Help! Doubled Lime in 5-1-1 mix

beth-noobfrommd(6a-7)April 30, 2014

I used 15 ounces (1.875 cups) of lime for 14 gallons of mix. I now realize this is one cup too much, right?

I've already planted ornamental sweet potato vine into 6 pots. I already killed a black and blue salvia, but I thought it was from too severe bare-rooting. Could the lime have hurt it?

I've spent days and days on this project. How do I save these pots? All help very appreciated!

My mix:
10 milk gallons of pine bark (1/8-1/2)
2 milk gallons of pine bark dust (1/8 and less)
1.5 milk gallons of course perlite (1/8-1/4)
.5 milk gallons of small perlite (1/16-1/8)
15 ounces margarine container of lime

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Not really an expert, but have made several batches of 511. I wouldn't worry too much about it. You could always acidify your water a bit if you need to.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:27PM
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Thanks for the response, Ed.

I'm nervous that the extra lime will hurt the roots of the new plantings or hang up other nutrients somehow?

I was thinking of remixing the pots with equal parts un-limed mix to bring the ratio back in line of 1 tablespoon of lime per gallon of mix. But I'm afraid the recently bare-rooted plants don't want to be disturbed. What do you think? Have you ever added more lime than necessary to the mix?

Thanks again for your input. Others are welcome to chime in too. I'm biting my nails.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:15AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

If you are worried about it, you could re-mix it just to be safe. I'm sure the extra calcium and magnesium in the lime won't do any harm, so I'm guessing you are worried about the pH factor. Maybe someone else will chime in. I use, and re-use, and re-use my 511 two or 3 times, and after a while I really have no clue how much lime is in it, and I'm sure the pH has risen significantly over time. That's why I'm thinking it's not that critical, but hopefully someone else will confirm or deny :-)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:28AM
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Thanks so much for your attention, Ed!! I'm planning on reusing my mixes if possible as well so I'm happy to know it can be done.

I wasn't that worried about pH, since like you said I can add vinegar to my water. And I'm using MG liquid fertilizer for now, which is also acidic. Although my water is alkaline.

I just thought that when you have more nutrients than needed that it got in the way of uptake of other nutrients. But is that not the case when using liquid? I also read that too much lime dust on new roots can be bad. But that was talking about crops so maybe it doesn't apply here... Maybe I'll ask over at Al's long running Fertilization post for confirmation. I'd really hate to disturb those plants if I don't have to. Thanks for giving me so much hope!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:14AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I would mix it with fresh 5-1-1 just to be safe.
You could also fill a single container with the rich mix as a comparison.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Thanks for your input, Josh. I was on the fence and decided to start the repotting/ remix. I'll see tomorrow how badly the plants will suffer from the double handling.

I am keeping two pots with the doubled lime. One has the salvia that's on it's last leg, though actually one stem is showing signs of recovery so I didn't want to disturb it. The other pot is a bunch of butterfly weed seeds. I've never grown from seed so wasn't too worried about them anyway.

Thank you both, Ed and Josh, for responding and helping me decide on a course of action. It makes a new person feel welcomed into the fold. :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 12:27AM
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