Can Spring Fertilizer and Lime Application be done at same time?

huisman98March 1, 2008

I am in Raleigh, NC and have a tall fescue lawn (Small lawn of about 3,000 sq/ft). I have clay soil. I collected a soil sample last summer and submitted it to the NC Agrinomics Department for analusis. The results I got back inidcated I should apply 15 lbs of lime per 1,000 sq/ft and 20 lbs of 5-10-5 fertiler per 1,000 sq/ft.

My question is this, now that it is time for my spring time application, can I put the fertlizer and lime down at the same time oris that too much for the lawn to handle? Should I space out the application over a few weeks?

Would you put all this fertilzer down even though we are in a drought and are not allowed to water our lawns?

Thanks for the help!


Raleigh, NC

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I've heard it said that the lime can cause the nitrogen to outgas from the lawn (so you lose it). I've also heard it doesn't do that. :-)

The difference seems to be that the theoretical chemistry says it will--and in a test tube, it will. In the lawn, the lime and fertilizer are both at low enough concentrations that the reaction is limited and slow, too slow to keep your lawn from sucking up the nutrients.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Fifteen pounds per thousand of lime isn't very much. If you can get the fertilizer down and follow up with the lime after a rainfall, great.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 10:11AM
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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

Yes. You can blend them and put them down together or two separate applications. It might be better to apply the required lime as you fertilize in the course of the growing season, a little at a time. I really don't think it matters that much. Do fertilize in the spring and fall when you think it will be watered in by the ocassional rain fall. Avoid fertilizing in the heat of summer unless you decide to use organic fertilizer such as Milorganite or Soybean meal. They can be applied anytime but has limited effect on a dormant lawn. It would just sit there until dormancy breaks. Bill Hill

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 10:25AM
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huisman98, if you apply ammonium sulfate and limestone together, a great part of the nitrogen (if not all) will be lost as ammonia gas. I have seen it happen in the field, the fertilizer bond and I have demonstrated it in the classroom situation many times. The reaction will not occur if urea is the nitrogen source. That is the probable reconciliation of morpheuspa's opening statement. If you incorporate the limestone and apply the ammonium sulfate fertilizer about three weeks after, that will work.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 1:09PM
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