October 10, 2012
If you have been gardening for any period of time, you know how important it is to fertilize your plants. Your vegetable plants will grow their best when they have enough fertilizer. The same holds true for your perennials, annuals and your rose bushes. Sometimes, even if you keep up with fertilizing your plants, the plants can’t use the fertilizer you are applying to the soil. The reason for this is that the fertilizer gets bound up in the soil by the acidity in the soil. If your soil is too acidic, the fertilizer becomes water insoluble. This means that the fertilizer doesn’t dissolve into a form that the roots of the plant can then take up and ultimately become usable by the plant. To prevent this from happening, you need to offset the acidity in the soil. Lime is what you need to control the acidity in your soil.
There are many times when a customer comes into the store with a lawn problem. The grass does not appear to be growing very well, but the weeds are growing very well. If I ask if they have recently applied lime to the lawn, the answer is usually no. You see grass doesn’t grow very well under acidic conditions. Weeds, on the other hand, grow very well in an acid soil. Applying the proper amount of lime to your lawn does make it easier for the grass to grow. If the grass is growing fast enough, the grass can force out many weeds.
As part of your fall clean up of the lawn and gardens, you should be applying lime if you did not apply any lime this past spring. Lime does take time to do it job. By applying the lime in the fall, you give the lime time to rid the soil of the acidity. This allows the lawn and gardens to be able to get a good start come the spring.
There are certain shrubs that tolerate an acid soil. Most of these are evergreens. There are some shrubs that want a soil that is not acidic. Lilacs and rose bushes are two of the more common shrubs that will benefit from an application of lime in the fall.
You can check your soil for the level of acidity by purchasing a ph test kit. This simple kit allows you to find out how much lime you will need to add to your yard. A one time test kit will set you back about $2.00. A worthwhile investment for a better lawn and better gardens.
Before the leaves all fall from the trees or before you don’t want to be outside any more during the fall, make sure to apply some lime to your lawn and gardens. Come the spring, your lawn and gardens will be off to a great start.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.