Group Title: Press bulletin
Title: Using ground limestone
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 Material Information
Title: Using ground limestone
Series Title: Press bulletin
Physical Description: 2 leaves : ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Blair, A. W ( Augustine Wilberforce ), b. 1866
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1910
Subject: Liming of soils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by A.W. Blair.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "April 9, 1910."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090353
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 83403690

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florida AgPriultural Experlment S$1tllo

By A. W. Blair
It is a well established fact that the soils in many sections of Florida
are acid in reaction, owing to a deficlencyof_-carbonate_of lime. It is well
known that for most crops, other things being equal, an acid soil Is not so
productive as one that is neutral or very slightly alkaline. If we can locate
the places where the soil is acid, we may hope to increase the productive
capacity of such soils by the application of finely ground limestone (carbon-
ate of lime). Since no soil survey of the whole State has been made, it will
be necessary, for the present, to apply general rules in deciding where
limestone should be used. Shell hammocks are already supplied with car-
bonate of lime In the form of shells. Places where limestone or marl is
found on the surface, or within 12 to 15 inches of the surface, may have
sufficient lime. Generally speaking, soil where phosphate rock is found
at or near the surface, is richer in lime than land where such rock does
not occur. Low hammocks are likely to be richer in lime than higher Jands,
tince the natural carbonate of lime is not so easily washed out. There is,
however, much hammock land that would be benefited by an application
of ground limestone. Pinelands and flatwoods soils, if not associated with
marl, limestone, or phosphate rock, are generally acid. Our muck soils, with
a few exceptions, are very acid, and require large quantities of ground lime-
stone to bring them into a condition where they will be productive. Besides
the addition of limestone, they will require to be drained, and plowed to a
good depth; so that the air may circulate freely: Occasionally, muck soils
containing shells are found along the Coast, which do not require limestone.
The Amount of Limestone to Apply
For soils that are moderately acid two tons per acre may be used. To
those that are unusually acid, and to most muck soils, 4 to 6 tons per acre
should be supplied. This treatment may be given once in two or three years,
or oftener if it seems necessary. An abundance of carbonate of lime is
especially desirable for celery, lettuce, and most legumes. It should not be
used with Irish potatoes or watermelons.
When to Apply Ground Limestone
When convenient, it is better to apply ground limestone one or two
months before the crop is to be planted, in order that it may be thoroughly

April 9, 19 10

worked into the soil and have time to counteract the acids that are present;
though it may be applied even after the crop has been planted. Carbonate of
lime in the soil promotes nitrification of the organic matter, and for this rea-
son it would perhaps be safer not to plow it into the soil in citrus groves at
the beginning of cold weather. However, it could be applied to the surface dur-
ing the winter, ready to be cultivated in as soon as the danger from cold
has passed. If a green crop is to be plowed under, a heavy application of
limestone over the surface before the plowing is done will hasten the de-
composition of the organic matter and largely prevent souring.
Where Limestone Is Found
Limestone crops out at many places over the State. The report of Dr.
E. H. Sellards, State Geologist, published at Tallahassee, gives a good ac-
count of limestones found in Florida. Ground limestone is being prepared
at one or two places in Marion County, and as the demand increases it will
no doubt be prepared and placed on sale at other points in the State.
Advantages Over Lime
Limestone is a natural product, and, as carbonate of lime, is found in
considerable abundance in some of the richest soils in the world. The finest
oranges in India are grown at Nagpur, where the soil contains about 7 per
cent. of lime. Some of the fields in England which received heavy applica-
tion of chalk and marl (carbonate of lime) more than a hundred years ago,
still show the good effect of this treatment. Limestone does not cost so
much as quick or slaked lime, and is far pleasanter to handle. There is little
danger of putting on an excess, so as to do harm; while in the case of
quicklime, too heavy applications will have injurious effects.

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