In the Garden: Lime

29-May-2013

Lime

Lime is not a fertiliser, but rather a means, by which certain essential elements can be made accessible to be absorbed into the plants.

In conjunction with fertilisers, Lime allows soil to break down organic matter more efficiently and plants to reach a better growth rate.

Depending on the form you use will determine how much to apply.

Dolomite is a form of limestone that contains magnesium as well as calcium and is the most valuable way to reduce acidity.

It is available to the plants slower than straight lime / limestone and is therefore safe to use with fertilisers as well as remaining in the soil longer.

When soil is too sour or acidic, many common minerals and other nutrients remain locked up away and unavailable to plants.

Old gardeners call lime the great soil un-locker because it makes acidic soil more alkaline or sweeter.

Application rates will be found on product of choice.

Most important area/s for applying lime is the Vegetable Garden and an annual application for Fruit trees, especially stone fruit.

Most winter crops happen to be lime lovers.

A circle of "Lime" around each plant will help keep the snails and slugs at bay.

Lime beds as required:

  • Soils that are cleared for spring planting and left fallow through winter can become sour and, if in a slow draining area, difficult to cultivate.

  • This can result in essential soil bacteria being reduced or non existent meaning a poor start to the growing season.

  • To help soil achieve its full growing potential, Autumn (March to May) is the perfect time to do something about it - easy and cheap with brilliant results.

  • This is also because Lime and high nitrogen fertilisers don't mix, the best times to apply lime are when fewer fertilisers are necessary.

Calcium in the form of lime, limestone or dolomite should applied to the surface of the soil in most parts of the garden.

Only areas where certain plants dislike lime should be left and NOT limed.
Ornamentals such as:

    • Azaleas, Camellias, Ericas, Rhododendrons

    • MOST Australian Natives.


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