Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Landscape and Turf - Liquid Lime

There is a considerable amount of liquid lime that is sold to the landscape and turf industries, especially for hydroseeding. Liquid lime is a tool to get a quick pH response at sites. However, it should not take the place of regular liming programs. The following is information on liquid lime.

Lime is sometimes sold as a suspension, often called “liquid lime.” It consists of fine lime particles mixed with water and a suspending clay. All the lime particles must be 100 mesh or finer. Up to 1,000 pounds of lime can be suspended in a ton of liquid product. The main advantages of liquid lime are ease of handling and precise application. This material, although a fluid, does not react any faster or differently than dry lime of the same particle size. All of the lime in a suspension is fast acting, and a ton of product (1,000 pounds of fine lime particles plus clay and water) will raise the pH as fast as a ton of dry lime. However, due to particle size and enhanced initial reactivity, the effectiveness of suspensions is short-lived, compared to regular agricultural limestone, and liming will probably have to be repeated every year. There also may be some potential for raising soil pH slightly above the target for a period of time if these materials are used. With liquid lime the initial pH spikes are higher but pH drops occur more quickly and to a greater degree. In the end, using suspensions to correct soil acidity is considerably more expensive.

Taken in part from a North Carolina State University Soil Facts publication on Soil Acidity and Liming.

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