Do you add lime to your soil?

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missmoneypenny

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Do you add lime to your soil?
« on: October 13, 2020, 14:20 »
Bob Flowerdew mentioned this as good practice every 4 years or so, especially if you add manure which can make soil acid. I have had my plot for 10 years. Never added lime, and I do use a lot of horse poo and kitchen compost. Should I give it a go? Thanks for any advice.

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mumofstig

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 15:03 »
If you lime your Brassica bed in winter each year (they like lime and it helps combat club root) then eventually all your plot gets some lime added :)

I like to use calcified seaweed to add lime as it adds other nutrients as well, although it is a little more expensive - but as it's only for a quarter of my growing area, I think it is worth it.
Lesley x
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missmoneypenny

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 16:04 »
Iíve actually never limed my brassica beds. Should I apply lime over the bare soil where I grew my summer brassicas? Theyíre all harvested now.

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Christine

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 16:22 »
Why not? Scatter on and hoe in.

The plot I am giving up has a tendency towards club root so it's on it's third go before being handed on. The soil is a lot more amenable now.

As ever - the RHS is a useful source of information.

I suspect I have been undoing the use of much chicken manure from the previous tenant who took over from years of non cultivation.

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missmoneypenny

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 17:11 »
Thank you Christine. Sorry to hear youíre given up the plot- or maybe itís a blessed relief  :D

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rowlandwells

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2020, 17:28 »
i have used both white lime and brown lime not sure what's the best out the two my late father in law was a great believer in using lime another good thing to add to the soil is soot but its hard to come by these days i keep spreading wood ash on our ground especially on the onion bed i suppose all these things put back some goodness in the soil don't they?

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Subversive_plot

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 23:19 »
My soil is naturally acid (pH typically 6.0 to 6.5 mostly the low end), so lime is a necessity. Soil pH greatly affects a plant's ability to take up various nutrients.  The ideal pH is different for each nutrient but the "sweet spot" that is acceptable for most nutrients is between about pH 6.7 to 7.2.

The best strategy is to sample the top 8 inches or so in your plot in a number of places, thoroughly mix in a bucket, and send a fist-sized sample of that to a soil lab. They can tell you about pH but also provide much more information about your soil.  They can tell you how much lime to add per area of soil.  I normally add dolomitic lime which includes magnesium (from mineral dolomite).
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 00:04 by Subversive_plot »
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Enfield Glen

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 07:25 »
I use on the soil after and then before I sow onions. I leave it a few weeks before I sow to make sure its washed in. Reason for this was down to have white rot and I have to say things have improved. Its not gone but this year I only had to throw about a dozen onions away all season

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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 22:29 »
There is only a need to add lime to your soil if it is acid.   Mine is alkaline as shown by the scab on my Desiree potatoes.   If in doubt, you can buy a soil test kit and determine the pH with the supplied colour shades.   In my experience, most soils tend to be alkaline rather than acid so that acid-loving plants such as blueberries need to be either grown in pots with acid peat or in peat-rich root areas.   Lime is said to benefit brassicas most while potatoes grow best in slightly acid soils.   Soil pH will not change rapidly in most allotments with the amounts of compost normally produced and where inorganic fertilisers rather than compost is used.

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rowlandwells

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 17:22 »
we had a soil lab test a couple of years ago and found it well worth the cost of doing that because it listed what was needed to improve the quality of the soil

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Subversive_plot

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 22:39 »
"If in doubt, you can buy a soil test kit and determine the pH with the supplied colour shades."

That's a good alternative to a lab test if you know how to interpret, and can determine what to apply, or leave alone, based on the test result.

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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2020, 00:27 »
You can do a simple test by taking a soil sample and adding rainwater (neutral) then seeing if a blue litmus paper turns red showing acid soil.  If you repeat the test with samples from different parts of your allotment, you can gauge where it would be good to plant potatoes (slightly acid) or brassicas (alkaline).

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2020, 10:08 »
You can do a simple test by taking a soil sample and adding rainwater (neutral) then seeing if a blue litmus paper turns red showing acid soil.  If you repeat the test with samples from different parts of your allotment, you can gauge where it would be good to plant potatoes (slightly acid) or brassicas (alkaline).

Rainwater typically has a pH between 5.6, therefore slightly acidic, not neutral. Pure water is neutral at pH 7.0. Factor in polution from any nearby busy roads and you're looking at even higher acidity with rainwater.

Acid Rain


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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2020, 11:44 »
I am delighted to learn that one of the moderators has done some research to check the quoted advice on the site.   I took my advice from a non-UK site and apologise - UK produces lots of acid rain.   However, bottled water is said to be between 6.5 and 7.5 unless said to be alkaline and can be substituted instead.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Do you add lime to your soil?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2020, 11:46 »
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