Why Adding Lime in the Vegetable Garden is Important

Adding Lime in the Garden

On this week’s episode, Greg explains the benefits of adding lime in the garden. The two different forms of lime are regular agricultural lime and pelletized lime. The major difference between the two forms is that the regular lime is a powder and the pelletized lime can be used in a spreader. The agricultural lime is nearly impossible to put out by hand. Therefore, when using lime in the small garden area the best solution is to use the pelletized lime. The pelletized lime provides a natural source of magnesium and calcium that improves soil health. The pelleted form of lime makes it easier to spread, dissolve quickly, and improve fertilizer effectiveness in the garden. Some crops such as corn, lettuce, cabbage, beans, peas, and other greens all do well in limed soil.

When To Add Lime in the Vegetable Garden?

Before adding lime to the vegetable garden, you should first take a soil sample test to ensure that your garden area needs it. You can get soil sample bags from your local extension office and then send them off to labs to test your soils. Once you receive your soil sample results, then you are able to accurately apply the right amount of lime to the garden soil. Adding lime in the vegetable garden will raise your pH levels in the soil. Once you raise the pH levels it is even harder to bring them back down. If you apply too much pH in an area that does not need it, then other nutrients will become tied up and crops will not be able to grow healthy in the vegetable garden. The only way to lower the pH is by using elemental sulfur. The issue with using sulfur is it is soluble meaning it will have to be applied year after year in order to eventually bring the pH level back down. In order to ensure you have a nice and healthy garden area, make sure to do a soil sample before applying elements that will affect your nutrients that are needed for plant growth. Once you have applied the lime to the garden soil, you may see a difference in four weeks, but it will take around 6 to 12 months for it to completely dissolve in the soil.

Taking A Soil Sample Test

When taking a soil test they can provide accurate information on the garden soil nutrients. The best way to collect the soil for testing is to determine which area you plan on gardening. Then, you should take at least 8 or 10 different samples from each area to ensure you get accurate information about the area. The sampling depth depends on which plants you plan on growing but for gardens, we recommend getting a sample depth of 6 inches. Keep in mind that the soil sample test should be done well in advance of the desired planting season. This will ensure you have plenty of time to get the test information back and you can prepare adjustments to the soil before the growing season in the vegetable garden.

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