This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Sandra 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    A newbie no dig question. Having applied the compost, which is mainly very decomposed shredding from a tree surgeon, do I need to apply lime for things like brassicas? Or will it just “sort itself out”?



    Charles may advise differently, but I was taught to plant brassica plants by “concreting” them in. This means puddling a hole with a dibber, flooding the area. Place your plant deeply (150mm?) and then water in with mud, to which a tablespoon of lime is added, as you pour. Allow to settle and then heel in tight. This was on Lower greensand, which is acidic.
    The purpose was not only to gain a ph correction, but it was said, to counter club root.Certainly, those plantings were successful.



    Fortunately acidic soil is quite rare so most people (no diggers at least) do not add lime before brassicas. You can buy cheap pH test sticks in some pharmacies.
    Clubroot is rare except on old allotments, you will probably be ok on that one.



    I was wondering whether to ask the same thing. Up on my mountain my soil (what there is of it) is 4. Ph test was the first thing I did and it was 4!!! I have been vegetable growing on raised beds here for a few years now and always use lime because of this problem. I don’t test each year, I just use lime when planting out brassicas, it doesn’t seem to affect anything else in the veg garden.

    I always have to use the little collars too, because of the cabbage root fly.



    Ok, I have been working hard on my veg garden which I haven’t touched for 3 years, basically it has lain fallow.

    I already had raised beds because soil here is literally a couple of inches only of brown, very acidic ‘stuff’. I have been weeding and amalgamating beds into larger ones, added what I had in the way of compost which wasn’t much, as well as leaf mould.

    So not all of my beds can be called No Dig at the moment.

    I have been able to find a supply of horse manure at last (I have even asked for it for birthdays before now) which is accessible with a trailer BUT it is fesh. I can fetch as much as I want to to build up supplies, bur what do I do for this year?

    I also had some spoiled hay donated to me, 3/4 of a large round bail, do I use the hay along with the manure to make a compost pile?

    I have seen people online planting into hay bales, but I have no idea about that sort of thing.

    I will also be starting brand new beds on a section of land that has never been used before. As the ground is very acid, do I use lime over the whole of that area as I clear it? Blackberry and nettle heaven is what it is at the moment.

    Sorry this is a long post.



    Sandra your soil is not so bad if there are nettles, take heart.
    The horse manure can’t all be fresh, select the oldest to spread as base layer, spread lime first if you wish, then grow larger plants like squash and potatoes, while the fresh manure and hay is composting for next year.



    Update! I have been really busy with the new part of my plot, most of which hasn’t been used for many years. I have been falling into bed at night cream crackered, all I need now is an increase in temperature so that my seedlings actually start growing and I can fill that big space.

    The final section of this ‘new’ land was the one that I had been dreading, but it turned out to be the best soil anywhere on our 4 acres that I have found. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but the land is beside and behind the old stone privy, still complete with slate slab – with holes for two. So I am extending that area now to take advantage of the little houses bounty, by just covering the weeds with cardboard and weed supressant fabric until I can deal with it later. That will also mean that I won’t have to dig it this time. The little house by the way, is getting a new roof and will be a composting loo for this summer at least if all goes well.

    This land is on a slope and there is the same amount of land at the bottom of the slope that will need clawing back from nature and the brambles. I keep meaning to measure it all, but somehow never have. Anyway it will have the twigs/branches/cardboard/horse manure treatment as well. I am hoping to grow Crown Prince squash there.

    My soil test was the same, a nice orange 4, so I added lime to all of the new beds and hopefully this storm that is howling outside will be dispersing the lime into the soil.

    My one and only compost heap has been made up, turned and layered again with fresh grass cut from the lawn and has a respectable 39c temp today, which I was very happy with.

    Sorry for another long post.

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