Lime and your Soil

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Lime is usually applied for 2 main reasons: either to raise or maintain soil pH levels at desirable levels. (New Zealand soils tend to be acidic with a low pH).

The application of small amounts of finely ground lime flour can stimulate the activity of soil animals such as earthworms, bacteria and fungi.

When lime is applied it supplies calcium to the soil. When this occurs, calcium replaces the high levels of hydrogen ions on the soil and improves availability of most of the nutrients required by pasture species and leads to a boost in soil biological activity and an increase in the uptake and availability of many nutrients.
Earthworms are among the most responsive of the soil animals to changes in the calcium level within the soil solution. With the increase of earthworm activity there is more efficient digestion and breakdown of soil organic matter within the soil.
Soil organisms need to encouraged and stimulated. They are what make a good soil work. They do this in a number of ways i.e. by improving nutrient cycling , by breaking down topsoil thatching, by improving soil structure and by improving soil water holding ability, drainage and aeration etc.
To grow good pasture requires good soil. A key component of any good soil is the number and type of soil biological organisms. Lime is applied to either raise or maintain soil pH at desirable levels and to stimulate the activity of soil animals such as earthworms, bacteria and fungi. Lime supplies calcium to the soil and improves availability of most of the nutrients required by pasture species leading to a boost in soil biological activity.
Usual NZ application rate is 1 tonne per hectare. Regular application is better than infrequent overloading of the soil with lime.