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OfflinesoShroomHungry
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cactus soil question about lime
    #3127719 - 09/13/04 12:56 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

i read a few recommendations about using minus grade lime in cactus soil, but all i've found in my area is "hydrated lime" a big fifty lb bag. would this do? i think it said grade G but i'm not positive i could just be blazed
thanx i'm really takin an interest in this!*if you cant' tell :wink:


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Offlinesocratesmind
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: soShroomHungry]
    #3127759 - 09/13/04 01:05 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

And lime with a few tablespoons of powdered rock per pot every few months if you are feeding heavy. A word to the wise: don't feed any heavier or you will burn the roots and don't let the pots dry out and get hot in full sun if you feed heavy. Roots like it rich, cool, and moist.


-Nan's Cactus soil mix article

I use this and my cacti are thriving well. That big bag should last you a while and yes i think its the correct kind to get. And it should be pretty cheap too.


--------------------
Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
- Abraham Lincoln: Speech in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dec 18, 1840.


Edited by socratesmind (09/13/04 01:06 AM)


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OfflinesoShroomHungry
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: socratesmind]
    #3127856 - 09/13/04 01:37 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

allright, thanks alot socrates yet again for your words of wisdom! my cacti are allready in the ground, allthough they're perlite-less, so i plan to dig them up *very carefully* and add that and some lime...i figure about a cup of each per cacti? and when watering...how much plant food is recommended vs how much lime? the lime is only an every month or so thing correct? so i could water and Peter's All Purpose Plant Food it frequently and occasionally with the lime, tell me what you suggest.


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Offlineesin
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: soShroomHungry]
    #3128415 - 09/13/04 04:44 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Isn't hydrated lime very alkaline and caustic (meaning it will burn you if you touch a strong solution of it)?

I thought you wanted regular lime, like the lime you use in mushroom casings, which is regular powdered limestone...That's the lime i use.

If hydrated lime is what i am thinking, you'll want to use it very carefully, well diluted and actively controling PH, so you don't burn your cacti. Do not make a top dressing of this hydrated lime.


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Offlinesocratesmind
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: esin]
    #3129466 - 09/13/04 02:36 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

well esin the reason for the lime i think is to re-adjust the ph after heavy fertilizer feedings. if i recally correctly i just sprinkled some on the top layer before a watering and that was a couple months ago. i think i might lime again soon before the fall ends. shroomhungry you don't need to dig them up to add lime. you can sprinkle lime around the base, don't use to much as its prety potent. read nan's cactus soil article here..

http://www.bouncingb.com/espanol/cactus_care_tips.php


--------------------
Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
- Abraham Lincoln: Speech in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dec 18, 1840.


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OfflineMaverik
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: soShroomHungry]
    #3130194 - 09/13/04 05:13 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

"minus grade" lime refers to the smallest grade of crushed rock from a crusher rather than completely pulverized rock. You actually want both small rock mixed in and Dolomite Lime found at nurseries and garden centers. Dolomite lime is excellent in that it has a high level of magnesium that cacti love in addition to the calcium. It is alkaline or basic as mentioned previously. Trichocereus thrive in basic soil and it discourages rot. Root-rot is encouraged by acidic conditions. The smaller limestone chips mixed in help to break up the soil for better root structure and also break down slowly over time to help keep the soil pH at optimum levels and give the cacti additional Ca. This becomes even more important if you are using fertilizers which almost always have an acidic pH.


--------------------
~ Dead to the Core ~


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OfflineMaverik
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: Maverik]
    #3130202 - 09/13/04 05:16 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quick note: Finding small limestone chips can be fairly difficult depending on what part of the country you are in. Your best bet is to find a rock quarry where they sell it by the ton. They will happily give you as much as you want for next to nothing. On my trip to the quarry they let me fill up three 5 gallon buckets for free.


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~ Dead to the Core ~


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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: socratesmind]
    #3130531 - 09/13/04 06:51 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Sure Socrates, i was just warning him to be careful with hydrated lime because that stuff is very potent like you said. If you use too much you'll get a very high Ph and burn your cacti.

If you use limestone or dolomite, no matter how much you add your Ph will never go beyond 8.
I did a test with limestone. Found it neutralizes 30% HCl in a matter of seconds, but Ph of the solution will never go beyond 7,5/8 which is the optimal PH for cacti growth AFAIK.

You're right in that hydrated lime will serve the purpose if the Ph is well monitored, and it is added conservatively

The point is there's a lot less margin for error with hydrated lime.
Plus Nan's liming recommendations apply to limestone, not slaked lime. Do not throw slaked lime on top of your cacti like in Nan's pics ( http://archives.thenook.org/tek/Liming.htm ), or you will burn them once it gets wet.


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Offlinesocratesmind
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Re: cactus soil question about lime [Re: esin]
    #3132426 - 09/14/04 01:04 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

looked at mine a while ago and I have dolomite lime. very fine powder and a half pint jar was plenty for 3 cacti. even had to toss a little out since most of the topsoil was sprinkled in lime. then i watered with ferts to let it pentrate the soil.


--------------------
Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
- Abraham Lincoln: Speech in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dec 18, 1840.


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