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The Florida agriculturist. [volume] (DeLand, Fla.) 1878-1911, July 10, 1878, Image 7

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Lime as a Fertilizer-
The action of lime on soils, and its
uses and value, are very clearly set
forth in the following extract from a
report ol Mr. Falconer King, a Scot
tish agricultural chemist of established
In considering the part played bv
lime in agricultural operations, it
should always be remembered that
that substance acts in the soil in two
perfectly distinct and separate ways,
b list, lime acts as a manure, by sup
plying necessary calcareous food di
rectly to the plant; and second, it
acts by supplying food indirectly to
plant, either by unlocking the
storehouse of plant food already exist
ing in the soil, or by converting use
less or even deleterious ingredients
thereof into substances useful, or at all
events harmless, to vegetation.
Lime, as is well known, is required
lirectly by all cultivated plants as
*°od, and therefore a soil which is
totally devoid of lime is simply bar
ren, and the obvious remedy by which
to render such a soil fertile would
boot course a dose of lime. Such a
case as this, however, is extremely
rare. Of all the suspicious soils
which I have analyzed, I cannot recall
one .to mind which was proved to
owe its barrenness to being completely
devoid of lime.
In most cases, therefore in which
ime acts beneficially when applied to
the soil, it does so either by supply
ing food to the crop indirectly, or by
destroying some noxious constituent
already existing in the soil.
The plant food which lime supplies
indirectly may be divided into two
classes—first, mineral or inorganic,
and secondly, vegetable or organic.
The principal member ot the first
class seem to be silica and potash.—
These substances, however, it should
be borne in mind, are not in any way
contributed to the soil by the lime—
they are merely changed by its action
from their hard, stony, insoluble
nature into a condition in which they
are available to plants as food. These
two substances, silica aud potash, are
found in greater or less proportion in
almost all fertile soils, but in some
soils they exist principally in an in
soluble or locked up condition, if I
may use the expression, and are there
fore-of no use as plant food until they
have been set free either by the action
of lime or by some, other suitable
The principal' members of the sec
ond or vegetable class of food mate
rials which lime prepares for the use
of plants, is nitrogfcn. Now this sub
stance nitrogen, as is well known, is
an indispensable and most valuable
ingredient of plant food, and therefore
any substance which can apply it to
plants in a readily available form is
an agent of very great utility. This
office is performed, and performed
very satisfactorily, by lime. The
lime does not, indeed, add or contrib
ute any nitrogen any more than it
adds potash to soils, but it converts
the nitrogen which, though it already
exists in the soil, is present in a com
paratively inert state, into a form in
which it is easily assimilated by
plants. In these different ways,
therefore, may lime be used with
great benefit, viz , on soils which con
tain a large quantity of undccoinposed
mineral matter, and on soils which
contain an excess of vegetable matter.
Lime, however, is useful in auother
way, and that is by destroying sub
stances hurtful to vegetation, such as,
for example, certain compounds of
iron and certain acids, which are al
leged to be the cause of the peculiar
evil known as sourness. A soikit is
well known, may contain all th 6 in
gredients necessary for supporting
plant life, and yet be unfertile in con
sequence of containing some deleter
ious or poisonous ingredient. Lime
may act, therefore, very beneficially
on some soils, not by providing au
increased supply of plant food, but
merely by neutralizing or destroying
some such hurtful substance which
may be present.
In all the instances I have men
tioned, lime, we have seen, acts bene
ficially ; and it now remains for me,
before concluding this short note, to
point out, in a very few words, how
lime may act prejudicially—so act,
indeed, that its continued application
may not only be useless, but actually
be hurtful. It is an old idea that
lime is a very exhausting substance
and that its continued and extensive
use must sooner or later greatly im
poverish a soil, or even reduce it to
sterility. This idea is not altogether
erroneous, but it is only true in a cer
tain sense.
I do not mean, of course, to assert
that a soil may uot be over-limed. Such
an occurrence, although not, I should
think, by any means a common one,
is not impossible. It can be done,
and the immediate effect of over
liming is to cause a great diminution
in the amount of the organic constit
uents of the soil, thereby rendering
grain crops grown on it uncertain.
When I say, however, that there
need not be much fear of rendering a
soil sterile by means of lime, I refer
to the impossibility of destroying the
natural or mineral constituents of a
soil, such as potash, silica, phospho
ric acid, sulphuric acid, etc When
lime is added to the soil, it does not
eliminate or destroy these substan
ces, it merely effects certain changes
by bringing some of them into a
more valuable condition; so that as
long as we do not remove, by inju
dicious cropping, or by some similar
method, these valuable constituents
of plant food from our soils, we may
apply lime as freely as is deemed
necessary without incurring any dan
ger of thereby rendering them ster
ile, at least of doing so by exhausting
the mineral food elements. The
principal evil to be apprehended
from over-liming is too great a de
struction of organic matter, which, as
I have already pointed out, unsuits
the soil for the growth of the grain
crops. It should also be borne in
mind that lime almost always pro
duces the most profitable and marked
effect on new land which has not
been fully exposed to the air, or
on such land as is rich in organic
remains, as, for example, on peaty or
boggy land, and that it may be of
very little use if applied alone to
arrable land which has just been
cropped. The greatest mistake,
though, which I have ever seen com
mitted in connection with the em
ployment of lime is that of mixing it
with manure before application. In
these days of enlightenment it is
almost incredible that such an egre
grious error as this should be com
mitted, and I myself have actually
seen the perpetration of this species
of absolutely inexcusable wastry.
When farm-yard manure, at least
after it has been kept some time, is
so treated with lime it is almost en
tirely destroyed, and the value ot
many other manures, by similar treat
ment, would be very much lessened.
Lime should never be allowed to
come in contact with manure at all;
and if it could be arranged conven
iently, these two substances should
be applied to the land at different
As I have been frequently asked
to give an opinion as to the value of
waste products containing lime, such
as the so-called gas lime and the
refuse lime from paper works, it may
be of some use if I state here that
none of these substances are of any
great value except for the lime
which they contain; and I should
say further that neither ol these sub
stances should on any account be
used for agricultui al purposes iu
their fresh state. Gas lime, when it
is newly made, contains certain com
pounds of sulphur, which are posi
tively inimical to plant life, and
much the same may be said of the
waste lime from paper mills, which,
when it is new, is apt to contain
some caustic soda, a substance which
may seriously injure a plant, and even
destroy entriely the vitality of seeds.
By sufficient weathering, however,
the noxious constituents of both
these substances may be rendered
quite harmless, and either or both of
them may then be safely used as a
means of applying lime to the soil.
Volusia County,
United States Commissioner,
Post-office, Enterprise, Fla.
Special attention giveu to the examma
tion of Titles and conveyancing,
The Only Direct Line
FROM Till:
St. Johns River to New
York and Boston!
Summer Schedule,
Taking efleet April 1, IB7S.
Steamer Carrie,
Captain JOE SMITH.
Leaves Lake Monroe every TUESDAY
morning at 5 a. m., and Lake Beresford
at 9J a. M., for
Touching at all intermediate points oil tlie
St. Johns river, arriving at .Jacksonville
Wednesday morning m time to connect
with the Fast Mail Train leaving -it 7
o’clock a. m.; leaving .Jacksonville to
suit, the tide, making close connection
with the first-class Steamships of the
New York <& Fernandina Line,
Also, with the
Steamer “ Reliance,”
for savannah.
Cabin fare, Beresford to Now York *27
“ 805t0n...!.... 30
. tf Through Tickets aud Bills ot Lading
issued at Lowest Rates, and staterooms
secured by Purser of Str. Carrie or on ap
plication to
T h McQUAip, Agent. Jacksonville.
John A. Mcßae.Gen 1 Tra’lg Agt. 0-52-5
Change of Schedule!
Jacksonville, Palatka,
And Intermediate Landings.
The New and Elegant Steamer
W. A. SHAW, Master.
Will leave Enterprise, MellonvilleandSan
ford every Wednesday and Saturday at
0 a. M.. and Lake Beresford at 8 a. m.
Making close connection with Charleston
and Savannah Steamship Line and with
Warren Ray’s line of schooners from New
York. Also connecting with all railroad
trains for the North and West.
Returning will leavo Jacksonville every
Monday and Thursday, after the arrival
of trains. *
Freight for way landings most be prepaid
Tickets can he had of Colcord & Felt,
Lake Beresford. ie2B-lv
T AND Adjoining Orange Bluff.
Volusia county, Florida.
I have for sale a large quantity of very
desirable agricultural lands, which will be
sold, to actual settlers, on very reasonable
terms, and in lots of 10 acres and upwards.
Also, a tract of 190 acres, three miles from
on lake Bethel. This tract, has
upon it 2,400 budded, and 29 orange trees,
now bearing, and 5 bearing lemon trees,
about 70 acres of hue hammock land, with
a largo spring of excellent water upon it.
For particulars in full, apply to me in
person at Orange Bluff, Volusia county.
or address by mail at Volusia post
office. Ha, C. F. LANLSNG.
February, 1878. febti-tf
BkildersFurmshlyg Mill
Manufacturers and Dealers in
Mouldings, Brackets,
Serool and Turned Work,
Jlough, and Dressed Lumber
Sawed and Rived Cypress Shingles,
Lath Fencing , Fruit and
Vegetable Crates, &c.
Constantly on hand.
E3PAII orders promptly filled.
i.03 *’+k Manufacturing Company
have their Earthein Dram Tile, Chimney
i hnnbles, L lower Pots, ObimnevTops, etc.
for sale at iheir factory in La Villa nr ot.
Hussey & Ellis’ store,Reed’s New Hock*
Jacksonville. dcclS-Sm
Wholesale and Retail
Commission Merchants
No. 10 Bay Street,
Chas AL Ellis ( Jacksonville, Fla.
B.—-pecial att< nti-ui to consignments
of country produces nd prompt remittances
™ae. dec2B-m
for sale vYryMowf 1 AS ’ embracil, S' all the varieties, iu store and
the middle of June T U f Tiu , u ‘ and se ed will be received front
all demands for the latest vnriot• July, when we will he able to supply
Our new CatJbVnt "7 ”? m °- St reliabl ° of all kinds.
August. gUe ’ >Vlth reduce(l Pnocs, will bo out by the first of
relAi > l° l^”'^?
are su^ereeding^l^thwY<mnne^al C fcrtillkeraYvherever'trie(i anUrCS
s£f for catalooue • hart, benham & CO.
Seedsmex, Jacksonvii.e, Fla.
General Commission Merchants,
74 Wm n "'' Btreet < - - Jacksonv ille, Fla.
woSoi‘r4ißa3t 2SS'SL£V B .i ,x C- v * “ K v*
s. B. HUBBARD & CO.,
Importers and Wholesale and Retail Dealers in
Hardware, Stoves, Crockery
boors, Sash, Blinds, Nails, Iron and Steel,
Tabk and Pocket Cutlery , Edged Tools , die.
Agricultural Implements , Mill and Steamboat Supplies.
upon e npp!katfoiK t,le mZ7MA P ° Wller con,pany - Cnts * Price of Stoves furnished
4-S : J-ST.
Oransre Trees and Crops.
S8 PER TON, at Islands.
} ‘- box 178, Jacksonville, Fl u>
Lemons, Limes, Citron, Figs, Bananas, Guava, Pine Apple, Sappodilla
Mango, Paw Paw, Japan Plum, Ac., Ac.
Grape Vines, Quinces, Blackberries, and small fruits in variety .
Almond, Pecan, Spanish and American Chestnuts, Ac.
Roses, Evergreens, and Deciduous Shrubs, and Flowering Plants, Ac.
iSY” Send for Descriptive Catalogue.
1 " 32 Jackson Yiu.K, Florida.

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