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Best way to lime a potential brassica bed

hi everyone, 

i would appreciate some advice having recently acquired my first allotment. I have completed a couple of beds Where I plan to grow brassicas in. Due to the amount of docks I have had to dig out so far I have read this is a sign soil is getting more acidic.  I am about to do ph meter readings, however can I compost these beds then put lime down, or do I lime the bare soil then throw compost or well rotted manure down. Am I too late at this stage of the year?

many thanks


  • Just be aware that most lime products are very soluble and so if added to the soil too far ahead of the crop they are likely to be washed away by the rain before being used.

    I would manure now and check pH and lime as necessary nearer to planting time.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Manure/compost should be applied at a different time from lime.  Not close together.

    Most brassicas (especially sprouts) require a firm soil.

  • Manure will react with lime, causing potential soil problems so ideally, well rotted manure needs to be dug in at least three months before any lime is added. You really need to do a soil PH test before adding manure because Brassicas don't like acidic soil. You may find that all you need is lime. 

    Firm your soil by treading it down, like you would for grass. I use a wooden plank rather than just stomping on it.

    I've had my allotment for just over a year and had terrible horsetail problems, which really had to be dug out. Having double dug it and broken the really hard, clumpy, clay soil up; I then just added lime and firmed the plots. I did this in late October, and then covered them with a really good thick black polythene, so that the lime isn't washed away. My brassica bed should be ready to go in March. I'll let you know how I get on - please do the same and we can learn together.

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