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lime questions?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Amco Landscaping, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Amco Landscaping

    Amco Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    Will lime make my grass greener. I have never used lime before on my lawn so I am trying to find out as much info as possible. Any help is appreciated

  2. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 633

    depends on ph ,get soil test .i am sure you have a place that tests in the area.:laugh:
  3. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    Lime will not make your grass greener. Lime raises the ph of the soil. Grass absorbs nutrients (fertilzer) at a certain ph. If your soil has a low ph then you would apply lime to raise it. 50 pounds per 1000 sf will raise the ph 1/2 point. You don't want to put down more than this at one time. The best thing is to get a soil sample and have it analyzed. It will tell you what you need.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Lime is usually used as a source of calcium, and will raise the ph levels. There are also sulfur limes which doesnt contain any calcium and will lower ph levels.. Calcium limes are usually used to raise ph levels in the soil, but ph should never be the determining factor whether or not you need a calcium based lime product. While calcium will raise the ph levels in a soil, it isnt the only nutrient that effects ph levels. Soils that have high magnesium levels and low calcium levels can also have very high ph levels, and calcium based lime products can still be necessary, even though the ph levels are already high. For this reason, the types of lime, and amounts, should be determined by a soil test. Also applying calcium lime to a soil that is already high in calcium can tie up other necessary nutrients, noteably, phosphorous, iron, zinc and copper. These nutrients make grass green too

    Calcium is necessary for the uptake of Nitrogen and can help green up a lawn by allowing the plants to make more efficient use of the nitrogen, as well as other nutrients, that are already present in the soil.
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    It is hard to generalize how much lime one needs without knowing all the variables:

    Source of the lime
    CCE (Calcium Carbonate Equilevence) of the lime
    Particle size
    buffer pH of the soil

    Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) or lime is what is used to adjust pH. Ca alone will not adjust the pH of a soil.

    The pH of a soil tells you where the soil is, but the buffer ph tells you how much the soil is resistance to change and is actually will tell you how much CaCO3 is needed. The lower the buffer pH the more lime it will take, the higher the bpH to less it will take.

    pH doesn't tell you if you need lime the bpH does.
  6. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,476

    Get a soil test before deciding.
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Neither Ph or buffer Ph tells you if you need lime. Calcium saturation levels in the soil determines if you need lime. Saturation levels of other nutrients determines what type of lime is required. The Cation Exchange Capacity of the soil determines how much lime is needed to change the saturation levels. Ph is a measure of how much Hydrogen is in the soil, and is only a symptom of an improper soil balance. Adjusting ph by adding lime, or sulfur, is only treating a symptom, not cureing the problem.
  8. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057


    I always hate having to get technical, but here it is!

    I have heard of people using Ca saturation before, but not sure who supports this! I don't even get Ca saturation on my soil test report! That is linked to the CEC but doesn't affect pH.

    Ohio State and Purdue (which are considered to be serious players) says differenent. And I was also taught the same in all my soil science classes. Look at Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for info.

    Ca saturation has nothing to do with pH. You said yourself that pH is the measure of H+ so why would Ca saturation have anything to do with it. Calcium doesn't change pH!
    CEC doesn't have anything to do with liming or lime recommendations although it does play an important part in holding positively charged ions like H+. This means that it will take more lime to adjust pH but doesn't tell you if you need lime.

    You are are correct that pH is the measure of hydrogen (H+). But the buffer pH or lime test index tells how much reserve acidity there is which is the resistance of the soil to change. Therefore tells you the amount of CaCO3 needed to get to your desired pH level.

    Changing pH is simple soil science. The Ca+ removes two H+ ions and then the two H+ combine with OH (from the CO3) to form water. The pH is then increased because the acidity source (H+) has been reduced. Very simple science and doesn't involve anything but CaCO3 and Hydrogen.

    Sorry, but just wanted to state how University's stance was on this! Where do you source your data?
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    rcreech, I have to be in Atlanta in about 2 1/2 hrs so I dont have time right now to go into this. I suggest you re read what you just wrote and just go to A &L labs website, or maybe Spectrum Analyitics website, which has a pretty good libarary also, spend a little time reading the info and come to your own conclusions. Base saturations of nutrients have been used in soil testing at least since 1928, that I know of, and is backed by 80 yers of actual testing in the agricultrial field. Including Purdue and Ohio State.
  10. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057


    Funny Story:

    I went to my mailbox today and received a package in the mail from OLCA (Ohio Lawn Care Association). I opened the package and there was cupons and info about lawn care equipment and labs. As I was going through the material I found info for Spectrum Analytic Inc. Come to find out they are in my backyard of Washing CH.

    Just for fun I called them and talked to their lead agronomist Bill Urbanowicz. Great guy to talk to as we had some very good discussions about soil issues and other things!

    I also asked them how they determined their lime recommendations and guess what he said.....thats right pH and buffer pH.

    It is simple soil chemistry! Where did you get your info? I guarantee it wasn't from OSU or Purdue as you stated earlier.

    Give him a call at 1-800-321-1562. Real easy person to talk to!

    Where did you go do school Mudstopper University?

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