I've been told I'm having so much trouble with my vegetables, like my watermelon, because of poor calcium absorption and I needed to add lime to my soil, which is already a mixture of topsoil, compost, manure and potting mix. My question is, how much lime should I add and how?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The best way to know how much to add is to have your soil tested. Lime is best added to the soil in fall, but you can use a high calcium fertilizer, or add some limestone or calcium carbonate to the soil around plants now. Spray your plants with a solution of 1/2 to 1 ounce of calcium chloride or calcium nitrate to one gallon of water. Egg shells in your compost will also add calcium to soil.
You can test / measure thepH of your soil with a simple store bought kit (price $5-15,. Your compost may have oak leaves and/or other acid generating fiberes in it. I try to keep as many oakleaves out of my compost as possible. I've added lime (too much) a year ago and now it too much. My soil is pretty much has a pH of 7.0. Most gardens should be sllightly on the acid side, 6.5.
The availability of many nutrients to plants depends upon on the pH of the soil. At pH of 7.0 and above, the availability of many nutrients is reduced.
ph of 6.4 - 7.0 tops is the best for general gardening.