While lime is a product that farmers are familiar with, it can also prove invaluable for your garden. It makes it possible to amend the soil, to brush the trunks of fruit trees and even to remove moss from the lawn. Natural and effective, lime is now popular with many gardeners for their vegetable patch. Here are some tips on how to use it well!
Lime: what is it?
Lime is also called calcium oxide CaO. It is an alkaline product which in fact comes from the chemical transformation of limestone under the effect of heat, greater than 900 °. It is found in the form of white powder. It is called quicklime because when it comes into contact with water, it gives off heat. This is what distinguishes it from slaked lime.
Lime: an amendment for acidic soils
When your soil is too acidic, lime helps increase the pH, in order to promote nutrition and plant development, thanks to the microbial life it creates.
You can put it every 3 to 5 years, without exceeding 50 to 200 g / m², this dosage is to be adapted according to the acidity of the soil. We must remain vigilant, because it is an aggressive product and it can deplete the soil and disturb the microbial balance. When you have used it, the following year, it is necessary to add nitrogenous organic matter. Putting lime is called liming.
Liming to improve your soil
Adding lime makes it possible to improve the soil, which will be more stable, more porous and which prevents the formation of crust, an impermeable and hard layer which forms because of the rain. Lime offers the possibility of improving clay soils which are compact and heavy. The soil is less sticky when it rains and softer during periods of drought. The earth is lighter and therefore permeable to water and air.
The method of use
Lime should preferably be used at the beginning of spring or in autumn, apart from periods of rain and frost.
To restore the soil’s pH, you can apply it once a year, until the desired result is achieved. It will be necessary to take into account the nature of the soil to achieve the right dosage. It will be severely reduced during maintenance liming.
Lime is introduced by scratching, unless your soil is clay.
Please note: liming for growing potatoes must be carried out at least twelve months before planting.
Lime to ward off wireworms
Wireworms and their larvae in particular are dangerous for roots and seedlings. If you put a little lime before sowing, the limestone will make them flee. Lime should be used unsystematically and only in case of danger.
To destroy parasites
If you notice that the trunks of some fruit trees are white in winter, it is because they have been whitewashed with whitewash. It is a mixture of lime and water. This mixture is intended to kill the larvae of parasites which take refuge in the crevices of tree trunks, such as bacteria or fungi. The only downside: you have to be careful, because the whitewash also kills the vegetable garden auxiliaries which are useful.
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