Spring is just around the corner here on our little hobby farm and as with everyone that enjoys the outdoors this brings about thoughts of spring plantings. Whether that be grass or flowers or the vegetables in the garden. Farm or growing practices of any type take a little thought and planning if we want to get the best results from them.
In our case right now it is the grass we need to plant and what needs to happen for the seeds to germinate and it grow and establish itself well for long term growth and grazing for the farm animals. The soil PH has to be balanced in order for the plants to utilize the nutrients in the soil to feed the grass while it is getting started. This has been an issue for us since we started our family farm here about 13 years ago. Our PH level is down around 5
Here in NE TN. It seems most if not all the farmers have need of lime on the property to increase the PH to get it within the 6 to 7.5 range that is suppose to be the optimum or best range for most of the plants we are growing to be able to make use of the nutrients already in the soil. With a lower PH level, or higher acidity as it is referred to also, there could there can already be plenty of nutrients such as nitrogen phosphorus and potash in the soil for plant health but if soil PH is to low it can’t use what are already there for them..
Just like with us. If our plate is filled with all right foods but we only eat the carbs and proteins the we are missing out on a lot of the vitamins and minerals available in the veggies. That is why mamas always say make sure you eat your vegetables. It is the same way with plants. Just because it is there doesn’t mean it is always taken advantage of.
What does this mean to us as farmers or hobby farmers? We are most likely spending money we don’t need to on high dollar high nitrogen fertilizer that our grasses and or vegetables cannot use efficiently anyway. It is there but they just can’t take advantage of it. Or make use of it so I am spending my money for nothing.
So what is the answer? Lime! No not the round green citrus fruit used in cooking or drinks. This is a mineral found in the ground that is mined pulverized and sold back to us so that we can put it back in the ground where it is needed. It raises the PH of or sweetens the soil so the plant life can more readily make use of the nutrients there, but not available for use, with out us spending our money on something we don’t need to. Such as nitrogen that we keep hearing to much of is being put on our farm lands anyway causing high nitrogen polluting of our water supply.
How do you know and what do you do? Soil test! Go to your local AG agent or your local Co-op even a lot of Garden Shops can provide the necessary tools and connection with a lab to test the soil. Get it tested and find out what if anything you need to do. Believe me it is a lot less expensive than high nitrogen fertilizers or other nutrients that may or may not get you the results you want and need.
If you find out your hobby farm or homestead farming operation needs lime then address that issue first.
I recently found out there is more than one way to add lime and advantages to both. I am still researching to see which is the best for me. It comes down to granular or liquid. I did not know liquid lime even existed until a few months ago. Is it good is it less expensive or is it better for our situation?
I’ll let you know what I find in a few days when I finish my research. Watch for it. LIME ON THE HOBBY FARM (LIQUID OR GRANULAR) WHICH IS BETTER Coming soon to a web site near you.
You guess which one and be ready to receive it.