Spreading Lime to Make the Grass Grow

My 22" Drop Spreader works fine when things are dry

My soil test last summer showed acidic soil and low calcium to be our limiting factors to growing more grass.  The recommendation we received was to apply agricultural lime at a rate of 500 lbs/acre, so I’ve been working on that.

The math was easy.  I’ve got 3 acres of grass & pasture x 500 lbs/acre = 1500 lbs of lime.  Of course the local feed store sells lime–they had three, 25# bags.  Hmmmm….  I kept looking.  It was the usual problem of being too big for the local feed store, and too small to buy from the commercial Ag distributors (although they would deliver a 10 ton truckload if I wanted them to).  I ended up getting a pallet shipped up to me with thirty 50# bags at about $5/bag for powdered gardening lime.

My first trip out with the drop spreader was in mid-December, and I walked about 2 miles pulling the spreader behind me.  It’s only 22 inches wide, so it takes a while to cover the area I need.  It was working great though…for a while.

Powdered lime clogs up the spreader when the grass is wet

The next time I went out, it was early in the morning, and although it wasn’t raining, the grass was wet.  I was also in a different pasture with taller grass.  After a few passes, the spreader gradually stopped working.  The dry white powder had become clogged because the spreader was getting wet from the taller grass.  The clogs washed clean very easily with the garden hose, but it takes a day to dry.  Since I knew I wouldn’t get dry grass until spring, I needed a different solution.

Simple solutions are good.  The one that worked was scooping up the lime with an empty flower pot and shaking it through the holes in the bottom.  I could tell how fast I was spreading it from how much *White* was left on the ground behind me.  My pants and boots were white when I finished up, but they wash clean easily.

Empty flower pots work great to spread lime in the rain too

The best part was that now I was able to recruit my farm helpers (ages 6 & 9) to come along with me to help with the project!

I officially finished this round of soil supplements yesterday.  In the past 3 weeks, I spread 27 bags of lime, and am happy to have the 3 left to add to the garden as needed this spring.

My next step is to spread 9 lbs of granubor boron across the 3 acres.  That’s a pretty thin layer, but I have a plan…..

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