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Spreading agricultural lime

15571 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  LLigetfa
OK, I went to the feed store to pick up some lime and they asked me if I wanted "powdered". I probably should have asked what other form it came in but for what I wanted to do with it I thought powdered was the way to go.

Now, I don't want to get into a debate on the pros and cons of using 20 Mule Team Borax to control Creeping Charlie, but that was my intention. From what I've read, the usual way to apply it is to disolve 10 ounces in 2.5 gallons of water but to treat 10,000 sq ft, a 2.6kg box would need to be mixed with well over 200 gallons of water to spread and that wasn't going to happen.

So I got this idea of mixing the borax with 25kg of powdered lime in my cement mixer and then spread it dry with my broadcast fertilizer spreader. Guess what? Powdered lime is fine, like cement powder and doesn't flow through a broadcast spreader without a whole lot of shakin' goin' on. I did manage to get it spread and Mother Nature later provided the hundreds of gallons of rain to wash it into the soil. The grass is happy, the Creeping Charlie is not.

Anyway... back to the topic of the title of this thread... what other forms does lime come in and how easily does it spread?
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Pellitized. Easy in a rotary broadcast spreader.
Mix it in a plastic 55 gallon drum with a spigot on the bottom and use gravity to water the area with a hose, or use a portable sump pump with the hose hooked up to it. If you need to move around place the barrel in a trailer and tow it where you need to.

or use a drop s[reader instead of a broadcast.
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if you don,t have a big area.just broard cast by hand,thats. how I top dressed some clover yesterday.
I have 2 acres to cover so hand spreading is not an option and neither is a drop spreader. I'd like to have a large tow-behind tank sprayer to add to the fleet but it's hard to justify the cost and I can't use commercial weed killer so that limits its usefulness.

Does pelletized lime spread about the same as granular fertilizer? The powdered lime was dirt cheap. Not sure how much more pelletized costs.

We have a local biomass plant that is planning to offer their ash for agricultural spreading. Up until now they've been wetting it down to control dust and dumping the ash in the landfill.

I don't know how coarse or fine the granularity of it will be but free is free and I'm tempted to try some of it. Mind you, if it clogs up my broadcast spreader it may not be worth the price. I know my compost is a PITA to spread.
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Pellitized lime is about the same granules as fertilizer. I wouldn't put powered material in your broadcast spreader it will strip the gears. Had a friend put powered lime in his 3pt pto spreader and within an hour the gearbox was gone. I use pellitized lime in mine and it works great and not much more expensive.
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OK, I thought I would follow up on this thread. First off, WRT to the issue of how to spread powdered lime, I must say that a broadcast spreader it not the way to go. If sticking with powdered lime, consider a drop spreader.

I've been doing research on the granularity of lime and a common theme is that the more granular it is, the less effective it is. That said, not having a drop spreader, I will try something a bit more coarse than "powdered". I just asked my wife to pick up some granular (not powdered). She calls me from the ag store saying they don't have granular, but what they have is not powdered. I'm thinking there is confusion on terminology WRT to granular versus pelletized as the guy at the ag store described it as "like sand, not powdered". None the less, I'll give it a go this weekend.

As for the original purpose that I went with powdered, I was blending it with Mule Team Borax in my cement mixer for a dry application. In my research I could not find anyone that said they tried that. Normally the borax is mixed with water and applied with a sprayer. A tow-behind sprayer is only on my "nice to have" list and so I don't yet have one.

Anyway... it may still be too early to tell, but so far it looks like I put a pretty good stop to the Creeping Charley. The only place I'm seeing any is where I stayed away from the wife's flower and vegetable gardens. Now I'm thinking that I need to move the drop spreader from my "nice to have" to my "gotta have" list. With the drop spreader I can have a more precise application next to the beds without risk of overspray.

Of course I could always mix some borax in my 5 gallon portable sprayer but my concern is that I may not apply it evenly enough. From what I read about using borax to control Creeping Charley, if you apply too much, the soil is laid to waste and nothing will grow. Better IMHO, to have a visual indication such as a white lime trail.

As for over-applying lime, my soil is quite acidic, evidenced by all the moss growing. Moss likes lower pH than grass does and dandelion likes higher pH than grass does. If I get lots of dandelion and no moss, I'll know I went too far.
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