter but managable pH range, and the mid point in that range is probably spot on.

Once again, the publication for laymen does not even begin to address all the factors that come into play when managing a soil. An example of this fact are the following TTTF varieties developed by Rutgers and Pickseed,

http://www.pickseed.com/ECanada/techSheets/pdf/mustang_3_ts.pdf
http://www.pickseed.com/ECanada/techSheets/pdf/mustang_4_ts.pdf

What are the listed pH ranges?

Note: trying to discredit the other person rather than discuss the data and its analysis is a tactic of Nancy Pelosi and her friends. Are you running for Congress? :)

WTF are you talking about David?

Dogbonz
01-12-2011, 04:08 PM
All I can picture is the 2 of you, standing face to face,, heads turned away,, sissy slapping each other! LOL =D

DavidNJ
01-12-2011, 04:18 PM
It does sound like that. I was thinking of a 'turf off' like one of the Food Network shows, like Chopped. Kiril could grow Mustang 4 in 4.8 pH soil mowing it to 1.25". I'll bring Van Gogh grown in 6.2 pH soil an mowed to 3".

Kiril
01-12-2011, 04:21 PM
It does sound like that. I was thinking of a 'turf off' like one of the Food Network shows, like Chopped. Kiril could grow Mustang 4 in 4.8 pH soil mowing it to 1.25". I'll bring Van Gogh grown in 6.2 pH soil an mowed to 3".

For residential turf, I would never recommend mowing any lower than 2.5 inches for a variety of reasons.

DavidNJ
01-12-2011, 04:26 PM
For residential turf, I would never recommend mowing any lower than 2.5 inches for a variety of reasons.

But you are constrained to the limits of the recommendation you presented. The judges will take off points if you don't use all the ingredients.

http://img.foodnetwork.com/FOOD/2008/11/19/Chopped_TedAllen_s4x3_lead.jpg

dKoester
01-12-2011, 04:27 PM
We have our Fescue at 4 inches in height during the summer and 3.5 during the rest of the year.

DavidNJ
01-15-2011, 03:38 PM
I communicated with the Head of Research at Pick Seeds, to clarify the issue.

On pH: "In my experience I have seen tall fescue grow well at a 4.7 - 4.9 pH range on parts of our Oregon farm. Also in the high plains, Mountain West and Califiornia areas it can grow well and tolerate Ph levels in the low 8s. But probably the absolute ideal pH would be somewhere in the low 6s."

"At our farm the pH in some areas is very low but everything else is good for tall fescue. So it grows pretty well. At high pH it can grow well too but will be much more sensitive to other negative factors such as compaction or poor drainage. If everything else is managed well tall fescue can thrive at a higher pH....well into the 8.1/8.2 range."

On mowing height: "Rutgers mows their tall fescue trials at 1.5 inch. Mustang 3 and 4 were selected under those cutting heights. So I know Mustang 3 and 4 can grow well at those heights. I have seen an occasional one inch cutting height trial and the modern tall fescues will tolerate that cutting height, but in a weaker condition. So I think 2.5 to 3.5 inches is ideal for performance, disease resistance and weed control. But of course they will grow well at higher levels too. Varietal differences become less apparent at higher cutting heights."

He is quoted here with permission. BTW, a look at the NTEP tests shows that Kiril did pick an excellent seed; Mustang 4 is among the top rated in the current NTEP tests: http://ntep.org/.

Valk
01-17-2011, 11:31 AM
I wish ALL my lawns were fescue. Given our climate/Summer's, it's the most drought~tolerant AND easy to mow turf...especially at 3.5"-4". Bermuda & zoysia work well, but are not as easy a mow.

My 2 bluegrass lawns/customers are a dormant joke in the Summer, but they sure look nice in the Spring & mid-late Fall. I wish these 2 guys would quit fertilizing in the Spring, but they're both originally from the Ohio/Pennsylvania region...and want to recall/relive the lawns of their past here in KS. I wish them luck every year. :nono: / :hammerhead: An abnormally coolish Summer is their only hope!