Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Twist of Lime

Cherry limeades were a special treat at Grandma Marie's house. For a summertime treat, Marie would combine fresh limes and sugar-free Cherry 7-Up and serve it up with ice and a straw. Maybe you watch those Food Network shows, and the chef is always squeezing or zesting a fresh lime to create that perfect balance of acidity (whatever that means).

Well, this is about lime. But it's got nothing to do with the Food Network or cherry limeades.

It's all about agricultural lime. Several weeks ago, Randy gathered soil samples from different fields and took them to the co-op so they could be sent to a lab for testing.

Some tests for the pH of the soil came back low. An ideal soil pH is around 7. We had some tests that came in at 4.8.

The pH is a logarithmic scale: The lower the pH, the more acid in the soil. The higher the pH, the more alkaline the soil.
Lime is a long-lasting soil additive made from crushed limestone or chalk. The finer it's crushed, the more effective it is. The application done this year should balance the soil for several years to come. Raising the soil pH should make more nutrients available for crops.
We had a local applicator deliver the lime, and they left it in sandhill-type piles in the fields that needed it. Then, last week, on the day the lime was to be applied, a front loader filled the applicator truck bed.
Off he went, applying 1 ton of lime per acre to those fields, with the loader refilling him as needed.
We hope the soil gets refreshed as well as a cherry limeade would refresh us on a hot summer day!


  1. We could use some lime on a couple of our fields this year. Hug B

    1. Is is readily available in your area?