Vegetable Gardens & Organic MatterWritten by David Selman, Tracker-Outdoors.com
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If alkaline compost is wanted, ground limestone can be spread in pile at same rate as fertilizer. The compost pile will not decay rapidly until weather warms up in spring and summer. In midsummer, decay can be hastened by forking over pile so moisture can get to parts that have remained dry. The compost should be ready for use by end of first summer.
For a continuing supply of compost, a new pile should be built every year. Compost can be used as a mulch, or worked into flower beds and vegetable garden.
When properly prepared and thoroughly decayed, compost is not likely to harbor diseases or insects. If compost is used in soil where an attempt is made to control plant diseases, or if it is mixed with soil used for raising seedlings, soil should be disinfected with chemicals recommended by your local Extension agent or State agricultural college.
Garden Soil Preparation Written by David Selman, Tracker-Outdoors.com
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To increase your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline: Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils Add 8 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in loamy soils Add 12 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in clay soils Add 25 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in peaty soils Correction of an overly acid soil should be considered a long term project, rather than trying to accomplish it in one gardening season. It is easier to test your soil each year and make your adjustments gradually. The addition of hardwood ash, bone meal, crushed marble, or crushed oyster shells will also help to raise soil pH levels.Lowering The Soil pH To Make It More Acid If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur may be used to lower pH if it is available. To reduce soil pH by 1.0 point: Mix in 1.2 oz of ground rock sulphur per square yard if soil is sandy. Mix in 3.6 oz per square yard for all other soils. The sulphur should be thoroughly mixed into soil before planting. Sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss, will lower soil pH. More Soil pH Tips Always read and follow manufactures recommendations when using chemical products. Use appropriate protection such as a dust mask, and gloves. The best way to adjust pH is gradually, over several seasons. Lime should be applied only when tests show it to be necessary. If soil is excessively alkaline, you may find that you are better off to build a raised bed using topsoil purchased from a nursery.
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