Which do you do first? Lime or Fertilize

gardenbug(8b)March 28, 2011

Zone 8a~ Fraser Valley, BC

I just purchased a bag of dolopril lime and Scotts fertilizer but I'm not sure which to do first? Do you wait between each application? (how long?) Should this be done in the morning, shady day? sunny day? I could really use some help on this. I would like to know what everyone else does please.

Thanks for your help.

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The first question is, why are you liming? Did you get a soil test or is the soil in Fraser Valley, BC generally acidic? If so, then would it be better to use dolomitic lime or calcitic lime? Again a soil test would tell you that. Lime and fertilzer shouldn't be applied together, as you can get some interaction between the two. Lime doesn't have to be watered in (but it won't dissolve unless it's wet), whereas fertilzer (synthetic anyway) should always be watered in. Two weeks is the general recommendation of time between applications of the two. I'm not very familiar with BC's climate and fertilizer timings, but if your soil is very acidic I would probably lime first. Lime generally takes quite a while to affect the soil and raise pH. Lesco (not sure if you have those in Canada) carries Cal-Turf pro and Mag-Turfpro which works much faster than regular lime, and it isn't much more in price. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:39PM
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Hi tiemco,
Yes, this is very helpful. The soil is definitely acidic in my area. I'll lime first, wait two weeks like you say and then fertilize. I have not heard of Lesco but I can check around to see if those products are available here. Thanks again tiemco.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 11:16PM
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No problem, but I would get the soil test done. If your Ca:Mg ratio is out of whack, applying the incorrect lime will make it even worse. Too much Mg will tighten up your soil, too much Ca isn't ideal either. If now is the time to fertilze, then I would take soil samples, fertilize, get the soil test back, and then lime depending on what the test says. Most tests take a week or two to get back and by that time all the fertilizer will have dissolved into the soil by then.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Some people lime their lawns as a matter of regular routine. Since we all use high nitrogen, making the average lawn acidic to some degree, giving it some lime can only do good as long as we don't over-do.
A bag or two of lime used in spring will reduce some degree of high acidity.
There should be a waiting time, about 3 weeks, giving one or the other.
Too, lime bags should be kept up off a cement floor...as in a garage, preferably on a wood shelf or pallet.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 11:43AM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

I will never understand why some people resist soil tests. They almost always save more money than they cost, by avoiding applying nutrients and minerals to the soil that are already at adequate levels. When I press people on the question, many blurt out "well, my father never tested his soil and he did OK". Dear ol' Dad wasn't paying $55 a bag for fertilizer, either. If you are resisting because you don't know how to interpret the results, there are websites that do it for you every day and every night - for free. Save the bucks and make smarter use of the money you do spend.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:48PM
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Wow! what side of the bed did you get out of this morning? lol
First, no where did I say that I 'resist' getting my soil tested. I simply asked which do you do first? Lime or Fertilize. Even if I did have my soil tested, I'd still want to which to do first assuming a soil test confirmed I needed to lime the lawn.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:21AM
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