View Full Version : Any gardeners out there?
I'm just wondering if anybody else out there does any home gardening. I have a serious pH problem I need to fix but I'm worried about hydrated lime.
Top Hat Theater
03-21-04, 10:53 PM
Tell me exactly what's wrong and I'll ask my mom...she maintains a 1/4 acre garden at my house and knows more about green and not-so-green plants than anyone or anything I know of. We had to rebuild the soil when we first moved in and I never want to see another dumptruck spill topsoil, sand or mulch on a driveway ever again. Ever.
My soil pH is very low 4.8. I want to use hydrated dolomitic lime to build it up. The problem is, hydrated lime will burn plant roots. I need to know if I lime the soil now, in March, will it be safe to plant in the first week of June?
I am going to start with 175-200 pounds of hydrated lime. My soil analysis recommends 180 pounds per 1000 sq ft, my garden is 1500 sq ft, but the recommendation is for aglime (crushed limestone). Since I need to bring the pH up quickly, I am using hydrated lime which works much faster than aglime, and less is required.
I just need to know if 2 months is enough time for the lime to blend in so my plants don't get burned.
03-22-04, 07:08 PM
It would help if you gave us more info.
What is the weather like right about now?
Up here, the last of the snow is just gone from the rain we had over the weekend and the crocuses are just beginning to poke through the ground. So I could do a fair bit to my soil. If you are a couple of weeks into your season then you have fewer options.
What other conditions are affecting the soil?
Are you asking about a lawn or beds? If we are talking about a lawn, that also limits your choices as you may well have some really delicate roots in there right now. If you are asking about beds that you can hold off planting for a couple of weeks then again you have some flexibility.
Did you leave the leaves on the ground over the winter?
That plays hell with your soil chemistry. If that is part of the problem you have a bigger problem than if the problem is from your mineral content.
Top Hat Theater
03-22-04, 09:27 PM
Okay, here's the scoop according to my mom. You'll be fine as long as you thoroughly till the soil after adding lime. As long as you wait until June to plant, you'll be fine.
03-22-04, 10:34 PM
I do gardening but it is more like manual slave labour for my parents... like "dig a garden there, heres a shovel". : (
The weather here is still flakey. Some days in the 40's and 50's, others, like yesterday, it stays in the 30's and snows. I have checked the garden, it can be worked, but needs another sunny day or two to dry out a little more. The reason the pH is so low is because it has been a field for years and was only planted as a garden for the first time last year. It was a spur of the moment idea so I didn't have time for a soil sample. The soil is a very dark, clay based loam. It tills very well and drains nicely. I can shape moist soil into a horseshoe shape, but if I pick it up by one side it breaks. That's the best I can describe it. We get ample rain this time of year.
Hope that's what you needed.
Tell your mom thanks. That's what I thought. I just needed to hear it from another gardener :) If I till it in really good now, and get some good spring rains I should be ok. I don't usually use Hydrated lime because it's so strong, but I need to get the pH up before June, and Hydrated lime works fastest.
I'm going to till it then spread the lime and till it twice. I will till it again in two weeks, weather permitting and again a few weeks later when I fertilize.
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