Liming the soil in the garden: why, when and how to do it?

The growth and normal development of fruit and vegetable plants depends on the composition of the soil. Of particular influence is the level of its acidity. According to this indicator, soils are divided into three groups: acidic, neutral and alkaline. For many garden crops, soils with high acidity are the most dangerous. In plants developing under such conditions, one can notice a clear growth retardation due to the poor digestibility of nutrients contained in acidic soils. Periodic liming of the soil allows you to balance the acid-base balance, thereby eliminating the reason that inhibits the growth of plants.

What are the signs of acidic soils?

The need for deoxidation of the soil can be found both by external signs and by the results of laboratory tests. Immediately liming the soil is necessary if the land on the site has acquired a whitish or gray-white hue. The presence of a 10-centimeter podzolic horizon also indicates an increased acidity of the soil. Weed growth can also be an indicator of excessive oxidation of garden soil. By the color of litmus test papers, lowered into soil samples diluted with water, you can find out the type of soil.

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The device is a PH meter that allows the gardener to accurately and quickly determine the level of soil acidity in different parts of his garden or vegetable garden

If you want to know the exact degree of soil acidity, then submit its samples for analysis to the agrochemical laboratory.

What substances contribute to acidic soils?

Most often, liming of acidic soils is carried out using slaked lime. When calculating the required amount of a given substance, take into account:

  • soil composition in the garden;
  • the level of acidity of the earth;
  • Estimated embedment depth.

At high acidity (pH5 and below), large doses of lime are applied to the soil. For each square meter of clay and loamy soil add at least 0.5 kg of limestone, and sand - 0.3 kg. At an average level of soil acidity, doses are reduced to 0.3 kg and 0.2 kg, respectively. In sandy soils with a low level of acidity, calcareous materials are not added, and in clay and loamy lands it is enough to add 0.2 kg per square meter.

No less common among gardeners is the method of liming soils with wood ash containing up to 35% calcium. Phosphorus, potassium and other microelements are present in wood ash, which have a beneficial effect on plant growth.

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The rate of application of lime, indicated in kilograms per ten square meters, when liming different types of acidic soils in the garden

Liming and plastering of soils is also carried out using lake lime (drywall), chalk, peat ash, dolomite flour, fluff lime, etc.

Optimum lime timing

It is recommended that at the stage of laying the garden to carry out initial measures for liming the site. It is advisable to liming the site in the autumn, introducing limestone fertilizers along with organic fertilizers before digging the ground. Digging the site allows you to not leave the introduced substances on the soil surface. If such events are planned for spring, then they are carried out three weeks before the start of planting vegetable crops. It is also possible to carry out liming of the soil in winter, while dolomite flour scatters directly on top of the snow. The thickness of the snow cover should not exceed 30 cm. It is not necessary to add lime together with manure, since during their interaction insoluble compounds are formed.

Under such vegetable crops as beets and cabbage, lime material must be added directly to the year of sowing. By alternating crops, other vegetables are planted in the liming areas of the garden only the next year. Liming of the area used constantly for growing potatoes is carried out only in autumn.

Primary and re-liming

During the main (reclamation) liming, full doses of materials that increase the pH to a predetermined value are added to the soil with high acidity. The purpose of repeated (supporting) liming is to preserve the optimum level of environmental response in the area in the soil. At the same time, the introduction of small doses of lime fertilizers compensates for the loss of lime from the earth that occurred during the season.

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Lime flour allows you to bring the soil acidity level to the desired indicator, taking into account the needs of crops grown at this place

As a result of liming the site, it is possible:

  • activate the vital activity of a number of beneficial microorganisms (nodule bacteria, etc.);
  • enrich the soil with nutrients available for garden plants;
  • improve the physical properties of the soil (water permeability, structure, etc.);
  • increase the efficiency of mineral and organic fertilizers by 30-40%;
  • reduce the amount of toxic elements in the cultivated products (especially relevant for garden plots located near industrial zones).

So, to eliminate the problem of excess acidity of the soil allows liming. The introduced lime fertilizers have a beneficial effect on the growth, development and productivity of crops grown on the site. The return on costs incurred by the gardener to purchase mineral and organic fertilizers increases. On neutral soils, the accumulation of harmful substances in vegetables and berries slows down. Liming of the site allows you to collect an environmentally friendly crop.


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