Spreading ag lime

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm waiting on the soil test results to come back but given the nature of the native vegetation here at DunHagan I already know it's going to tell me that I need to lime the pasture, yard, and garden so I'm beginning to look for equipment.

The pasture and yard have too many trees for a bulk spreader to be able to get in and do any kind of a decent job of spreading for me without really tearing up the ground so I'm going to have to do it myself.

None of the broadcast fertilizer spreaders I've looked at in our various hardware and farm supply stores look like they'd work worth a darn with something as clumpy as ag lime. They do have drop spreaders though that look promising. They have these shaker bars that rotate in the bottom of the dump pan that look like they'd keep the lime flowing out the bottom and onto the grass. Has anyone used a drop sreader for spreading lime like this? Looks like I can pick up a fair quality hand pushed drop spreader for about fifty bucks or so.

Other ideas for spreading the lime with so many trees in the way?


-- Alan (athagan@atlantic.net), April 25, 2002


How much acreage are talking about here? They have towable braodcast spreaders that hitch to 4-wheelers and lawn tractors. I think your best bet is to use a pellitized limestone. This product is more expensive than regular crushed aglime, but for small areas you'd get more uniform coverage. Also, Pel-lime is more readily available (ie, more soluble) compared to aglime.

IMHO, as a no-account soil scientist, I'd say you're wasting your money on top-dressing lime. It should really be worked in to get maximum benefit. Research has shown that topdressed lime only affects soil pH for 1 to 2 inches in depth.

-- Cabin Fever (cabinfever_MN@yahoo.com), April 25, 2002.

The total property is nine and a half acres of which about five is pasture with the rest being yard, garden, orchard and various plantings. I could plow the garden and even part of the pasture but plowing the entire property is not feasible so top dressing it'll have to be.

We're a good two years out (most likely) from being able to buy a tractor and don't have a four wheeler so hand pushed is where I'm at. I've heard about the pelletized lime but so far haven't been able to actually find any around here in North Florida. I'll start a more extensive search next week. Pel lime would make things much easier and if it's more available to the plants that's even better.

The pasture and yard is what I'm most concerned about as I'm not going to get good grass growth until I get the pH corrected so if the lime only works in the top two inches it'll still give the grass a boost. I use wood ashes in the garden and around the plantings.

If I can't find the pelletized lime do you think a drop spreader would work for ordinary powdered ag lime?


-- Alan (athagan@atlantic.net), April 25, 2002.

Pelletized lime is sold by the bag and is much more expensive than ag lime. It also takes longer to break down in the soil then ag lime. Ag lime is very inexpensive by me but the thought of pushing 9 acres is a lot of work. If you have the time and energy go for it.

-- Emil in TN (eprisco@usit.net), April 25, 2002.

The pelletized bag lime also usually has a lot of magnesium which you may not need and which can be toxic to plants if too much is already in the soil. The NCRS (old Soil Conservation Service before it got a more political up-to-date name) has lime buggies that you can check out an use for a refundable 25 dollar deposit and an honor system payment of 2 buck per acre.

-- charles (cr@dixienet.com), April 28, 2002.

You should be able to get bulk pel-lime, check w/ the fertilizer people. If you have to spread the stuff manually, you want pel-lime not aglime- difference of a couple hundred lbs per acre of pel-lime vs. a couple TONS or better of aglime.

Can you get on your land w/ a pu truck? Once you get your soil test back you can have the fertizer company mix you up a batch of fertilizer/pel-lime and deliver it to you in a ground driven buggy, or they may even spread it for you(for a price, of course!).

-- shakeytails in KY (shakeytails@yahoo.com), April 28, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ