Dear Nice Farmstyle People
Last year I had some soil tests done and you advised me to add some lime to our little paddocks in Hartley Valley on the western side of the Blue Mountains.
Now I am wondering what to do next?
How do I prepare the ground for adding lime and is there a right time to do it?
Thanks in advance
It depends a little on what you are going to be doing with the ground.
If it is remaining in pasture.
Graze the paddock out as much as possible then simply apply the lime, preferably before some rain is due. It really doesn't matter what time of the year you apply lime, as it is not going to go anywhere.
If you have to apply lime to pasture that is long enough to be grazed, then make sure the paddock gets sufficient rain to wash off the lime before grazing again. If lime gets ingested by stock, it can be pretty hard on them as it is abrasive on their gut lining. It can also induce milk fever in cows about to calve as the calcium ingested from the lime interferes with the cows ability to mobilise her own calcium reserves. A standard recommendation is not to lime within 8 weeks of cows calving regardless if the lime is washed off the pasture when grazed or not.
If the paddock is going to be cultivated straight after liming,
then prior to applying lime, the usual procedure would be to hard graze the paddock to remove as much pasture as possible, followed by spot spraying of any weeds still left. If there are still clumps of pasture etc left, then rotary slash anything that remains as low down as possible. Then apply the lime and follow up with the cultivation process to work the lime into depth.
If any of this needs clarification, just ask away. It is a big topic with a lot of variables and I may not have covered what you really wanted to know.