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Pelletized Lime while planting
Wanted to get an opinion on putting down pelletized lime at the same time as seeding our plots. Would it benefit the seedlings at all or would it be more beneficial to the spring plantings? Our club hasn't limed in a few years and some of the members are finally seeing the waste of money on fertilizing low pH plots.
From what I have read on other sites and in studies shows pelletized lime has mixed reviews on pelletized vs ag lime. So any amendments that can be made to get us started in the right direction to me is a benefit. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Pelletized lime takes 4-6 months to change any of the PH levels in soil. It wont be a waste but I don't believe your new seeding will benefit from the application.
Regular ag lime breaks down a lot faster than the pelletized unless you time the application to put it on just before a rain. If the pellets don't get wetted they just get incorporated into the soil as a slug of lime. The pellets are convenient but if you can get a regular lime truck into the plots the ag lime is cheaper and better..
Tomorrow never comes! The sooner you put it out the better. I've heard many of my friends tell me they are too late for lime this year, then next year, then next year and so on. At some point you got to put the lime out. Time and money wise you would be better to put out lime and not even do a food plot. I put out 100 tons at the cost or $4,000 over a 14 month period on my food plots. Ag lime is WAY WAY cheaper. The main thing I want to stress is that you get the lime out now!!!
I put out 400 lb. to the acre last year (pelletized) and it moved my ph very little, but in all fairness, I needed a lot of lime. I couldn't get any ag lime then but got it in March of this year. Still need a little according to the latest soil test, but I'm getting that Friday.
Definitely won't hurt so go for it. It probably will not assist your planting in time for this season.
Do it, but it takes about 6 months to do its stuff ..... if the weeds are under control you could ad some fertilizer 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 something like that/similar for brassica's... if its clover or Alfalfa, go with the lowest nitrogen fertilizer you can find 5-12-12 or 0-12-12 etc. ..........
Correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that pelletize lime was very fine and works the fastest. The finer the lime the faster it works but the shorter the life??? I know there are some other factors but this is my general understandin? Ed
Ed, I have the same understanding.
If you are working the ground preparing the seed bed, I would put the lime down first.
You can buy ag lime in sacks also, I've put it out on several small plots and about to do it this weekend again. Some say you can't put it out with a cyclone type spreader, but that would be wrong. I go low rpm and use fourth gear on my tractor. This gives me the ground speed I need and doesn't throw the lime too wide. Perfect for liming strips. It's dusty, but not overwhelming. I do recommend a cabbed tractor though !
I am ALSO under the understanding that "pelletized" lime is the fastest working....Ag. lime takes a long time...up to a year to show it`s benefits. I think pelletized will show in 3-4 months depending on weather.
As a side note to spreading dusty lime with a tractor or an ATV check your air filter after you are done and clean it or replace. You will be surprised how much lime dust will be in their.
If your plots need lime there is no bad time to put it out . The sooner the better . You must remember that the deer you are feeding get there calcium from there feed so the more the lime the better . To a point . Most people do not put out enough. If you have to choose between lime and fertilizer to stay with in your budget put out the lime .
Pellet lime is easier but doesn't last as long in the soil but usually breaks down fairly quickly after rain so it sure won't hurt anything.You should apply alot less per acre than ag lime to get the same change but as mentioned it doesn't last as long.Example I may spread 30lbs per acre in my mix per year but it's because I don't have anywhere close to get ag lime.Have you done a soil test and then have the coop or where ever you get your chemical figure your lbs needed
I appreciate all the comments. One question I am trying to find an answer to online and having trouble is how much does your ph actually fluctuate in a years time. 5 years between liming applications?
In order of importance:
1. Get PH right (over 5.5, under 7.5)
2. Get K right (base saturation 4%)
3. Get the rest of your fertility right (soil test and ammend)
4. Get weeds under control (Plant RR crops and spray when weeds are under 4" and use full labeled rate, also think about 3 pre emerge herbicides in addition. Mow your clover plots before the weeds head out, this can be as often as every two weeks.
5. Get good seed to soil contact when planting, that means a quality no-till drill (great plains, john deere) or planter (John Deere, Kinze) OR plow (optional on lighter soils or if you have a heavier notched blade disk), disk, drag, broadcast, pack (culti packer is a good investment)
I use a product called Solu-Cal. Its enhanced pellet lime. I am sure there are those that will dispute their claim but it appears to do what I need. My soil test indicated 2.5 ton acre last spring. Solu-cal states 1 bag is approx. 300lb of pellet at about 18.00 bag. But when you do the math 7 bags or @ a ton equivalent is $126.00 and its only 7 bags to spread versus 40 of normal pellet. Well I tried it, my ph was @ 5.5 in April. I applied 10 bags per acre and retested in June. It was 6.3. So not too bad. I cannot get an ag lime truck in. I will retest in spring. But my pics seem to speak for themselves. I also know Penn State and Uk tested it and the indicted good results although it will need to be done annually.
Is there dealers for Solu-Cal? Or you have to order direct?
400 lbs of pellet lime per year maintains soil ph 800 lbs of pellet lime i recommend for raising ph. put down pellet lime in the late fall for spring plantings and why wait til next spring to take a soil test?
I mixed granular dolmite lime and ag lime 2:1 in my cone spreader and it worked well and never packed in. It spread the whole time.
If spreading with a three point cone type, take the agitator off. It will be less messy.
First I'll say I am a fan of pelletized lime. That is mostly because I can't get a truck to my fields to spread Ag lime. That being the case, admittedly, everything I read says that pelletized and Ag lime work at about the same pace. So be consistent. Keep your applications to no more than 500 lbs/acre per application. Do it in the spring and in the fall until you get to your desired level of pH.
One slight tip would be that if you till, apply pre-till and till it in. That could accelerate that particular application. Also, my experience says that where you lack lime/pH, overcompensate with extra fertilizer.
It's a process. You will get there with consistency.