New Member

Posted By: KyGardner  Posted On: Mar 24th, 2010  Filed Under: Home & Garden

Good day all,  just joined as a member and I must say…nice site.

I have a question regarding Lime/Fertilizer. Is there a difference? and what should be applied to soil in the pre-planting/cultivation process?  My garden area is approximately 30' x 60' and my garden didn't do well at all last year.  I didn't have any soil samples done, but all plants did very poor. 

Thanks in advance.

KyGardner

  1. Daisy60 says:

    Hi KyGardner – (I'm a newbie to this site, too! )

    Ideally, a soil sample should be done so you know exactly what to add to your garden.  There is a difference between lime and fertilizer.  Lime will lower the PH of the soil — you'd want to add lime if your soil is too acidic.  In my area, the soil is considered “neutral” so we don't add lime. I wouldn't add lime unless you know for sure that your soil is too acidic, because you could end up with soil that's too alkaline. 

     Fertilizer will feed your plants – nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

    If your soil tests out fine, maybe you need to add organic material to your soil (like compost, peat, etc.) to build up the structure a bit.

    Either having a lab test your soil sample or buying an inexpensive kit to do your own testing is a really good idea. 

      When I have my soil tested, I visit my county extension office for a mailer.  The university (state) does testing for a reasonable cost and it's really a nice report that you get back – tells you exactly what the soil needs and how much to add.  It doesn't need to be done every year, either.  The kits you can buy are pretty good, too, just not as accurate, but you get a good picture of what you need.  In fact, I just bought one myself this past week.  It's a “Rapitest” brand and cost $4.99 at my local garden center.  It test for PH, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (potash).

    I hope this helps, and I wish you much luck with your gardening this year!

  2. KyGardner says:

    hey thanks Daisy. Will look into the store-bought soil tester idea.

    Good luck to you as well with your garden.

    KyGardner

  3. Daisy60 says:

    Thanks!

    I did my tests yesterday and am I ever glad I did!  I plan on growing blueberries and lingonberries this year in an area that is now lawn.  Only the phosphorus test was anywhere near normal (actually was high).  The PH was WAY too alkaline for either berry plant at about 8.0.  Now I'll have to either add lots of peat and pinebark mini nuggets or shreds or some soil sulphur to lower the ph to around 5.5 and I'll have to add fertilizer to get the nitrogen and potassium up to closer to normal. 

    Cheers!  I love this time of year!

  4. TheMaineMan says:

    Hey Daisy…

    If you want to prepare your soil for blueberries, nothing works better than shredded pine needles. Not sure if you have a lot of those in your region, but if you do, just mix them into the soil and they will make the soil almost a perfect pH for blueberries.

    It's the secret of why Maine's wild blueberries do so well…all of the pine trees. Laughing

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