Garden lime what is it, how to use for the garden, types of lime (2024)

Soils can be naturally acidic or alkaline. Lime is an alkaline product that is added to the soil to make the pH level neutral. Neutralizing acidic soil helps ensure that nutrients are efficiently absorbed by plants, making them healthy and attractive. This inexpensive product will become a garden helper, but you need to know when and how much to add it.

Garden lime what is it, how to use for the garden, types of lime (1)

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Features of garden lime

What is garden lime? Lime is obtained by grinding limestone (natural stone) with a very high calcium content. It is available in powder or granular form and is classified as dolomite or limestone.

Types of lime: garden lime, dolomite lime and building lime are all forms of lime. In gardens, agricultural and dolomitic lime is commonly used. Dolomite is made from rock (dolomite), very similar to limestone. Both types of lime provide plants with calcium, but dolomite also contains the nutrient magnesium, which is often deficient in soils. Other types of lime that can be found commercially include slaked or quicklime. not recommended for lawns and gardens.

Liming not only supplies calcium, but also makes soils less acidic, reduces acid levels and raises pH levels. The pH value can be classified:

  • from 6.5 to 7.5 – neutral;
  • more than 7.5 – alkaline;
  • less than 6.5 is acidic, and soils with a pH less than 5.5 are considered strongly acidic.

Most of the problems arise from the low pH of the soil. Exposure to weathering processes, climate, vegetation, as a rule, causes a decrease in pH (increase in acidity) over time. The need to adjust the acidic pH will vary from soil to soil.

The correct pH level is important for healthy plant growth. When it is too acidic, beneficial elements are not available for absorption by plants, even if they are present in sufficient quantities. This leads to their illness. Deoxidation of the soil with lime has a positive effect on its structure, increases the ability to retain nutrients.

To find out if the soil needs lime is to test it. A lab test will provide the most accurate results. Soil test kits are available from garden centers or online, but they don’t tell you how much lime to add.

Garden lime what is it, how to use for the garden, types of lime (2)

The exact amount that needs to be applied to achieve the desired results depends on the type of lime and soil composition. Too much additive can lead to an imbalance in the pH of the soil, it can become too alkaline.

Lime for the garden how to use

Garden lime can give plants a stimulus to grow, depending on what is being grown. It changes the chemical composition of the soil in a way that helps some plants grow better but can harm others. Some nutrients are more available in acidic conditions, while others are more available in alkaline conditions. However, most mineral nutrients are readily available to plants when the soil pH is close to neutral. If used incorrectly, lime can damage vegetation.

Most vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants thrive in soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If the pH of the soil is above or below this range, chances are they will not grow, no matter how much fertilizer is added, how hard they try to help the plantings.

Some types of berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, prefer acidic soil. Potatoes, peppers and tomatoes react poorly to lime. Grapes, magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons also like acidic soil, so gardeners should pay attention to this.

How to use lime? Proper application depends on soil test results as lime raises soil pH. If lime is added to soil with a pH of 6.5 or higher, it will make it difficult for plants to absorb important nutrients. Growing in high pH soil, they are often stunted, with yellow leaves and no fruit.

Note!A soil test should determine how much lime to add to the soil. If soil analysis shows acidic pH and low magnesium levels, dolomite lime is added. If the magnesium level is in the acceptable range – garden.

Lime additives are usually applied in spring or autumn. Applying in hot, dry weather can dry out the soil, so summer is not the best option. For most horticulture, autumn is a good time to add lime to the soil. The winter wet freeze-thaw season gives it an opportunity to dissolve before spring planting.

To add lime to the soil, first prepare the bed by plowing or digging it to a depth of 20-30 cm.

Garden lime what is it, how to use for the garden, types of lime (3)

Soil deoxidation

Spread evenly over the soil and then rake it to a depth of 5 cm. You can see a noticeable difference in soil pH about four weeks after the lime is added, but it can take six to twelve months for it to completely dissolve until it completely dissolves and enters into soil.

In the spring, lime is also added to the garden soil. However, this must be done a few weeks before planting. The more time there is, the better the lime fertilizer will be applied to the soil. It is most effective to mix it with the soil when plowing or turning the soil.

Additional Information!The correct amount of lime to use in a particular area will depend on the degree of soil acidity, soil texture, and the type of plants grown. Lime additives make acidic soil more alkaline, and they must always be added carefully so as not to overdo it and get too alkaline soil. The soil should be neither too acidic nor too alkaline.

Benefits of adding lime to garden soil

Lime not only raises the pH of acidic soil, makes it more alkaline and promotes quality vegetable and flower growing, but also maintains nitrogen.

Gardeners also use slaked lime as a disinfectant and insect repellent. The application of lime creates an environment that can stop bacteria from multiplying.

Some benefits:

  • provides access to many nutrients and minerals to the roots of plants;
  • promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria;
  • helps the garden thrive by producing more vegetables, fruits, and flowers;
  • it is a cheaper way to make the garden more beautiful;
  • Adding lime to garden soil improves water penetration.

Check the soil annually until its pH is satisfactory. After rebalancing, continue to check every three to four years. Lime can make essential plant nutrients available, but it does not cure the deficiency.

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Garden lime what is it, how to use for the garden, types of lime (2024)
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