Types of Lime and What to Look For
There are many different types of lime, but they all work to do the same thing: raise soil pH to the neutral range in order to unlock nutrients in the soil and make them available for plant uptake. But, when it comes time to put lime on your lawn or garden, the choice of which lime is best for you can be overwhelming. Choosing the right lime will help you maximize results and avoid burning your lawn. Below is an explanation of the various types of lime, and how they stack up against each other.
Some types of lime, such as agricultural lime, often called “aglime,” are best suited for agricultural uses, and are not ideal for the average garden. This type of lime is a more coarse limestone, because it spreads better out of agricultural spreaders. However, because this lime is more coarse, it tends to take a very long time to break down, even years, unlike a fast acting lime which breaks down in a couple of weeks.
Hydrated lime was sold for years as a garden lime. However, it is actually made of Calcium Hydroxide and should not be put on lawns or gardens, as it is caustic to plants and skin, reacting with any moisture it comes into contact with.
Powder or Pelletized Lime?
Traditional pulverized limestone is a powder made from crushing limestone rock. This powder lime is beneficial because it breaks down quickly and acts fast. The downside to this, however, is that it is extremely dusty, and difficult to transport. Quality of lime can be likened to the chemistry of the product, but also the fineness it is, as the finer it is, the more quickly it will break down and begin to work. But fineness also makes for difficult handling.
In the 1980’s, people began to solve this dilemma by pelletizing the dusty pulverized lime with a binder. Pelletizing lime was ideal, because it had all the ability to break down quickly and act fast, but it was easier to transport, easy to spread, and much less dusty. However, low quality pelletized lime can have a variety in the size of pellets, making suggested spreader settings slightly inaccurate.
Enhanced Pelletized Lime
Pelletized limestone has evolved to also include enhanced pelletized lime, or lime with additives such as polymers, organic acids, and micronutrients. Encap’s Fast Acting Lime falls into this category, because it is enhanced with Advanced Soil Technology, consisting of polymers that hold nutrients in the soil’s root zone, where they are needed most.
Liquid or Dry Lime?
Liquid lime is a method of applying lime in more industrial applications, such as a road side, or golf course, when a hydroseeder is utilized. Typically, this allows for spreading across vast areas, but it does not give the soil the ideal amount of lime it needs.
Calcitic Lime or Dolomitic Lime?
Raw limestone is derived from two different sources: calcitic lime, or dolomitic lime. Calcitic lime is the preferred lime, because of the powerful neutralizer that Calcium is, and also because of the added benefits Calcium offers to soil and plants. Soils that are magnesium deficient can benefit from dolomitic, but in general, the higher percentage of Calcium a lime product is, the better quality it is.
Encap’s Fast Acting Lime consists of a super fine, pelletized, calcitic limestone. This equates to a powerful neutralizer that is easy to handle, delivers quick results, and fosters a healthy soil environment for plant roots, whether grass, vegetables, or flowers. It is easy to use, with last fast, lasting results. Plus, it’s safe to use around kids and pets! Find it at your local garden center, or contact us today to find a supplier near you!
Don’t know where to begin with your soil pH? Try our app!