The dark art of lime


Lime and Chalk are chemically, exactly the same, the only difference in which one would suit you more, comes down to where you are in the country in comparison to the closest quarry.

Improvement of soil structure by adding calcium carbonate creates a chemical activity to make the soil loose and friable. A lack of Calcium creates ‘cappy soil’ as there is no space in between the ionic bonds for either the Hydrogen cations or any nutrient exchange.

It doesn’t leach. CaCO3 is only soluble in acidic conditions. Meaning it will stay in the ground continuously curing any problem until it is all used up.

Currently, the lime we are most frequently sourcing has a neutralising value (NV) of 57%. This means that we can use less lime to get the same outcome, saving money for our clients. Once applied, both chalk and limestone will stay in the soil, for roughly 4/5 years. This of course is dependent on your soil type. Sandy soils have fewer cation exchange sites, we see these deteriorate in pH much faster than clay loams, however, they do not require as much to get right.

They can be put on the surface or incorporated into the soil, meaning that we are able to work year-round in conjunction with the farmer’s schedule, to maintain any problem we may find.