Soil Amendments
Q.

Soil amendments

Zone 43130 | Mike 1020 added on August 19, 2019 | Answered

We have a garden area approx 10,500 sq. ft. The following per soil test is PH is 5.7 with buffer PH of 7.0, calcium ca is 945G & magnesium is 197G. The soil test, per Nutrien AG Solutions, recommendation is CaCO3 is 1402 per acre & Mag. is (0). The ground is very hard in some areas & from what I have researched, high calcium would help with the hard ground but would like to stay with PH of 6.5 or less. What would you recommend to apply instead of the AG lime due to applications issues & Magnesium is already within range recommendations. Would liquid calcium be better than pelletized lime, something with high calcium? Also, what are your thoughts on the various soil aerator products that claim to loosen hard soil? The sweet corn did very poorly this year & even the winter cover crops, for the last 3 years, of rye & vetch do not grow well.

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 20, 2019

The lime alone would further your problem, turning your soil to mud. I would recommend something silty, such as worm castings, or even large amounts of washed coconut fiber if you want to aerate without changing the pH much.

This article will help you to amend clay soil: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/how-to-improve-clay-soil.htm

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Mike 1020
Answered on August 20, 2019

Thank you but as you can see we have about 1/4 acre garden & worm castings would be very costly & I never have seen washed coconut fiber around this area so don't know about the cost. What is available would be gypsum & various liquid soil aerators. The gypsum will not increase the soil PH but add calcium. What do you know about the soil aerators?

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