Agricultural lime is one of the additions used in the garden to modify soil acidity. Additions are elements that fall into the soil with the purpose of changing its properties. In this way, the soil is balanced with the missing elements. For clay soils, it is useful to add agricultural lime. In this way, the soil becomes more permeable and easier to work on.
Agricultural lime reduces soil acidity. In this way, weeds that prefer acidic soil are also reduced. It is beneficial for any type of soil except calcareous soil.
How Much Does Agricultural Lime Cost?
The cost of agricultural lime will depend on the place you buy it from and the quantity. The majority of agricultural lime bags have anywhere between 40 and 100 pounds, and the price of a 50 pounds bag will be anywhere between $7 and $15. In general, these bags are perfect for smaller areas like backyard gardens and patios.
In case you want to buy agricultural lime by the ton, then you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $190 and $350 per ton at a local quarry/store. The professional application will not be included in this price range. This price will only include the type of agricultural lime. Plan on spending anywhere between $45 and $120 per ton to hire a professional company to have it delivered and spread.
There are several factors that will affect the cost of agricultural lime, such as:
As with any other product or service, the place you buy it from will impact its price. Even though you can find a product at a number of stores, the price may be different. This is also available for the proximity to the product and your geographical area. According to the Braenstone.com website, resellers will charge more than manufacturers.
You can find several types of agricultural lime on the market. The cheapest will be the dolomitic and traditional agricultural lime, while the most expensive option will be the liquid agricultural mile as this has additives. Though, the costs will vary from one location to another.
In case you don’t have the necessary equipment to haul the agricultural lime, you will need to have it delivered to your location by a professional.
You can choose to spread the agricultural lime yourself or you can hire a professional to do this job.
The necessary amount of agricultural lime will depend on the field size and the pH level of the soil.
Types of agricultural lime
There are several types of agricultural lime, such as:
- calcitic, which is just crushed limestone with a high content of calcium;
- liquid, that contains 50% water and 50% dry agricultural lime;
- dolomitic, which is made from dolomite with a high level of magnesium.
What are the additional expenses?
If you want to have the agricultural lime delivered or spread, you should know that most companies will have a delivery minimum of 10 to 15 tons. In case you don’t meet this minimum, but still want to have the lime delivered to your location, a minimum surcharge might applied.
Some people want to have a soil analysis to determine the soil’s pH level before purchasing agricultural lime. The professional will know what type of agricultural lime to recommend thanks to this information.
Important things to consider
Most plants prefer a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If the pH is too high (alkaline) or too low (acidic), plants cannot absorb the nutrients available in the soil. They develop nutrient deficiency symptoms such as pale leaves and stunted growth. Using agricultural lime for acidic soil raises the pH so that plant roots can absorb needed nutrients from the soil.
Before applying agricultural lime, do a soil analysis. Then apply it gradually, if needed. The goal is to gently change the pH of the soil.
You will start to see a measurable difference in soil pH about four weeks after adding agricultural lime, but it can take six to twelve months for the lime to completely dissolve. You will not see the full effect of adding lime to the soil until it is completely dissolved and incorporated into the soil.
When to add agricultural lime to the soil
For most gardeners, fall is a good time to add agricultural lime. Working lime into the soil in the fall gives it a few months to dissolve before spring planting. To add agricultural lime to the soil, first prepare the bed by cultivating or digging to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Spread the lime evenly on the soil and then rake it to a depth of 2 inches.
How can I save money?
You may be able to save anywhere between $30 and $70 per ton if you choose to spread the agricultural lime yourself.