The picture on the right shows one of our team spreading lime on the farm here on the Hill of Uisneach.
Advantages of liming
Ground limestone is often spread on agricultural land in Ireland. It acts as a soil conditioner to improve the pH levels and nutrient content of the soil. This can lead to increased crop yields and improved pasture quality for livestock.
The amount of limestone applied will depend on the specific needs of the soil and the crops being grown.
Some of the benefits of spreading lime
Increases soil pH - Lime is an alkaline substance, and when added to acidic soils, it can increase the soil pH. This is important because many crops grow best in soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. If the soil is too acidic, the nutrients in the soil become less available to plants, which can lead to poor growth and yield
Improves nutrient availability - When soil pH is too low, some nutrients become less available to plants. Liming the soil can improve the availability of these nutrients, including phosphorus, potassium and calcium
Enhances microbial activity - Soil microbes play a crucial role in soil fertility and plant health. Liming the soil can enhance microbial activity, which can lead to better nutrient cycling and soil structure
Reduces toxicities - Some elements, such as aluminum and manganese, can become toxic to plants when soil pH is too low. Liming the soil can reduce the toxicity of these elements and improve plant growth
Improves soil structure - Lime can improve soil structure by increasing the aggregation of soil particles. This can lead to better water infiltration and retention, which is important for plant growth
So, spreading lime in Irish soils can improve soil pH, nutrient availability, microbial activity, reduce toxicities, and improve soil structure. All of which can lead to better plant growth and yield.