Put the Lime in the Garden and You’ll Feel Better
Remember the Coconut song? “Put the lime de coconut and You’ll feel better.” Your garden may sing the same song.
Only difference is we’re talking about soil and not coconuts. Oh and that would be garden lime not those tangy green fruits.
Now is the time to consider adding lime to your lawn and garden. Before you add any type of lime, please do a soil test.
Lime is added to soil to raise the pH to a higher alkaline level with less acidity. It also can add needed calcium and depending on the type, more magnesium. This mineral helps loosen soil and be beneficial to microorganisms.
Most plants in a vegetable garden for example, thrive at a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. The majority of common vegetables will tolerate slightly acidic soil. Soil leaning towards the higher end of the scale, 7.1 and higher, starts to cause problems with a plant’s ability to uptake nutrients.
- If a soil test indicates your soil needs lime then here are your choices and my recommendations.
- Ground lime incorporates best into fall gardens. There are two types of ground limestone, Calcitic Limestone is most commonly used and recommended. Dolomitic Limestone has dolomite added. Use it only if your soil has a significant magnesium deficiency.
- Pelletized lime is fast acting and costly.
- Spread recommended amounts over weed-free loosened soil.
Work the lime into the soil with a rake.
- Dry soil is best. There is no need to water it in. It is helpful to try to apply lime shortly before predicted rain.
- Use a spreader if available. If applying by hand you should wear gloves and a mask.
Lime needs several months to fully incorporate into the soil. Let Mother Nature take over for the winter and get ready for your planting come spring!