Nieft / Secola wrote:
> But my urine was 7.5 (highest "normal" possible according to this
> particular lab), so I am probably teaming with pests and/or pesticides or
> worse. Completely unsuitable to judge cutting-edge crop theories. ;)
Quick---feel you forehead! Is it close to room temperature? :)
Seriously, the urine/saliva people would probably hold you up as a classroom
illustration of how far things can get out of whack. According to their teachings,
you're simply incapable of digesting certain needed nutrients at that pH state no
matter what you eat.
> PS. Do you favor any particular lime for top dressing acid soil?
Biological agricultural rule #1: Do NOT consider lime a means to 'fight' acidity.
Instead, consider lime as a calcium food source for soil organisms and plants.
While I can't project your needs from Maryland, I can say that most of the East
Coast is best served by using High Calcium lime, i.e., it's better for us to avoid
dolomite (High Magnesium lime). A really premium High Calcium product used by
savvy biological growers in these parts is Aragonite, which is simply crushed coral
deposits from Bermuda. Is there a coral crushing operation anywhere near you (such
as for roadbeds)? I should think the fines they throw away would work well (the
dustier, the better).
When all is said and done, the best soils have about 7 parts calcium to 1 part
mag. At least that where the aerobic soil bacteria thrive. If you don't want to
get into fancy soil-testing, I suggest you make application in strips. For
instance, you may want to spread product on 1/2 of a garden this year and then pay
close attention to how that part does vis-a-vis the untreated half. If you're
talking trees, tag the trees that were treated. And use that refractometer---it
should help you tell which side is doing better.