Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are planning on adding lime to bring your pH up, post-harvest is the best time to do it. Lime can take some time to react with the acidity in your soil, particularly in no-till systems. Following application, your soil pH may be greater than 7 at the surface, only gradually coming down. So if you wait to apply lime in the spring, soil pH may be too high at planting.
Some considerations when liming:
- Sandy soils are typically lower in micronutrient concentrations and more sensitive to higher pH, so UD recommends a pH 6.0 for these soils. However, the target pH for clay (finer) soils is 6.5. Watch your fields for nutrient deficiencies so you can pinpoint an ideal pH range in the future.
- Tillage usually mixes lime well, but no-till should definitely be applied in the fall.
- Does your soil have plenty of magnesium? Find a lime with more calcium this time.
- Get a cheap pH test kit and monitor your soil pH over the winter.