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THE NEED OF LIME


A Practical Test
Determining Lime Requirement
Irrational Use Of Lime
Soil Acidity
The Litmus-paper Test
The Unproductive Farm
Where Clover Is Not Wanted

More from THE NEED OF LIME

Crops And Methods For Soil Improvement

A Bit Of Arithmetic
A Clean Seed-bed
A Few Combinations Are Safest
A Southern Legume
A Three Years' Rotation
Acid Phosphate
Acquaintance With Terms
Adaptation To Eastern Needs
Affecting Physical Condition
All The Nitrogen From Clover
Alsike Clover
Amount Of Application
Amount Of Manure
Amount Per Acre
An Excess Of Nitrogen



Determining Lime Requirement








It is wasteful to apply lime on land
that does not need it. As has been said, the man who can grow heavy
clover sods has assurance that the lime content of his soil is
satisfactory. This is a test that has as much practical value as the
analysis of a skillful chemist. The owner of such land may dismiss the
matter of liming from his attention so far as acidity is concerned,
though it is a reasonable expectation that a deficiency will appear at
some time in the future. Experience is the basis of such a forecast.
Just as coal was stored for the benefit of human beings, so was lime
placed in store as a supply for soils when their unstable content would
be gone.

The only ones that need be concerned with the question of lime for
soils are those who cannot secure good growths of the clovers and other
legumes. Putting aside past experience, they should learn whether their
soils are now acid. Practical farmers may judge by the character of the
vegetation and not fail to be right nine times out of ten. Where land
has drainage, and a fairly good amount of available fertility, as
evidenced by growths of grass, a failure of red clover leads
immediately to a strong suspicion that lime is lacking. If alsike
clover grows more readily than the red clover, the probability of
acidity grows stronger because the alsike can thrive under more acid
soil conditions than can the red. Acid soils favor red-top grass rather
than timothy. Sorrel is a weed that thrives in both alkaline and acid
soils, and its presence would not be an index if it could stand
competition with clover in an alkaline soil. The clover can crowd it
out if the ground is not too badly infested with seed, and even then
the sorrel must finally give way. Where sorrel and plantain cover the
ground that has been seeded to clover and grass, the evidence is strong
that the soil conditions are unfriendly to the better plants on account
of a lime deficiency. The experienced farmer who notes the inclination
of his soil to favor alsike clover, red-top, sorrel, and plantain
should infer that lime is lacking. If doubt continues, he should make a
test.





Next: The Litmus-paper Test

Previous: Where Clover Is Not Wanted



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