Lime or Seaweed?

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6 years 3 months ago #536174 by Brytea
Lime or Seaweed? was created by Brytea
Hi Everyone
I am new to land management - I have purchased a 5 acre block with mostly creeping buttercup. Some parts of it are somewhat wet, as I have a wetland, a dam with a river running through it. However this winter I was pleasantly surprised at how dry the block remained. I have very volcanic soil and it's very fertile. I have horses so need to grow some good grass! I have sprayed the buttercup with a selective herbicide (last week), and now need to feed the soil or the remaining grasses. I believe the property was 'accidentally" limed last year (by the farmer next door's contractor). What do all you seasoned lifestyles think? Seaweed fertiliser or more lime? And when is a good time to regrass (will have to be by hand).
Thanks!

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6 years 3 months ago #536175 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Lime or Seaweed?
Buttercup likes wet land! so the spraying may not be a cure all. Why not do a soil test? Ravensdown can organise and suggest a fertility programme. I have had horses and I believe the big problem is to keep them away from feed, so maybe you want some sheep. Also you could just wait until next autumn to resow and see how the land measures up.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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  • sandgrubber
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6 years 3 months ago #536181 by sandgrubber
Replied by sandgrubber on topic Lime or Seaweed?
I wouldn't use seaweed unless
1. I had a cheap or free source or
2. Someone who knew soil science specifically recommended it, preferably after doing soil testing.

Lime is pretty cheap and you should be able to find a pH testing kit and do it yourself to see if lime is needed. Note, the acidity of soil has a major impact on many soil nutrients, so
it is key to soil quality. With 5 acres, it's probably worth paying for pro soil testing.

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6 years 3 months ago #536182 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Lime or Seaweed?
One big reason buttercup likes it wet is that wet soils are usually acidic...and it tolerates acidity better than grasses and clover do. Lime counteracts acidity...but washes out very easily/quickly.

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6 years 3 months ago #536185 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Lime or Seaweed?
Too much lime will make the soil too alkaline for a good earthworm population. It will also remove some trace minerals from the pasture so they are unavailable for the animals. It will also make other minerals that are bad for animal health to become available. So get a soil test done to work out how much is needed.
Agricultural lime is ground so that it takes about 3 years to dissolve. Ag lime is in effect stone dust. Pelletised lime is much finer then formed into pellets. It works much faster, so much less is needed but more often.
Pure calcium carbonate has a 'neutralising value' of 1.0 and is relatively rare. Most lime is less alkaline with a lower neutralising value.
If you have pure calcium carbonate ground to Coarse Ag size, your soil needs 1 Tonne per hectare to raise the pH by 0.1.If the pH is 5.8 then that is ok for a year, because optimum for pasture is between 5.8 and 6.1. Lower than 5.8 you will need 3 T or more per hectare, which is very difficult to spread by hand.
I do not use seaweed fertiliser, mainly because it is extremely expensive to get enough of the compounds that pasture needs (phosphates, sulphates, nitrates and potassium). Also, New Zealand seaweeds must have rather a large amount of heavy metals in them, from the volcanic activity in the seas around NZ.

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  • sandgrubber
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6 years 3 months ago #536199 by sandgrubber
Replied by sandgrubber on topic Lime or Seaweed?
You can pick up a decent but not excellent pH meter on Trademe for under $20. Shooting blind isn't smart or efficient when information is cheap.

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