To Lime or not to Lime??

Hi, back again for more advice! I have only had my Allotment since June this year so not done a Winter there yet, I have noticed other people Limeing their plots, what does this do to improve it? my neighbour told me the soil up there is very easy to dig and has a sand then pebble layers further down and drains well, i am planning to plant up Potatoes and Onions next year, should i treat these two beds now with anything? All advice welcome, ruth image


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,658

    Don't lime the soil if you're planning on growing potatoes - potatoes prefer a slightly acidic soil and liming the soil also encourages potato scab.  

    If you are going to grow brassicas it might be a good idea to lime that area as it can help to prevent clubroot - if all your neighbouring allotmenteers are liming their plots it might indicate that there is clubroot virus in the soil. I'd have a chat with a few of them if I were you - you'll probably find they'll really enjoy being helpful image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • No expertNo expert Posts: 415

    Connie 77 sounds like you have acidic soil if the neighbours are liming. As our Dove says ask them what the soil is like, save you doing a test yourself.

    Mine is very alkaline so we have lots of scab on our potatoes. Easier to remidy acid i think.

    What was in the beds this year  or last year? Was manure or fertilizer added for that crop? These answers will help determine what you need to do now.

  • connie77connie77 Posts: 117

    Hi thanks Dove and No Expert, that has given me alot of help, as previous to me taking on the Allotment plot , the last old man that had it died two years before and it had stood empty waist high in weeds!, he had mainly done Potatoes and Brassicas, i think and been very much an old school Gardener, from what i have heard? now and again i find old plant markers when i'm digging for courgettes or carrots,  the person who was liming is four plots down from me, so can clubroot virus spread that far? or is it present in the soil and only activated by what you plant?? prior to getting a plot i have only grown veg in pots at home so, know nothing about diseases spreading in the ground? connie77

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,658

    If the last chap grew brassicas there may well be clubroot in the soil - liming will help to reduce it.  It's not the end of the world.  It's endemic in lots of allotments.  Lots of info here image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ....would just add, don't lime & muck at the same time.

    Club root, pop a chunk of rhubarb in the hole when planting.

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    I grow brassicas in pots then chuck some lime into the hole and mix it with the soil when I plant them, has worked fine so far. Other people lime their soil on our allotment site

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