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How much lime on 1/16 acre with 5.1 pH?

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Old 07-10-2019, 03:39 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default How much lime on 1/16 acre with 5.1 pH?

I got my soil sample back from the county extension services and my pH was 5.1. They are recommending 1.9 tons of lime. This sounds a bit much for such a small food plot (brassica). Any suggestions?
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:28 PM
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well a ton of lime is what it takes to MAYBE move the Ph one point IF your lucky
also depends on the quality of the lime, too! if I recall right your at about a 1/4 acre, and if your at a 5.1, and your trying to get to say a 6.5-7(ideal range for clover and most food plot things)
1.9 tons of lime seems a tad over kill, but honestly, its most likely not going to be enough after a yr of it there, some will wash out, and get used up as things there keep soil levels down(rains, run off, leave matter and such and just plain old soil quality period))

and it will take a LONG time to do so,, its why many poor soils in PA< require several tons per acre to adjust things! and its a never ending deal for a few yrs
we have one 4 acre plot at camp, that in the past say 20 yrs I bet we added about 40 ton of lime to it and its still not up to a 6.5 yet!

MY suggestion is, drop a ton of lime, mix in good, plant your brassicia(its been known to grow in lower ph OK)
and then next spring test again and see what it needs as brassicia(rape) is a yearly planting any how, so your going to be planting again next yr!

if you got access to any farmers, that have any left over soybeans, get some and mix it in when planting, go light and your brassicia will grow around it, yet will still draw deer like mad when its got beans(they won't last long) ina such a small plot, but does make it more appealing to deer, and it (soybeans) grows in pretty poor soil too LOL
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:48 PM
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Thanks mrbb, good to know and very helpful & informative.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:33 AM
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Here's another perspective. Soil takes time to utilize the lime and applied this late in the year, isn't going to do much to sweeten your soil and that 1.9 tons is going to be mostly wasted.

From NC State University soil sample guide:
For best results, mix the lime into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil several months before planting. For no-till or established plantings where this is not possible, apply no more than 1 to 1.5 ton/acre (50 lb/1000 sq ft) at one time, even if the report recommends more. You can apply the rest in similar increments every six months until the full rate is applied. If MG is recommended and lime is needed, use dolomitric lime.
Of course, this is for NC plots. Talk to your extension agent and see what they recommend.

If you follow the guidelines above, you will only need 187.5 lbs of lime. 1/16 acre(.0625) x 1 1/2 tons of lime(3000lbs) = 187.5lbs. for the first application. I bet the extension service recommendation was for a full acre. Adjust for you size plot.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:50 AM
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Thanks Coastal Mountaineer, very helpful and right. You were also right about the extension service reccomending 1.9 tons for an ACRE, I misread and overlooked that, now it makes sense. Thanks again.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:52 AM
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Lime will NOT go to waste if you add it to your plot NOW< and the sooner you add it the better, as the ideal way to make lime work is to mix LIME in with your soil, so each particle of lime touches a particle of soil, that is the ONLY way it will work!
I have 30+ yrs of making food plots in PA, in countless counties all over the state! from small like yours to up to 30 acres in size DEER/wildlife plots!(30 yrs part time farmer as well)

Lime is a never ending thing and you will need more than a 187 lbs IMO to make a dent in things, its better than nothing, but its NOT going to make much difference adding NOW< for this first planting!
if your NOT going to MIX the lime in to get it to work, it will take a LOT longer to just break down and leak into the soil, and to do that you need MORE Than the recommended amount, so it has extra to leak from top/above ground, into a few inches of soil to get to where the roots are in your plantings!
snow and rain will again, help leak/break down lime and get it into the ground, but its a very very slow going process that takes TIME and a lot of it, even mixing it in isn't a FAST fix!

1.9 tons is over kill , but I wouldn';t hesitate to add a good 500-700 lbs to this site if it was me here!
Pa has very rocky poor soils and most that are NOT, are long time now already in LARGER farms!
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:12 AM
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Best bet is to talk to your county extension agent and ask him or her. See what they say.

If my math is right, your plot is about 2750 sq. ft. Just about the size of a good sized home. About a 40'x70' plot. Putting 400lbs. of lime on this plot is the equivalent of 6,400 lbs per acre.

Talk to your agent and save your money.

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Old 07-12-2019, 03:17 AM
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Would pelletized lime be better this time of year, considering planting in August?
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:56 AM
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Absolutely! And, as mrbb said, you'll need to turn the soil over before spreading lime, Work the soil as deep as you can, 6-8" is ideal, before spreading lime. Next, spread your lime and fertilizer per soil report recommendations. Then, turn the soil over again. This puts the lime and fertilizer in close contact with the soil. Next prepare a firm seed bed and you're reading for planting.

Be sure to note how deep your seeds should be planted, this is usually printed on the seed bag and follow these recommendations. Try to plant a day or two before you expect rain to insure good soil moisture and seed germination.

After planting, it's a good idea to run a cultipacker over the field putting the seeds in direct contact with the soil. If you don't have a cultipacker, you could use a lawn roller or even a section of chain link fencing.

Don't be discouraged if you don't get great results the first planting. As mrbb said, you'll need to apply lime several times before it does it's magic. Also, the more you work the soil, the better your results will be.

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:58 AM
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I am going to say NO on the pelletized lime working better this time of yr over pulverized lime, and the reason is, pelletized lime has a coating on it, and that has to break down to get the lime to break down to be used, so its more time consuming for the process to happen,
its TIME , and mixing lime with soil that changes PH!
SO< having lime that needs more time to break down, isn;t going to speed anything up on changing PH, only thing pelletized lime does is make it easier top spread with a broadcast spreader, over needing a drop spreader like type for pulleverized lime!
and IMO< you need to use even MORE pelletized lime per dose, than pulverized, due to the stuff scatters more and you have larger gaps between soil and lime pellets!
talking to a soil conservation officer/extension, isn;'t a bad idea, but there are small changes in soil from one acre to another, so, its NOT like he is going to say USE this THERE, it all come down to the sopil test results, and then its TIME to make the PH change,
if your NOT going to mix the lime into the top layer of soil VERY VERY well, its ALL time, to make it change!
the ONLY faster way to MAYBE make PH change would be with liquid lime
it can be sprayed onto things and in a smaller plot like yous, its rather do able if you have a sprayer
BUT its a very short term fix, and NOT going to really do much to change the soil after a little time goes by(say one planting)
it will wash off real fast and your back to square one again.
I again have a LOT of real experience with soils in PA, most are poor at best, rocky and just don't have great soil for planting in most places near forested lands!
its all about time and doing test after test till your getting a steady reading a few yrs in a row and then its all about top dressing after this, to maintain things!
there is NO add this and good for yrs deal here in PA IMO
all the more so in SMALL plots where leaf matter and other things alter soil so fast

larger fields can be easier to maintain, as edges only get lower faster, where small plots the whole plot can loose it(still the same in lime needs though)

NOW as for planting steps, I also have a slight disagreement with the above, close but I do things a little differently!(not bashing the above at all here either)


I would ADD the lime , THEN work the soil to a good 3-5 inches, and then let things work!
I would NOT add any fertilizer to the soil until your going to plant,
I also, prefer to turn soil over a few times before planting when on low PH soil or just /new sites!
be like, add lime today, turn soil over
wait a week, and do again and then maybe a third time, then wait a week, see what greens up and spray/burn down
as when ever you turn soil over you will bring up dormant seeds you don;t want in your plot!

after this I will wait a day or so, by this time, many times soil firms up good enough to just fertilize, and then seed and then cultipack seeds down!
Brasicia and like seeds do NOT need to be much more than just slightly covered with dirt, an inch or less of cover, and on slightly loose soil when you roll it, that seems to work about perfect to me for getting seeds just covered by rolling over, or using a small drag of some sorts!

I do fully agree with, the firt t=planting some times NOT being as great as you hope for!
many things cause this, one is, well soil again isn;'t at needed PH, second is, small plots like this, might get too much shade if tree's are not cut back enough to get good day light, and then there is over browsing, a NEW to area plot, will draw critters to it a lot more and they will eat fresh growing green things, thus stunning a lot of the plots plants!

this is also why I recommend adding a second crop to the site even if small like soybeans! the seeds can normally be had cheap, and will grow most times even just laying on top opf the soil, do a mild broadcast so not to compete with the main crop, and you will have something the deer and such will eat over the brassiciia while its mature, yet not make too much shade to cover the main seed as it grows!
once fall gets here IF any beans make it they will turn brown, deer will eat the beans over just the plants as they were growing, and leave the brassicia alone till a frost sweetens it for then

and DON"T be fooled into thinking deer won't eat brassicia's before frost, they will, in low prime food areas and higher deer numbers deer will mow a plow fast this size!
I managed some farms that I could plant 3 acres of corn for a plot-along with 13 acres of other things and a 100 acre corm n field(commercial planting) and not really get any ears of corn on the corn plot, deer would mow it down as it grew, and never ever needed to mow any of the clover plots or other deer plots!
had super high deer numbers though and was crazy with so many eating everything so fast!
used to e fence the 3 acres of corn to try and curb it, and let the power off about mid dec, and would run out of corn in them by end of jan! hoping to provide some winter food, just amazing to see that much corn get eaten so fast in winter time there!
just an example! sorry if off topic!
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