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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Liming The Yard

I'm an organic gardener, so I try not to use artificial stuff around the yard.  I'm not above using serious herbicides on patches of poison ivy I find in the far corners of the yard (the neighbors bizarrely let the stuff grow wild in the edges of their yards so it keeps creeping into mine.  But generally, I avoid synthetic solutions to yard plant problems. 

One thing I do keep forgetting about is the pH of the soil.  It's not a visable problem...

So I remembered about that and bought pelleted limestone.  In the east half of the US, soils are generally acidic so the pH needs to raised.  So I bought some pelleted lime a week ago.  I got around to spreading it today. 

To make the distribution as even as possible, I set the spreader on a low broadcast rate and go over the lawn in several directions.  Then I want to get it into my flowerbeds.  I bought a hand-held spreader you turn by hand.  It works great with light stuff like fertilizer, but pellets defeat it.  The pellets get into the turning mechanism and stop it from turning.

So I had to spread the limestone pellets by hand.  Fortunately, tossing a handful of the pellets high really spreads them out well, so I think that went as well as possible.

I avoided the drip line (the outer edge of all branches) around the holly trees.  They LIKE acidic soil.  So do azaleas, BTW.

You can apply lime to yards and gardens any time of year.  It lasts many months and the plants appreciate it at any time.  It accumulates over time, in the sense that is slowly leached downward in the soil where some deep-rooted plants benefits from it.  But it is used up too by other natural forces so applying it 2x a year is a good habit. 

I have a ph test kit, so I will be checking the lawn soil each month for a while.  Though specific plants like higher or lower pH, 6.5 pH is best overall.

But I started this post to mention that I spread the limestone pellets and I must have walked 4 miles doing it!  I walk about 13 minutes per mile.  Removing the time I spent refilling the spreader, I walked it an hour

Good for the lawn, and good for me...

1 comment:

Megan said...

Well done - as you say, good exercise as well as good gardening.

Sydney, Australia