Premixed commercial fertilizers consist mainly of the three main ingredients: Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash. Sulphur is often added. Some specialty brands also add trace minerals and micro-nutrients.
In simplified description: Nitrogen mainly affects growth above the ground. Phosphorus is especially good for the roots. Potash gives disease resistance and winter hardiness.
Therefore, New lawns need a higher percentage of the root-growth nutrients to become established, while older lawns will benefit from extra nitrogen for the growing season.
Types of Fertilizer to use on: LAWN
New Lawn- 16-16-16
root crops 8-32-16
leafy crops 22-11-11
8-32-16 and 0-45-0
Lime is used to turn acid soil into more neutral pH value. Some plants prefer more acid soils, while others thrive with a higher pH. One way to observe this phenomenon is to plant a variety of flowers in a test patch, then spread a layer of fireplace ashes in the Spring. The flowers that do well in that test patch will be the ones that love lime. Therefore it would be useful to plant those particular flowers together since they grow best in similar soil conditions. The ones which did not fare well in the test patch could be planted together in a NON-limed area.
Lime comes in several forms.
Limestone Flour is the least expensive of the lime formulas. A grayish, fine dust, limestone flour takes a while to break down so Fall application works well, as does spreading it in the rain.
Dolomite Lime is a sand consistency and contains extra calcium and magnesium, which makes it especially good for vegetables. Dolomite goes through a drop spreader easily.
Calpril is limestone flour which has been pelleted. The pellets burst and begin to break down soon after becoming wet, therefore has a quicker activation rate. Calpril is easy to handle and spread, even in a broadcast spreader.
Limestone chips are just a coarse form of the flour, even slower to break down and become useful. However the lime chips do make good traction on ice in winter.
Hydrated LimeQuicklime. It is a fine white powder that is hot and fast. Use at half the rate of regular lime. Also good in outhouses.
Lime spreadage rates really depend on the pH of the soil. Everyone wants to know how much to spread, but the answer is just a shot in the dark without a measurement of the baseline. However, the bags say to use 50 lb. per 1000 square foot, or a ton per acre.
The old adage in Alaska is that you cannot apply too much lime, but this has proven to be an overstatement.