A good soil pH rating is essential for the growth of any plant on the underlying land. In cases where the pH is low (below 5.8), neutralizing soil’s acidity is crucial if you expect whatever that’s planted to grow properly.
While there is a plethora of chemicals and procedures for neutralizing the soil’s acidity, for the purple of this quick guide, you will learn how to use pelletized lime. We will cover everything from the right pelletized lime spreader setting per square foot to the right time for its application to achieve optimum results.
Although most people only attribute liming to topdressing a lawn, you can actually use this procedure as part of soil treatment for gardens and farms. The only difference is that you may need other chemicals to achieve your aim of having a healthy growing plant.
Pelletized Lime Spreader Settings
We recommend you apply pelletized lime every year till you have a soil pH at an optimum level, which is between 6.0 and 6.5. Ideally, you want to be applying approximately 15 pounds of pelletized lime per 1000 sq. ft. Also, the best time to apply lime is during the late ember months of the year.
|Prize Lawn (Broadcast)||5|
|Central Quality (Broadcast) 600B, 700, 100A||7|
Pelletized Lime Spreading: Step-By-Step Guide
In this article, we will assume you’re starting a new lawn, so we’re going over everything from the basics, from testing your soil’s pH to watering the soil to letting the lime set in nicely.
Step 1: Test Your Soil
First, you want to make sure your soil is at an acidic level to warrant the application of pelletized lime. Get a pH probe or liquid test kit to evaluate the soil’s current pH. While basic home tests will give you an idea of the pH level, a standard lab test is needed to know the exact pH value. If a testing lab isn’t available around you, you can use out-of-state labs that allow the mailing of specimens.
Ideally, you want to be getting a result between 6.0 and 7.0. However, anything below 5.5 indicates high acidity levels, which means your intervention may be needed for neutralization. At the same time, if the pH is above 7.5, you may want to avoid liming because you will increase the basicity to toxic levels.
Step 2: Get your Necessary Tools and Materials
Perhaps the most important aspect of pelletized lime application; if you get it wrong, you may increase your expenses to cover avoidable costs. You want to get your spreader, some land measurement tools, safety gear, and the pelletized lime.
Your choice of spreader depends on your preference, but you will need some land measurement tools like tape and pegs to markup the soil area, so you know exactly the space you’re liming. Your land size by square feet will determine the amount of pelletized lime you will need. Ideally, you want to get between 15 and 25 pounds of lime per 1000 square feet. However, the actual amount will depend on the level of acidity of the soil, so keep that in mind.
Lastly, good safety gear is necessary, not that the lime is corrosive on the skin, but you do at least need to work with some gloves and boots to protect yourself in the field.
Step 3: Till the Yard
This step may take some time; on the bright side, you mustn’t necessarily go through it. Although tilling can make you get faster results because you’ve directly exposed the soil to your lime pellets, it is unnecessary. If you’ve owned a garden or dressed a lawn before, you most likely will have a tiller, and it will come in handy; if you don’t, there’s no need to work yourself over it if you’re willing to cut some expenses for more waiting time.
Step 4: Note Spreader Settings
First off, you want to set your spreader on a concrete floor while filling – in the case of any spillage, you can easily clean up and add back the lime to the spreader basin. Also, when filling, stop at the basins’ fill line; if there’s no line, stop about an inch from the top.
Follow the instructions on the lime bag and set the spreader rate appropriately. Depending on the specific pelletized lime brand, the amount of lime needed per 1000 square feet of land will vary; as such, you want to be paying attention to what’s written on the lime bag. Think of it like following the cooking guidelines on spaghetti sachets.
Set your spread rate as recommended on the pelletized lime bag. Also, if your spreader supports half-rate settings, use it because we will make two passes in the form of a crisscross across the yard. However, if it doesn’t support half-rate settings, you can calculate from what’s on the lime bag and input it into the spreader.
Step 5: Setup the Yard’s Outline
Your yard’s outline determines the pattern in which you lay the lime. At the same time, your outline is determined by the shape of your yard. At any rate, your main goal is to cover the entire yard; keep that in mind when outlining
Step 6: Apply the Lime
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to apply lime is the crisscross method. To do this, you want to walk straight lines back & forth in your yard, complete the stretch, then go in the perpendicular direction to do the same again.
For example, say you have a 100 sq. ft. of land area, you want to divide into ten passes to give you ten divisions based on the length or width (it’s a square, they’re both the same). Although most spreaders have a range of 10-12 feet, the actual number of passes will depend on the spreader range, which you can know from its specifications.
Now, you want to walk back and forth, covering each pass as you go – make sure you maintain a straight line. Straight lines are best maintained when you keep your spreader’s wheels in the wheel marks of the previous pass. However, it may be difficult for irregular-shaped yards, but that’s where crisscrossing and setting a good yard outline will come to play.
When done with the first ten passes, start the crisscross by passing perpendicularly to your previous passed length. The crisscrossing will help you even out the application across the yard, especially if you leave the line to settle in overtime.
Step 7: Water the Yard
Generally, it takes months to get the results of liming; however, you can speed up the process by watering the yard. Watering also helps flush down any particles stuck in the blades of the grass, especially if you didn’t till the yard, as said in Step #3.
At the end of step 6, pat yourself on the back, and return in four weeks to check the results. Sometimes you may need to apply lime more than once in cases where the soil is very acidic. At any rate, you need at least a month to run pH tests after any application exercise.