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Soil amendment Lime

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Soil amendment Lime

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:14 am

Lime when used in heavy acidic soils is a boon to the gardener, farmer, and homesteader, when used properly. Since I practice low input methods of "mini-farming" or large scale gardening depending on your point of view. Corn, cabbages, pumpkins, and squashes are heavy feeders and actually take up lime as a micro-nutrient. When the PH of soil is too low (acidic) lime can sweeten the soil (raise the PH) to a level that makes a better growing medium for plants. There are two types of lime that are available to the gardener or homesteader. One is called "Quick Lime" the other "AG Lime"

Quick Lime is a powdered lime that works quickly to adjust PH and must be carefully applied. Too much will make the soil too alkaline to release nutrients for plant use. The effects of Quick Lime also are temporary. Quick Lime can actually be washed out of the soil in as little as a few months.

AG Lime (also known as Agriculture Lime) is about the consistency of coarse sand. This coarseness can serve double duty to help loosen heavy soils, the same as sand, and raise PH levels. The PH change brought about by AG Lime is slow, and the effects last for years (three to five is common). It has been said that you simply cannot use too much AG Lime. As the soils PH becomes neutral (7.0) it stops working. Unlike Quick Lime that is so finely ground it raises PH weather it needs it or not.

So if when your soil sample says you need to add lime, or raise the PH I strongly recommend AG Lime, but with care Quick Lime can be used just be aware that the effects are temporary.

This patch of soil was first broken last year. The PH was 5.3, and it is heavily compacted medium clay loam, or was. It has been double dug twice, mulched with chopped leaves, and tilled twice.


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Re: Soil amendment Lime

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:17 am

The soil is about 12" deep, and should provide for good root structure.

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Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: Soil amendment Lime

Post by Sonshine on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:35 am

My Dad had always used quick lime. I had never heard of AG lime before. Thanks for the info. We usually add wood ashes to our garden area. Between the wood ashes and chicken manure we have had some pretty decent crops.

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Re: Soil amendment Lime

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:25 pm

If PH were the only reason to use lime, then wood ashes, along with coal ashes, would be the perfect substitute. By using wood ashes to take the edge off chicken manure you are providing plenty of nutrients, and the PH should be ok. Soil structure can be affected unless you are also adding bulk materials like grass clippings, leaves, straw, etc. These can be either composted or used as a mulch and incorporated into the soil two to three weeks prior to deep tilling.

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: Soil amendment Lime

Post by Sonshine on Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:45 pm

We do deep bedding in both the goat stalls and the chicken house in the winter. It gives more insulation to keep them warm. When we do spring cleaning all that bedding gets tilled into the garden. The bedding is usually a combination of hay and straw and by the time we clean it out it's had a good time to compost. Seems to work pretty well for us. We can sure tell the difference in the new garden areas and those we've been working for a few years. We haven't done any soil testing, but we have a lot of pine trees around, which is one of the reasons we put our wood ashes out. Since we heat with hard woods through the winter we usually have quite a bit to spread around.

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