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shams
Posted 18 Mar 2009
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Posts: 34

hi guys,
just wondering what was idea behind applying lime to sports surfaces??i read before it encouraged lots of weeds and it never did any good...just wondering what was the whole idea of applying it??thanks lads
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Barry Pace
Posted 18 Mar 2009
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'Where the future is being made today'

Shams,
Adjustment of ph, if you have problems associated with acidity then lime is the common option to bring it back toward neutral
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shams
Posted 18 Mar 2009
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Posts: 34

hi barry,
thanks for the reply. i know that lime is an alkaline substance but it was applied to sports surfaces by groundsmen and comitees who knew very little about the ph levels in soil..so what were they hoping to achieve??
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Poa7
Posted 18 Mar 2009 Last edited: 18 Mar 2009
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Posts: 174

The theory behind applying lime to rootzones was simply to adjust the given soils pH to one that is conducive to plant growth.

Let's say we had a plot of acid soil (pH 2 - 4.5). If we could move the soils pH nearer 6 - 7 (a neutral pH) the availability of nutrients in the soil would become more available to the plants growing in it.

As all plants have a preferred pH range to grow in, the idea is that we give them the soil conitions they love and they then flourish and we all live happily ever after.

Now, there are merits to liming soils, the trouble is, for it to work properly, it should be uniformly mixed in before anything is established on the surface.

Applying lime to the surface after establishment is IMO problematic as we never get uniformity of mix down into the profile where the roots are hanging out and the applied lime moves very, very slowly through the soil.

The suface pH changes rapidly though after lime application, and this encourages weeds, disease and supposidly increased worm activity.

Farmers seem to love it though!

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Ken Barber
Posted 18 Mar 2009
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The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under who’s shade you do not expect to sit.

On a 36 hole USGA project I worked on some years ago. The sand was a silica sand, with a pH 4.5 We applied dolomitic limestone in a very fine powder to raise the pH to neutral. It was spread over the rough graded rootzone using a drop spreader (hard work on on a soft rootzone), rotovated in to 6" inches deep and then the green was finished as per normal construction

The quality of a liming material cannot be fully assessed from the measurement of neutralising value and particle size distribution alone. Chemical composition is also important, since the relative contents of calcium and magnesium are important. The ratio of calcium to magnesium depends on whether the liming material has derived from calcitic or dolomitic limestone. Dolomitic limestone reacts more slowly with soil acidity and therefore need to be applied in a finer state than crushed calcitic limestone.

KB
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Barry Pace
Posted 18 Mar 2009
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
Posts: 2931

'Where the future is being made today'

Similarly at Woodhall Spa we had a ph of 3.2 in the Practice Area...... thats Vinegar!!!..lots of other areas 3.5 to 4.5 especially on sandier pockets where Pines were cleared.
As was new build we were able to add Agg Lime (as would Farmers), we could cultivate it in getting it down into the profile.... However on grow in we had major problem on a few areas of green surround, approaches etc, no matter how much water went on the soil stayed dry as a bone, even after 1/2'' thunderstorm...and no germination apart from a wee bit of fescue.... the low ph was causing the soil to repel water and be hydrophobic. This was treated with Microcal and spiking to get it down as quick as poss and to get roots down too...... This is a refined product much nicer to use but hell of a lot more expensive..
Point is this was everything was tested and addressed accordingly..... These 'clubs' you speak of may have had advice and soil tests..... and maybe not quite followed the exact requirements..... But I can not see why any chairman,,,, (certainly not the ones I have met!!!) would spend money on anything unless they thought they really needed to...
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Stuart Stenhouse
Posted 19 Mar 2009
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Posts: 30

You are really delving into the realms of soil science. Calcium is not just used for raising pH, besides the amount you would have to apply to raise the pH by 0.1 is quite high. You need to understand the value of Calcium and its relationship with other nutrients and how it reacts with them. It is also considered one of the 'BIG' boys and so can influence a soils capacity to hold or not hold certain nutrients. Its plant function helps to strengthen cell walls and so WILL help to prevent disease not cause disease. It also neutralises toxins within the plant and plays a major role during high stress periods in helping the plant to survive. I am not suggesting for one minute everyone goes out and applys bulk calcium, certainly not without getting soil tests done and then it is abosolutely critical you understand them and the chemical relationships within the soil. It is important to get the correct ratios with other nutrients such P, Mg, Mn & Zn. I apply in the region of 150kg /Ha of Dolomitic Limestone every year to my greens with no adverse effects. I have a pH of on average 5.9 - 6.0. It hasnt moved much over the years but then I am not applying it to adjust pH more to improve the soil and get the plant functioning better.

Regards
Stuart
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Stuart Stenhouse
Posted 19 Mar 2009
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Sorry guys that should read 150kg of actual Ca /Ha
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Poa7
Posted 19 Mar 2009
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I once new a knowledgeable man who said - the pH you got, is the pH you got! What a gem!
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shams
Posted 19 Mar 2009
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Posts: 34

thanks guys for the information..i just always wondered as a young fella why they applied so much lime to our local football pitch year in year out..thanks again
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