Monday, 17 November 2014

Liming the Lime

After much speculation about our poor lime tree (see Planning a Patch of Paradise) Mr Fix It tested the soil around it's base.  It was acidic!  The pH was about 5 - 5.5.

We bought a pH kit ages ago.  We tested the soil under our lemon tree and it was a neutral 7.  We clearly should have kept testing other areas before putting it away.

I've been periodically adding Potassium Sulphate (pot ash), along with compost and worm juice, to the lime tree soil but it only triggered flowers and then the fertilised buds would fall off.  The tree must not have been able to take up the nutrients it needs to produce fruit due to the acidity of the soil.
The lime tree two weeks after being limed
When the soil is too acidic or alkaline nutrients can become bound into the soil and unavailable to plants... Click here to view a chart showing what nutrients are available at the different pH levels.

Luckily we had a bag of garden lime in the shed, which we have added to the lime tree's soil (and the worm farm, which was also a touch acidic!).  The garden lime is calcium carbonate so it is supposed to act quickly to neutralise acidity.  This is opposed to dolomite, which is slightly slower acting but also contains magnesium.

After finding out about the pH we have decided not to relocate the lime tree to Paradise Patch anymore.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a fertile and fruitful lime season! I will keep you posted.

Do you have any pHantastic pH garden stories to share? or lime tree tips? Do tell..

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