Lime and manures: Warning!

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Outdoors' started by Corto Malteze, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. #1 Corto Malteze, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2009
    Lime can be useful if your pH is too low (acidic). However, there are some things to consider:

    As this article explains, don't mix manures and lime at the same time. It causes a negative chemical reaction between acidic manures, meals and alkaline lime.
    I read somewere else that you should add lime min. 1 month before adding manures if you mix both. Separate the manures and only amend the mix without the manures to be sure (for our situation). The manures will be good after a few months anyway.
    Does anyone know how fast powdered dolomite lime works in the soil? Or should I prefer quick working ashes if I don't keep the same spots over the years. 3 years for lime to work (read link below)! But this is if you don't bring most of your soil (native dirt with low pH)
    You can also use river, sea shells, (wash them well and grind them) to raise the pH. Also add eggshells to raise pH.

    Don't add lime if the soil is alkaline. It will make it even more alkaline lol! Don't add lime if you're bringing in most of your soil mix, or using a native dirt with adequate pH.

    Note the reference to rock dust in this article. Nice links on Russian comfrey and other natural elements on this interesting UK website too.
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  2. Awesome! this is what I like seeing!! +rep
  3. Good info from Corto as usual,

    keep sharing your knowledge everyone.
  4. If i wanted to plant in the ground, is it crucial to adjust your PH? Or can i fill my hole with soil that already has a normal PH?

    What would i do after the roots grew out of the soil i gave it?
  5. #5 Corto Malteze, Apr 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2009
    I just got a bag of powdered dolomite lime. I'm not quite sure how much I need to add and if I should add any. I'm using mostly old compost, worm castings and peat in my "upper" soil mix. How much would you say for a 2x2x2 hole (in cups or handfuls please)?
    It's good for the Magnesium and Calcium (their absence can cause nute lock).

    I googled worm castings and lime and several growers use them together so it's not a problem to mix limes and worm castings (= not animal manure).

    However, I think we should avoid manures and lime as this other article points out:

    All soils having a deficiency of calcareous earth, and which do not effervesce with acids, are improved by lime, either mild or quick lime. Sandy soils are improved more than clay. When a soil deficient in calcareous matter contains much soluble vegetable matter, the application of quick lime should always be avoided, as it either tends to decompose the soluble matters, by uniting to them carbon and oxygen so as to become mild lime, or it combines with the soluble matters and forms compounds having less attraction for water than the pure vegetable substance. The case is the same with regard to most animal manures, but the operation is different in different cases, and depends upon the nature of the animal matter. Lime forms a kind of insoluble soap with oily matters, and then gradually decomposes them by separating from them oxygen and carbon. It combines likewise with the animal acids, and probably assists their decomposition by abstracting carbonaceous matter from them combined with oxygen, and consequently it must render them less nutritive. It tends to diminish likewise the nutritive powers of albumen from the same causes, and always destroys to a certain extent the efficacy of animal manures, either by combining with certain of their elements, or giving them new arrangements. Lime should never be applied with animal manures unless they are too rich, or for the purpose of preventing noxious effluvia. It is injurious when mixed with common dung, and tends to render the extractive matter insoluble; and with almost all soft animal or vegetable substances lime forms insoluble composts, and thus destroys their fermen-tive qualities. Such compounds, however, exposed to the continual action of the air, alter in course of time: the lime becomes a carbonate, and the animal and vegetable matter enter by degrees into new compounds suited for vegetable nourishment. In this view lime presents two great advantages for the nutrition of plants: the first, that of disposing certain insoluble bodies to form soluble compounds; the second, that of prolonging the action and nutritive qualities of substances beyond the time during which
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    they would be retained if these substances were not made to enter into combination with lime.

    So lime cancels the good effects of animal manures.

    Other articles don't make such a big deal about manures and lime, just mentioning lime as a fertilizer like manures are. Actually when you google it, the 1st page is Corto's post, lol!!! I don't know???!!!?? I'll just add a bit of lime (how much? thanks) and a bit of manures in the "upper soil mix" leaving most of the rich stuff at the botttom without any lime. But before adding lime we should test the pH, as an alkaline soil can be as bad as an acidic soil (and mj likes it more on the acidic side). Later and good luck!
  6. #6 OldSkool1010, Apr 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2009
    Now I have never grown MJ in the ground, but I don't think the root-ball that contains the fine, feeder roots will grow outside of a 8 cu. ft. volume (2' X 2' X 2'). The plant may sink a large tap root into the native soil, but that primarily supplies water.

    Some nutrients and minerals will leach into the sub-soil too, so IMO growing in a hole filled with amended, fertile soil will be Great.
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  7. I can't give you any more rep but Thanks for sharing.:gc_rocks:
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  8. Aaaww! Thank you Oldskool1010, you taught me a lot buddy! And you've grown waaaay more weed than me! Haha!

  9. This is an awesome question and I am more than willing to answer it from experience.

    Last year in 2008 , I dug holes in the ground and filled them with one bag of premium soil each. This amounts to 1 cubic foot of great soil or about 6.4 gallons.

    The native soil around the plant was very acidic. It was a semi-pine forest. The soil had been full of decomposing pine needles which make the soil veryyy acidic.

    I hadn't planned on the success I had from the start , and was not expecting the size plants that I got. While the plants were growing in the premium potting soil they were absolutely gorgeous and deep green in color. They grew like maniacs with simple watering and feeding.

    Towards the later stages of growth and more into flowering, the leaves started yellowing BAD. Each visit to my plot would require me to walk around picking off leaves for a minimum of 15 minutes. Now, I heard a lot about leaves start to die and wither and such at the end of flowering, but this was all through flowering.

    It took me many weeks to figure out what the cause was as I thought initially it was under watering. I knew my soil ph was fine and I was just stumped. It then came to me , that with the size of the plants, the roots had expanded past the perfect soil and were now in dangerous territory.

    At this point, there was little I could do to amend the soil. I gave the plants everything else I could and it worked out, kinda. But, it is a mistake I will never make again.

    You can take this little story as you wish, but in my head I knowwww it was because the roots had grown beyond the Coast of Maine soil, and into the native soil where it was just way too acidic.
  10. Good info IATL. Wow, that must have been horrible. I hope yo get better luck this year. Later man!
  11. It keeps the ph in acidic soil stable.:smoking:
  12. How big were the holes? 2 feet square by 2 feet deep is 8 cubic feet. did you mix the bag soil with the native soil?

    What is the solution?
  13. #13 Corto Malteze, Apr 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2009
    I'm not sure about that. Some growers describe that it shoots the pH way up in the alkaline zone that you don't want to reach for mJ. Lime is alkaline but some growers say they use a lot, without raising the pH a lot -just "stabilizing it", others say it raised the pH a lot. Like all, there can be too much of it in my opinion. I never used it but I like the fact it adds Magnesium and Calcium. I read that mixing lime and manures is a no no as the manures will cancel the lime's effect. Maybe it's not a problem. Anyway, the dosage depends on the pH of your soil mix but I don't know how much. Use powdered dolomite lime. It takes several weeks to raise the pH.
    -I have manures and meals at the bottom of the holes now.
    -the "upper" soil mix will be peat, compost, castings, a little manures.
    - then, I'll sprinkle the lime on top (I read this too lol) of the hole so the lime isn't in contact with the manures but still feeds the plant and raises/stabilizes the pH.

    My outer native dirt is usually alkaline (clay) so I won't be needing a lot.

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