Last week a customer asked about lime. The better known effects of liming are
A crum structure is encouraged by the addition of any form of lime, particularly in clay soils.
Liming has the effect of changing soil acidity [pH] whereby significant chemical changes occur.
Whilst the reduction of soil acidity is best known, there are also many indirect effects on nutrient availability and on the toxicity of certain elements which are probably most important.
Lime stimulates certain soil organisms, thereby increasing the activity of the organic matter and nitrogen of an acid soil.
The successful growth of most soil micro-organisms so definitely depend on lime that satisfactory biological activities cannot be expected if soils fall below a given calcium and magnesium level.
Listed below are the most common form of lime together with comments.
Lime is available to the gardener in a number of forms
- Agricultural lime -The most common form and is ground to a coarse powder Used for soil acidity increase, and slower acting than other forms.
- Lime flour or fine lime – fine ground to a flour and much more quick acting than agricultural lime and much smaller amounts needed.
- Dolomite – contains both calcium and magnesium.
- Gypsum – great for breaking up clay soils and as has no effect on soil acidity good for adding calcium to the soil. Added bonus of some sulphur as well.
Mr Bokashi uses lime flour spread inconjunction with organic matter [compost] on a yearly basis at a rate of 20gms /m2 .
Note: Not recommended on areas where this seasons potatoes are be grown.