garden lime application

delpreteFebruary 16, 2012

being swamped by chores last Fall I neglected to apply lime to my garden which was in great need of correction.

I understand that several months are needed for ph amendment, but is there any form of lime that I can apply this Spring which might correct the ph and not harm my crops?

Any suggestions for anything I can do to help raise the ph so this year's garden won't be such a loss? Thanks!

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Pelletized lime is a form more readily solubolized. If you purchase regular limestne at least read the label to insure that 98-99% will pass thru a 200 mesh screen. Finer is more quickly available. Since lime doesn't move well within soil, working it into the soil will help considerably.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Given that you are in upstate NY, there is probably little you could do right now, except collect wood ash, which can be spread on top of the snow. This will increase the rate that the snow melts, and will help raise pH. As soon as the ground is bare, even if it is still mostly frozen, apply your lime and go over the garden with a leaf rake to increase the contact with the soil. Once the ground is soft, incorporate it a little deeper with a cultivating tool. You might want to explore a more slow-release long-term pH adjustment to reduce the need for annual applications.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 12:43PM
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What I'm wondering is if the Spring lime application will adversely affect my potatoes and other crops. I understand that a Spring application can increase the incidence of scab, and if it takes several months to effectively raise the ph is it worth applying in the Spring?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:11PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

is it worth applying in the Spring?

No unless you have some dormant areas you can put it on and leave dormant. Another less than ideal alternative is to apply it lightly between the rows under the mulch but keep it away from the potatoes.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Most farmers I know including myself never applied lime in any other season than spring... and for reasons I mentioned earlier- it either just lays on the soil surface until incorporated or if it gets dry enough and windy it will be your neighbor's lime.

I'm not saying fall liming is wrong but given the option I want it applied just prior to plowing or otherwise working into the soil. Thus the reason why no-till practices are recommended for 2-3 continuous years, after which you need to lime and then get the lime into the soil.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:33PM
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I've had issues with potatoes getting "scab" in recently limed soil. Still edible, just not to pleasing to look at.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 8:55AM
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