Lime on chalk soil

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Ian_P

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  • Location: North Hampshire
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Lime on chalk soil
« on: June 11, 2010, 12:04 »
Hi,
I have very little success with any brassicas. In North Hampshire we are on chalk and I always thought that I didn't need lime.

I now find out some neighbours are liming anyway and seem to get good crops.

Now I am happy to follow suit and lime away blindly but........

I know there are differences between chalk, slaked lime, hydrated lime etc etc. But what science is behind putting lime on to soil over chalk?

It will make me feel much better if I know what I am doing. Nerdy?

Thanks

I
Ian

Feeding the mini-beasts of Hampshire

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Livinhope

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Re: Lime on chalk soil
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 12:12 »
I shall be interested in the answers to this, I'm also in N. Hampshire, same conditions depth of the spade and it's solid chalk, that why we got an allotment.

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Hampshire Hog

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Re: Lime on chalk soil
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 14:23 »
Ian chalk or no chalk looks like time to do a soil Ph test and then decide whether you need to make the soil more alkaline. You can use the test kits or a probe if I recall correctly. You need to think about what you are going to do too in terms of rotation as some veg love lime but others hate it so need to think what will follow the brassicas.

Have fun HH 
Keep digging

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Trillium

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Re: Lime on chalk soil
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 15:07 »
As HH mentioned, a soil test would be very useful to you, Ian, as your chalk level may not be consistent with your fellow plotters even though you're in the same allotment.

If you feel you need to add lime, be very wary of adding anything other than garden lime, aka horticultural lime. It's ground limestone which is almost almost pure calcium carbonate and most common. Also, it is not caustic or disagreeable to handle like hydrated or burnt (quick) lime. Hydrated/slaked lime may be quicker to raise pH levels than ground limestone (calcium carbonate) but you also risk adding a lot more elements to your soil than could be useful or healthy. In gardening it's always best to take the slow but sure method, and adding lots more organic material to your soil is always the best path.

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Ian_P

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  • Location: North Hampshire
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Re: Lime on chalk soil
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 17:25 »
Thanks everyone.

I will check the pH of my soil and get back to you. I have a test kit somewhere. If not HH can help, his plot is about ten feet from mine.

I have a feeling there is a deeper answer in addition. Something to do with the availability of the lime to plants not being good from chalk, but much better from garden lime.

For now I hae bought a box of garden lime so watch this space.

Ian



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