To lime or not to lime!

This time of year has me feeling one of two ways. Dreading the winter months knowing that I am limited to the amount of time I can spend at the allotment or excitement knowing that all of the preparations and plot tidying that I am doing are steps towards the next growing season. I love being at my plot; even in the miserable dark, damp days. I love working my soil and seeing the abundance of worms knowing that they will do some of the hard work and breaking down the soil for me. But my question at the moment is ‘to lime or not to lime’.

I understand the principles of using lime to neutralise the acidity of the soil and keeping it at a suitable PH level, but I get a lot of conflicting advice about the use of manure and lime. Some suggest not to lime, others suggest manure only, while others suggest lime in winter, manure in the spring. Can I get away without using lime at all?

I am used to adding manure to my soil and have done for the last couple of years after my seasonal trip to the stable. I have only ever applied lime once in an area destined for carrots only, as I know that roots crops don’t like a lot of manure. None of my crops seem to have suffered from not having lime on the soil so I would presume that the PH level is ok for the crops to grow healthy?

Yet the mystery for me is still unanswered. What do you do for your soils’ health and what suggestions would you have when using lime and manure on your soil ? Do you add lime, manure or both?

Any ideas and suggestions gratefully received.

Happy diggin’

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6 Responses to To lime or not to lime!

  1. Bishop says:

    You can either purchase a test kit or get a “real” test down and make the decision based on science. I will add come gypsum in area that don’t seem to drain as well as they should. Well composted horse manure is not very high in nitrogen so I use it quite often.

  2. I tend to lime on the patch that will be growing brassicas, it’s supposed to help with club rot. I’ve not bought any this year and will see how things go. Keep rotating crops and you should in theory produce well balanced healthy soil.

    • Thanks for your advice. Someone else also mentioned about adding lime to brassica areas so I guess I’ll give it a go. I rotate my crops each year and think that my soil is relatively healthy as my crops seem to look happy enough.

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