News Feed Forums Soil Health Liming effects on soil microbiology Reply To: Liming effects on soil microbiology

  • Brian Dougherty

    March 31, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Hi Jaclyn, this is a great question and a complicated one. The advice you have gotten on not applying it all at once is good. Dolomitic lime can take 10+ years to fully break down and neutralize acidity depending on particle size. Adding it slowly over time reduces the risk that you will overshoot your target. You have to balance the practicality/cost tradeoff of larger vs smaller applications and it’s hard to say what the ‘correct’ rate is.

    More important than ‘fixing’ your pH is to focus on plant and soil health. Getting adequate calcium and other nutrients into the plant is key. Plants can moderate/change pH in the rhizosphere to suit their needs, assuming the plant is healthy enough to do it. Dolomitic lime isn’t considered a particularly good source of plant available calcium, so you might need other/foliar sources of calcium in addition to what you apply to change soil pH. Plant sap testing can help you pinpoint what is needed.

    As Elmar noted Eh is also important and pH is only half of the equation. That said, don’t get too hung up on trying to fully understand Eh. It’s complicated and there is no practical way for you to measure it. If you focus on improving soil and plant health, both pH and Eh will take care of themselves over time.