Soil is our primary source of nourishment – since the food cycle begins and ends there. Unscientific and unscrupulous methods of development and the excess use of chemical fertilizers have left the soil barren. This reduction in soil quality could have been limited to a great extend by using bio-fertilizers and avoiding monocropping. The excess use of chemical fertilizers has also lead to an unprecedented increase in soil acidity. An effective cure to this liming.
The effect of decreased soil pH or increased acidity can lead to a number of problem ranging from leaf chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) to decrease in the number of beneficial microorganisms. Liming is one of the most common and best known remedies for this problem. Liming will help reduce the acidity of the soil and promote better growth of crops. The correct and timely application of agricultural lime will also promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the soil. This is turn will increase the fertility of the soil, as these microorganisms will decompose all the organic matter present in the soil.
It has been observed that liming also makes the phosphorous in the soil more readily available to plants. Liming improves the potash absorption ratio as well. This in time will increase the soil fertility, improving plant growth and eventually crop yield.
The result of liming generally depends on the purity and coarseness of the mixture. Do not use lime that has hardened or lumped together. This will result in decreased productivity. The finer the lime, the faster it will react with the soil. The quantity of lime to be added to the soil will depend on the acidity of the soil, the crop features and coarseness of the lime. Soil with lower levels of pH will require more lime. Sandy soil requires lesser quantity of lime than clay soil. The amount of lime will also vary with the type of crop cultivated there.
While beans will require more lime, tuber crops will require less lime. Liming should be done before ploughing. This will result in the lime being mixed properly when ploughing. If more lime is required, make sure you don’t add it all in one go. Having your soil tested will help identify the acidity of the soil and also the amount of lime required.