why lime?

Tofino gardening: Why Lime?

by Sarah Sloman


For a gardener spring is a great time of the year. the bulbs are blooming and the air starts to smell like fresh cut grass, but what is that white stuff on that lawn and why is it there?

Well, it is lime and lime will greatly affect the pH of your soil. If you would like to use lime we should clarify to use dolomite lime only. Dolomite lime comes prilled or powdered and is always chalk full of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, plants find both delicious. For application the powdered dolomite lime is quite affordable and a bit hard to spread, the prilled dolomite lime is more costly, but spreads like a dream, both raise the pH of the soil.

PH is the number of hydrogen ions in the soil. Soils with a low pH are acidic and soils with a high pH are alkaline; most plants prefer a pH of 6.0 - 6.5. The pH of the soil can be a result of parent rock in the soil, the use of acidifying fertilisers, some of our locally available mulches or rainfall. So if you have a limestone your back yard you probably don’t need to lime but for the rest of us we all need to and we may need a lot depending on your soil type.

Sandy soils leach very quickly in our weather, but they are easily affected by fertilisers very rapidly so they require light amounts of lime and often. The pH of clay soils doesn’t change very easily but once it is changed it is not so quick to switch back so therefore these types of soil require large doses of lime and not too often (2 times a year). Lime is really important in clay soils because it can improve the soil structure which will result in better aeration and drainage.

PH greatly affects the amount of nutrients available to your plants. A correct pH can release up to 90% more nitrogen to the soil. Altering the pH up and down will temporarily make phosphorus available; this is very important because phosphorus is so tightly locked up in the soil it is hard to make it available to the plants we love so much. Some plants prefer a more acidic soil than others Rhodos thrive in acidic soils because more iron is available, so don’t lime them too much if at all. Horsetail prefers an acidic soil so if you have a horsetail infestation you may want to try liming. Worms do not like acidic soil and we would all love to for the red wrigglers to be happy. Soil tests are available to determine the pH of your soil if you are in doubt. If you have moss in your lawn, this is usually a result of the soil being to acidic.

Sarah Sloman is a trained horticulturist and owns and operates Pacific Earthworks in Tofino.
tofino | tofino time | activities | accommodation | events | directory
maps | travel | food | art & artists | photos | horoscope | tides
search | magazine | issues | articles | advertising | contact us

hosted in tofino by tofino.net & studio tofino
© 2002-2014 copyright Tofino Time Magazine in Tofino Canada
© 2002-2011 Tofino Time Magazine & ThinkTank Design Inc.

tofino time june 2004

quick links:
tofino accomodations
tofino calendar

tofino surf report
tofino horoscope
september horoscope
tofino map
tofino fishing report
tofino tides
tofino weddings

tofino events:
tofino concerts
tofino events
tofino movies
tofino festivals
tofino yoga classes

tofino time magazine:
tofino time september 2012
captain vincente tofino
readers choice: the best of tofino
floating gardens at freedom cove
tofino event listings for september 2012
tofino concerts in september 2012
tofino movies in september 2012
tofino tide table for september 2012
tofino surf reports for september 2012
cox bay | wickaninnish beach
chesterman beach
tonquin beach
tofino brewing co.
horoscope for april 2013
tofino wedding guide

tofino accommodation:
tofino cabin
tofino camping
bed & breakfasts in Tofino
tofino hostels
tofino motels
tofino hotels
tofino vacation rentals
petfriendly accommodation

tofino bike rentals
tofino bear watching
tofino bird watching
tofino boat charters & cruises
tofino fishing
hot springs cove
sea kayaking in tofino
tofino storm watching
tofino surfing
tofino whale watching
tofino yoga

tofino art galleries
tofino books
tofino boutiques & gift shops
food stores in tofino
tofino outfitters

tofino yoga, spa & wellness
tofino restaurants
tofino internet cafes
tofino travel & transportation
tofino real estate
tofino vacation rentals
tofino weddings

tofino events
tofino concerts
tofino movies
tofino calendar
tofino cabins
tofino maps
tofino jobs
tofino media