Welcome to the Shroomery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!
Lime (calcium carbonate) used in mycology is hard to find and expensive when ordering due to shipping (if ordering get "micronized" or at least powder form). There is an option of hydrated lime available at most stores but H.lime is very strong and can injure the mycelium if overused.
Contrary to popular belief C.lime (calcium carbonate) when in micronized/powdered form has a fairly fast reaction time and starts raising pH within a few hours of being moistened (in casing for example). C.lime has a TNP (Total Neutralizing Power) of around 91-98%. It's best to use C.lime with a TNP of about 95-98%. H.lime has a TNP of around 130-150%, which is VERY strong.
Now back to "Pennington Fast Acting Lime" from Home Depot, Lowes, etc. It is made from C.lime (it's 95.5% CaCo3) and is in a granular form and has a TNP of 94.6%. It has been shown in Universality testes to offer immediate reaction when moistened. That means it will begin to raise pH right after it is moistened, just like h.lime without the possibility of burning (from TNP). Though H.lime will raise the pH by many points immediately and it takes a little longer for Penngington's to reach an ideal pH of about 8. Pennington's Fast Acting Lime does something to the calcium within the C.lime, I'm not sure what this wording on the bag is supposed to mean:
"AST (Advanced Soil Technology) is a highly researched, patented control agent that acts like a magnet to hold calcium from lime in place."
I'm not sure what they mean by "in place". I sounds to me like it releases the lime *faster* which would possibly account for why this type of C.lime is considered 'fast acting' vs. regular C.lime.
Anyway I have micronized C.lime and the Pennington's lime. I added the standard quantity of lime from the 50/50+ tek using both kinds of lime in separate mixing bins. The Pennington's did indeed begin to raise pH after a few hours and after a day the Penningtons raised the pH to about 8 according to my inexpensive soil pH meter. The micronized C.lime raised the pH to around 8 also but it took about 4-5 days.
C.lime will not raise the soil pH much above 8 regardless of how much you add if I remember correctly. So one should be able to add more micronized/powdered C.lime then is suggest in the 50/50+ tek for a faster reaction time to the optimal pH of about 8.
I add my lime and other 50/50+ tek ingredients and moisten to field capacity and then I let it sit for a day to allow the pH to begin to raise and to allow time for microorganisms to land on the peat and for the dormant microbes within peat to become active again. Yes, peat moss is LOADED with dormant microbes out of the bag (though it was Canadian peat which was assayed right out of the bag...). After I pasteurize I let it sit for two days (to cool and to allow pH to raise). Then I case...
I have been happy with the results from the C.lime and the Penningtons, though I prefer C.lime with a reaction time period before I case because the C.lime is natural.
A large bag of Pennington's is around $11.00 if I remember right.
BTW: Yes, I know P.cubensis is not supposed to require beneficial microbes to fruit but I am sure they are of benefit...
If you can find powdered calcium carbonate filtered to about a minimum of 325 mesh it is micronized, but 325 mesh is considered a large size for micronized material.
The calcium carbonate that http://www.sporeworks.com sells is the same kind I have (I got mine from ebay). Both are filtered to 325 mesh. But you can get large quantity (50lb bag) of finer screened micronized CaCo3 from Peaceful Valley...