Gardening

Fall is the best time to lime your garden soil

The weather people are predicting a string of nice days through the weekend and into next week.  Many of us will be looking for things to do out in the yard and garden.

Since November is the ideal time to apply lime,  this weekend would be a good time to check the pH of your garden soil.  pH is a measure of how acid or alkaline a substance is,  sort of  like how square feet describes area or degrees describes temperature.

If you have been fertilizing your garden regularly for several years in a row, the chances are your soil may need lime.

Lime is a calcium-based soil amendment that farmers and gardeners use to sweeten garden soil — raise the soil pH.

It’s not a good idea to just guess if your soil pH is low, your soil has to be tested. Fortunately, this is one test you can do yourself with a pH test kit from a garden center. These kits are pretty accurate. Just make sure you buy a fresh test kit because the test-chemicals will get old over time and produce an inaccurate reading.

There are several different types of lime and each type has a different application rate.  Don’t worry though, all lime containers have application instructions printed on them. The amounts are usually given in pounds per 100 square feet or 1,000 square feet depending on the size of the bag.

In many cases,a five pound bag of lime will be enough to treat 100 square feet of soil.

Keep in mind too, that sandy soils need liming more frequently than loam or clay soils.

Lawns too, will benefit from a fall application of lime if the soil tests low.

So, there’s your excuse to head out to the garden center, pick up some supplies and get some productive work done in your garden.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.