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Limeing the soil in the fall – why and how to behave

Every experienced farmer knows that in order to get a good harvest from the plot it is necessary to consider the acidity of the soil. The initial acidity depends on the type of soil, but agricultural work leads to the gradual adoption of this parameter. Therefore, regular planting is necessary.

Why soil acidity increases

Soil acidity (PH) is a value that shows the balance of hydrogen ions in the soil. It uses a scale of 1 to 14 units, in which neutral floors correspond to PH = 7, for acidic floors this figure is lower, and for alkaline floors higher.

The pH value is reduced by the following factors:

  • Current precipitation and irrigation, which releases salts in the deeper layers of the soil, except that the water itself can be acidic;
  • The application of peat, compost, fresh manure, sawdust, and decomposed needles;
  • Cultivation and incorporation of certain groups into the soil, such as white mustard, rape, oats, hollies;
  • Continuous use of mineral fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, and potassium sulfate.

soil acidity

The scale shows the initial acidity characteristic of the major soil types

What signs indicate increased acidity

Plants that are not adapted to higher acidity have nutrition disrupted when the pH drops, taking away nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other elements. The plants get worse and their yields are reduced. Weeds contribute to the determination of soil acidity: wheatgrass flowers, thistle, dandelion, culinary bananas and heather grow well on weakly acidic and acidic soils.

A more accurate pH value is determined by laboratory analysis. The easiest and most accessible instrument for its self-assessment is several sheets of lacquer paper, which can be purchased in specialized stores. It is taken from a reference point at a depth of about 12 cm, mixed with water in part 1: 5. It is better if the water is distilled. If the soil sets, a litmus paper is dipped into the solution, after a color change, a comparison with the template is made.

Acid test kit.

With such a suggestion, you can determine the acidity of the soil.

Video: How to determine the acidity of the floor at home

Lime the soil in the fall

Lime is an effective way to increase the pH level. The most suitable time for its implementation – autumn after harvesting from the beds. The time of work is chosen so that the soil is moist, but it can be easily loosened with a rake.

Various substances containing calcium can be used for lime. These include:

  • Lime stone (shell rock k-t o-be), a sedimentary rock high in calcium carbonate;
  • Cold – a type of limestone;
  • Badkut lime – calcium oxide;
  • Quicklime (for) – calcium hydroxide, working with the substance requires increased safety measures; – fertilizer, made from carbonate rocks by grinding;
  • Cement is a building material that contains a significant amount of limestone.
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The amount of lime applied depends on the type and acidity of the soil.

Table: application rates of Gash-and-Kalk (dolomite flour) in g/m 2

Soil type. For tinting the floor. For sandy and sandy loam soils.
Strongly acidic (3.5< pH < 4,5). 500 – 750 (500 – 600). 300 – 400 (300 – 350).
Sauer (4.5< pH < 5,3). 400 – 450 (450 – 500). 250 – 400 (200 – 250).
Combat – Winged (5.3< pH < 6,3). 250 – 350 (350 – 450). 200 – 330 (100 – 200).

Ground lime or other substance is scattered evenly over the surface of the floor and embedded in the ground to a shallow depth. The network is not formed, but in this case the efficiency of the work is somewhat reduced.

Applying lime to the soil

Lime is easily embedded in the floor with a rake

Video: Covering the floor

Depends on the natural conditions and type of soil depends on how often it is necessary to lime. If in its place instead of peat, the region is characterized by high humidity and a lot of rain, lime is applied at intervals of three years. For floors with low water permeability (sound and clay floors), this interval may be seven years.

  • Author: Margarita Golovneva

Good afternoon. My name is Margarita. I am now retired, having worked as a teacher for over twenty years. I am trying my hand at writing articles about pedagogy and animals.

How and why to lime the floor in beds and gardens

Soil liming.

Soil liming is the process of adding special additives to the soil to reduce acidity. For this purpose, you can use lime, chalk powder, lime tuff, marl, slate and peat ash, white and dolomite flour, as well as cement dust and marten slag. For example, sodium salts are not suitable for fixing soil because they are unsuitable for effective plant growth.

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Reducing soil acidity in the garden

Adding lime to the soil not only reduces soil acidity, but also increases the proportion of calcium, magnesium and other beneficial micro and macronutrients. Therefore, soil lime is not only a reduction of acidity, but also an important fertilizer for plants.

The pluses of lime also include increasing the friability of the soil – this floor absorbs moisture well and retains it at the surface. Therefore, plant roots get optimal water soak even in hot weather. Under conditions of moisture and saturation with useful elements, the floor microflora quickly develops, which leads to natural fertilization of beds. At the same time, root crops do not absorb large amounts of toxic substances, as would be the case with untimely limeing.

You can’t over fertilize the floor with manure at the same time either, as the result is an insoluble and useless mixture for plants.

Acidic floors have no effect on the development of agricultural plants. If a floor with high acidity is on the property, it is difficult to achieve a good crop of all kinds of beets, as well as cabbage, corn and legumes. If the floor is also sandy, the plants will lack magnesium and calcium. On the contrary, increased activity will show harmful to plants manganese and aluminum.

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Determining the acidity of the floor

Soil acidity scale

At home, you can check on your own whether the borders of acid floors on your site are needed. The easiest way to do this is to use pieces of litmus paper or special devices to determine the acidity of the soil. If there is no way to perform an accurate analysis, you have to rely on “folk remedies.”

  1. Weeds such as bollwort and dandelion grow very quickly in soils with a lack of alkalinity. Sauerkraut, mint, and spearmint prefer acidic soil. Clay thrives in alkaline or neutral soil, hoofgrass and quinoa.
  2. Topsoil visually resembles wood ash, in some places there is even a gray patina on the surface.
  3. Pay attention to natural puddles and low spots on the site – after rain the water turns red, sometimes an unobtrusive film of dazzling color appears on top.
  4. Take a small handful of soil from that spot and drizzle it with vinegar. If nothing happens, that’s also a sign of increased acidity (since vinegar is an acid, don’t expect a violent reaction when mixed with acidic soil). If, on the other hand, the earth begins to hiss and foam, then it is either neutral or alkaline, in which case you should not fire the floor.

Fixtures and plaster.

Soil liming and gypsum

Gypsum differs from limestone in that it not only reduces the acidity of the soil, but also allows you to get rid of excess sodium in the soil composition. Sodium affects the physical and chemical properties of the soil, and growing plants in such areas is much more difficult.

What chemical reactions occur after adding gypsum to the floor? The proportion of sodium decreases, and it is replaced by calcium in the soil. Since calcium is good for plants, adding it has a positive effect on plant growth.

For gypsum, industrial waste with a high proportion of gypsum and phosphorus is usually used, as well as raw ground gypsum. In order to determine how much gypsum should be added, first a biochemical analysis of the soil is carried out to determine the amount of sodium it contains. On average, 3 to 15 tons of fertilizer is needed, with salt marshes and salt marshes having the greatest need for gypsum.

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Gypsum can be applied during plowing, seeding from perennials, or irrigation. It increases the yield of crops by 3-6 quintals per hectare. It should be taken into account that the most effective liming of irrigated areas, but it also reduces the time of reclamation of the site.

Types of lime fertilizers

For liming you can use both powder (chalk, dolomite, dolomite, limestone), and industrial waste with a high calculation content.

Lime powder for liming the soil

The main means for calculating the floor is limestone flour, which consists almost exclusively of calcium carbonate (CACO)3). When a large amount of magnesium carbonate (mgco3), the mixture is called dolomite flour. Magnesium rock is stronger and a little more difficult to make into flour, but the result is a more useful fertilizer for crops. Sandy floors are the poorest in magnesium salts, so there is little use of pure lime for them. To achieve a better result, marl and even ordinary cement dust can be added to the mixture.

The quality of the resulting powder is determined by the proportion of calcium and magnesium carbonates (this is especially important for industrial waste) and the fineness of the grinding. Larger particles have less solubility, so the soil “absorbs” them more slowly. For maximum efficiency, it is desirable to choose limestone flour with a grinding thickness of no more than 0.25 mm.

Quicklime for softening the soil

An effective remedy against limestone is slaked lime. It is a powder that is obtained by roasting RVON limestone rocks in combination with water. Lösch limestone or fluffing lime neutralizes the soil faster than regular lime flour in the first few years. After several lime treatments, the effectiveness of the two formulations is about the same.

If classical liming is not possible, stove ash can be used at home – it is poured under the root of acid-sensitive plants.

Liming with lime: Costs

Fertilizer rate

Usually the calculations are based on the so-called full rate – the amount of lime (tons per hectare), at which the acidic devices have a weakly acidic reaction.

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Before calculating how much lime is required per site, it is necessary to determine not only the planting area, but also the following characteristics:

  1. The mechanical composition of the soil.
  2. The natural acidity of the soil on the site.
  3. The characteristics of the plants growing in the area. For example, clover, cabbage and beets are sensitive to the use of limestone fertilizer, so it is advisable to provide a full rate of limestone in the plots you occupy. But lupins and potatoes are practically unaffected by the acid – it makes no sense to overload them with lime, and therefore you can reduce the rate by one or two-thirds.

The rate of application to the soil with a particular mixture is calculated according to the following formula: H U003D Limestone rate according to acidity * 10000, calculated in advance and divided by the calculated component in the mixture * (100 – the proportion of coarse particles).

Here the lime content is counted in tons per hectare. Coarse particles are particles over 1 mm in diameter.

If you need to calculate acid floors on a large scale, you can make a map of the area with plants in advance. In some places the acidity may be higher and vice versa, so you need to take the difference between the floors to optimally place the beds.

Methods and timing of liming the soil

Method of soil liming

It is best to lime the floor in the spring before planting plants or in the fall before digging beds, so that the applied substances do not remain on the surface. If spring liming is planned, the process should be carried out at least three weeks before planting.

Dolomite flour can be used for liming in winter – for this purpose it is scattered directly on the snow cover on the fields.

Primary liming is carried out before planting table and fodder beets or cabbage. Other types of crops allow you to not re-fertilize the soil with lime and alternate planting, without reducing the effectiveness of fertilizer.

Fall field liming

Some of the lime applied is lost during the season, so it is applied periodically (not necessarily every year). The first time you apply such a quantity or dolomite flour to completely neutralize the acidity of the soil. Repeatedly – only small cans, constant control of acidity and maintaining optimum calcium and magnesium.

How to properly fertilize the floor with lime:

  1. If the lime or dolomite mixture is not finely ground, it is ground to a powdery consistency before it is added to the soil.
  2. The prepared composition is evenly distributed over the site.
  3. Lime is mixed with the soil by hand or with agricultural machinery to a depth of 20-25 cm. If the procedure is repeated and the full amount of lime is not applied, the depth of loosened soil should not exceed 4-. 6 cm.
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Autumn liming allows you to adjust the ratio of acids and alkalis in the soil more accurately and the result lasts longer than spring liming. Fall liming is also safer because some compositions (e.g. slaked lime or wood ash) are quite caustic and can damage plant roots on direct contact. In this case, there is no need to loosen the soil deeply – after rains and snowfalls the mixtures naturally reach the required depth.

With proper pre-calculation, the process will have to be repeated not earlier than in 5-7 years.

Lime or dolomite flour, as well as gypsum powder, can be mixed with boric, copper, cobalt, potash, and even bacterial fertilizers, if desired. Superphosphates are also suitable for increased fertility.

The results of regular liming

soil improvement

Liming acidic soil is a simple and environmentally friendly way to increase soil fertility on a site. The factors that have a positive effect are:

  • Activation of certain beneficial microorganisms for garden plants, such as nodule bacteria, etc.;
  • increasing watertightness and mechanical loosening of the soil, so that water together with fertilizer does not leave the roots and tubers for a long time;
  • enriching the soil with useful elements (calcium, magnesium, fluorine)
  • preventing the absorption of toxic substances by plants – this is especially important for areas adjacent to industrial zones;
  • faster assimilation of minerals.

All these factors make it possible to obtain an environmentally friendly and rich harvest in early autumn.

To be sure of the need for timely liming of the soil, you can calculate the economic benefits of the procedure – the payback period and the net profit. To do this, you need to calculate the cost of purchasing lime mixtures and their distribution over the territory, as well as plant growth in the years after liming. Of course, the fastest depreciation occurs when liming is carried out on highly acidic soils, and then grow lime-sensitive crops (vegetables, fodder crops and potatoes). By neutralizing the soil, plants no longer suffer from the harmful effects of acids and receive much more nutrients than before.

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