Uncovering the benefits and the right application of lime in gardening can prove to be a game changer. With its ability to modulate soil pH, it can significantly enhance the growth of particular plants and suppress the growth of others.
Understanding Lime and its Benefits in the Garden
Lime, derived from limestone or dolomite, has a substantial effect on the soil's pH. By increasing the pH, lime makes the soil more alkaline, which is beneficial for certain plants. A variety of vegetables prosper in this type of soil, including peas, beans, garlic, spinach, parsnips, and onions. Asparagus also thrives in these conditions. For fruit trees, apple trees and red chestnut trees show remarkable growth in alkaline soil. Flowers are not left behind, with campanulas, lavenders, and geraniums benefiting most from lime application.
Considerations Before Lime Application
Before applying lime to the garden, it's prudent to analyze the soil. This is because certain plants deteriorate in an alkaline environment. These are plants that mainly thrive in acidic soil. Vegetables in this category include tomatoes, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, elderberries, radishes, broccolis, cabbages, and carrots. Some specific flowers also do not favor lime application, these are begonias, bleeding hearts, magnolias, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, camellias, and gardenias. Coffee grounds are a suitable alternative for these plants, instead of lime.
Optimal Time and Method of Lime Application
Spring and autumn are the most favorable seasons for lime application. However, autumn is more preferred due to the lower temperatures. The amount of lime is crucial in maintaining an optimal pH level. Excessive lime can make the soil too alkaline. The general recommendation is applying 20 kilograms of lime per 92 square feet of garden space. Lime should be sprinkled evenly over the soil surface and incorporated into the soil using a rake, up to 15 cm deep. Watering the soil after application ensures lime incorporation.