soil test - Knowledgebase Question

Port Orchard, Wa
Question by corner510
January 16, 2011
I had a recent soil test which stated I needed to apply 10 pounds of potassium 0-0-60 during spring. I also needed to raise the PH by adding 100 lbs of lime. where can i buy potassium and lime?


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Answer from NGA
January 16, 2011

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The most convenient source of Potash, or potassium, is wood ashes. If you have a wood burning fireplace, you can add the ashes to your garden. Or, you can purchase a bag of potassium at a well stocked nursery - one that carries organic fertilizers. You can purchase greensand, compost, or kelp meal as sources of potassium. There's also an Organic Potash (called Palm Bunch Ash 0-0-30). Another approach is to find a fertilizer with a high level of potassium (the 3 numbers on the fertilizer package indicate the 3 major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium). Choose a fertilizer with a higher third number.

Reducing the acidity of the soil is the primary purpose for using lime in the garden. However, liming materials also provide nutrients for plant use. Calcium and magnesium are the two elements most commonly provided by lime. Gypsum is used where more calcium is needed without raising the pH. In heavy clay soils, the use of gypsum helps increase moisture circulation. Organic gardeners use natural sources of lime, such as limestone, dolomite, shell, and marl. The most readily available source of lime for a garden is dolomitic lime and you'll find that in the garden section of your local Home Depot. Best wishes with your garden!

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