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Author Topic: Hydrated lime vs. garden lime  (Read 24069 times)
dianasgarden
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Southern New York State, Zone 6


« on: July 15, 2007, 05:23:49 PM »

Hi,

I just went to two garden stores looking for hydrated lime to treat the blossom end rot problem I've been having with my tomatoes, and came up emptyhanded. The guy at one store told me I should use garden lime instead, but he did not seem that familiar with EarthBoxes.

Can garden lime be substituted? What is the difference?

Sorry if this has been discussed before. I know there have been numerous questions and answers about BER, but I am still unsure about the lime remedy.

Thanks,
Diana
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Diana
I write consumer reviews and articles (some about Earthboxes!) at Epinions.com (my "name" there is dianapinions) and at AssociatedContent.com (where I am known as dianasgarden). Stop in and say Hi if you see me there!
Steve
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Northeast PA, zone 5


« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 05:27:54 PM »

Hydrated lime is a fine powder and can dissolve in water.  The finer the lime is ground, the faster it will react (good ole surface area to volume ratio).  Garden lime tends to have larger particles and therefore will react more slowly, but will last longer.

What you get depends on what you are using it for.  Hydrated will be good as a quick remedy for things like BER, while garden lime or any lime with larger particles will help to stabilize things for the longer term, but will not react quickly enough to be used as a quick-fixer.
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Steve
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mjb8743
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Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 07:19:27 PM »

Just to confuse things  Huh? Huh? Huh?

My local Agway had:

4lb bags of hydrated lime-- a fine powder

50lb bags of Dolomitic Lime-- pelletized

50lb bags of Dolomitic Lime-- a fine powder

50lb bags of Ground Limestone-- coarse powder

Please note that nothing resembled the Dolomite that Earthbox uses... not even remotely.

There seems to be no end to the variations of a product called "LIME", and no end to the confusion and misinformation of anyone asked about it when shopping.

This year, I used the powdered Dolomitic Lime ($3.00 for 50lb), 1.5-2 cups per box regardless of crop, and so far, so good.... no BER, and everything looks healthy.
Mickie
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111 EBs and growing... so how come there are never enough boxes??
dianasgarden
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Southern New York State, Zone 6


« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 08:23:08 PM »


This year, I used the powdered Dolomitic Lime ($3.00 for 50lb), 1.5-2 cups per box regardless of crop, and so far, so good.... no BER, and everything looks healthy.
Mickie


Could ya' send me some?    Grin
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Diana
I write consumer reviews and articles (some about Earthboxes!) at Epinions.com (my "name" there is dianapinions) and at AssociatedContent.com (where I am known as dianasgarden). Stop in and say Hi if you see me there!
ratchet
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Creola, AL - Zone 8


« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 11:39:37 AM »

If your still empty handed, pickling lime is hydrated lime. You can get it at most grocery stores - not in 50 lb bags! But enough to treat your eb.

Good luck, Ratchet
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dianasgarden
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Southern New York State, Zone 6


« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 12:12:58 PM »

I'm learning something new every day here!

Thanks, Ratchet!

Diana
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Diana
I write consumer reviews and articles (some about Earthboxes!) at Epinions.com (my "name" there is dianapinions) and at AssociatedContent.com (where I am known as dianasgarden). Stop in and say Hi if you see me there!
BazaarMunchkin
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Posts: 5


« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 05:00:50 PM »

For post planting issues with BER, a few folks have recommended also using Epsom Salt (has both Calcium & Magnesium).

Can anyone give feedback as to whether this is also a good alternate for post-planting water vessel additions?
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Richmond, V.A. - Zone 7a
ratchet
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Creola, AL - Zone 8


« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2007, 03:45:10 PM »

In desperation I used epsom salt as well as lime but can't really say if it helped. My dad, however, when I asked him about the use of lime for his in ground tomatoes, he firmly shook his head and said, "epsom salt" I guess next year, as it is so hot here my tomatoes are gone, I can test the two independently.
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EEPPS
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Zone 9 Brandon FL


« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2007, 07:06:27 PM »

The screen analysis on the bag of EB dolomite is very close to that of the Garden Lime sold in most home supply stores (Lowes and Home Depot).
The dolomite not only supplies calcium and magnesium it also adjust the pH as the organics in the mix decomposes and reduces the mix pH.

While epsons salts provides magnesium it does not adjust the mixl pH. If the salt is pure there is no calcium present.

The epsons salts is probably good to prevent BER.

UPDATE Oct 12 2007

I was wrong, Epsons salts does change the soil pH it makes it more acidic, dolomite (garden lime) makes it more alkaline. I was thinking of gypsum (calcium sulfate) which supplies calcium and sulphur without altering soil pH.

ED



« Last Edit: October 12, 2007, 03:24:17 PM by EEPPS » Logged

Ed Epps
zone 9 - Brandon, FL
kathy
Horticulturalist
The EarthBox
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The mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4.


« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2007, 02:48:35 PM »

Epsom salt is and was used for years because many of the gardens are deficient in Magnesium, also the old timers would add some Epsom salt to speed ripening (this was never proven by me) You need the calcium (not present in Epsom salt) to combat the BER.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 08:51:09 AM by kathy » Logged

kath, gardening is my game,  over 45 years in the business.
ratchet
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Creola, AL - Zone 8


« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2007, 10:53:29 PM »

Personally I think weather and water availablity plays the biggest role in BER. I planted tomatoes in an eb with eb purchased soil, eb fert., and eb dolomite. Had a great crop, then BER hit and I lost every tomato on the two bushes. I added lime to the water chamber and later added epsom salt, just in case. Didn't have much problem after that, but didn't have that good of a crop after the BER got done with me. Next year I think I may just put one tomato plant per box if its a indeterminate. They get so big and use a lot of water. Since its so hot here in lower Alabama its hard to keep up with the water demand.
      Ratchet
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Donald1800
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Fontana, CA Zone 8


« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2007, 03:06:32 AM »

Actually, mineral sulfates change the ph very little in the amounts used normally.  It takes quite a bit to move the ph further acidic.  The reason it is used in acidic 'soils' instead of carbonate forms is that it does not alter the desired acidic ph.  I use calcium and magnesium carbonates to adjust the ph, then add calcium and magnesium sulfates to add additional calcium, magnesium AND SULFUR to the 'soil'.  The measured ph before and after the sulfates is about the same.

Donald1800
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EEPPS
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Posts: 455


Zone 9 Brandon FL


« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2007, 06:01:34 AM »

Question  for Donald1800

What effect does adding elemental sulfur to the soil have on soil pH? Also when is it used rither than  Sulfate salts?

Thanks

ED
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Ed Epps
zone 9 - Brandon, FL
Donald1800
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Fontana, CA Zone 8


« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2007, 10:35:19 PM »

Now, that is a question I don't have the answer to.  I have NEVER used man made or man purified elements in my 'soil', so my experience does not include that.  I have only used powdered/granulated rock or clay formations that naturally occur under or around naturally occuring plants.  Highly concentrated elements such as sulfur are usually found in barren/plantless areas - it just doesn't seem rational to me to use these forms around plants.  This may be more a question a Master Gardener would have the answer to.

Donald1800
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