Got back My Soil Test!

Hi, I am new to this newsgroup and learning as I go :) I just received my soil test back from UGA in Georgia and they show the following:
pH(CaCI2)-4.6 Potassium-low Magnesium-low-Everything else is good/sufficient. Texture is dark loose and grainy with no clay. Drainage is to good as it is on gentle slope but tends to be dry towards hot days of summer and trees sapping up moisture.
They recommended dolomite lime of course @ 60lbs per 1000 sq ft. (I knew my soil was acid and have planted natural acid lovers shrubs/flowers etc) and 10-10-10 @ 2 cups per 100 sq ft. now and again in May and July
My question is do you think this will hurt my established plants mostly Azaleas and Rodies Hostas and other shadelovers? It was a wooded lot (150x200 ft) with oaks hickory dogwoods and couple of pines. I cleared out smaller oaks and hickory for more sun and limbed up remaining but is still mostly a shaded woodland garden in zone 7B.
Any advise will be greatly appreciated from you experts on soils!
Oh yeah one more question if you don't mind. I have just read from research that hollytone lowers the ph and I am afraid I might have messed up using it on the new Leyland Cypresses I planted on the street side of lot that receives morning and afternoon sun. They were planted last year and so far look to be healthy but should I lime heavy around them just in case? Thanks.
Elaine in Georgia
--
Elaine



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Before anyone thinks I am crazy for the Leyland's it was for privacy from the silly neighbors I have at my backyard. I had to plant a fast growing cover between us due to the slope put me on display everytime I worked in the new garden. LOL
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Keep the lime away from ericacious plants they don't really need it. Solve liming and potash with clean wood ashes which have both.
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Thanks but I do not have a source for wood ash for the large quantity I need. Were do you get yours? I do like the organic way better than throwing a bunch of chemicals around so I think maybe I should for go on the fertilizer and just use the dolomite lime since the ph is so low-4.6. Trying to keep it off the acid lovers will not be easy due to the slope. I do compost and apply a top dressing to my plants and beds so maybe that will help. What do you think?

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What are you trying to grow that needs neutral soil? It seems to me if you have dedicated your yard to acid-loving plants, you don't need to lime it. On the other hand, if you're trying to grow a lawn, vegetables, or the more common perennials, yes, you will need lime or some other method of getting your soil closer to neutral.

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Yes after clearing weeds/vines and a good deal of trees (it was a heavy wooded area) I seeded sun-shade grass to help with soil erosion since it is on a gentle slope hoping to save the acid-rich woody humus topsoil. Some of the larger felled trees I left on the ground to slow run off until grass semi-established. I have allot of leaves in the fall which I mulch with lawn mower, compost and otherwise get rid of as I still have so many large oaks. My long term goal is to create more planting beds with anything that will tolerate shade. I just had 30 more trees removed last summer so at this time I am anxiously awaiting the remaining trees to puff out so I can see how much sun I get this year. Before I break the budget on plantings (ornamental shrubs and perennials mostly no vegetables in this area due to shade) I wanted to have a good soil test. They are recommending target pH of 6.0 for both. Mine is at 5.2. I also need to increase K and Mg and some P. So I would like to keep some grassy areas. Should I just treat the grass area and go back to the beds with lime also? It is still a work in progress and I am working my way around gradually little at a time after all this is retirement and I always have to many projects going at the same time! I add good compost and manure to the beds as I develop them but I did not lime. I did use slow release plant food as I planted and so far they are making it ok. I didn't include that soil in my test however. Maybe I should do the home kit on the beds to check. Thanks for any advice you can offer. I have learned much just by reading all the posts from everyone. I have always liked to garden just never had much time before then I purchased the adjoining forest of 2 lots behind me. Biting off more than I can presently chew methinks.

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Most plants that you will want in your yard will grow at 5.5. It you got the pH up too high the only thing that would grow there is weeds. Blueberries want 4.5 to 6.0, and if your other plants look good, I wouldnt change it.
Dwayne

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Thanks Dwayne how did you know about the weeds?? LOL.
Anyway I did do some lime in some areas along with the 10-10-10 since the pH was at 5.2 and maybe the acid lovers wont mind to much if some leaches into their spot. Everybody looks contented for now.
The new beds are all getting compost, shredded oak leaves lime and slow release so I can have a more "normal" garden even through it looks like it will be dappled shade this year. The remaining trees are just starting to phoof out. Let their be light :) or just a little more please?
Thanks everyone for your help with this. I guess I just really freaked out when I saw the test results as I am really trying to make this a nice garden to enjoy. I am sure I will ask for help again soon with something else!

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If you make sufficient compost you can add the limestone to that and reserve it for your "normal" beds. My reccomendation for wood ashes is because they are faster than limestone and provide trace elements and a good portion of K Limestone as a surface application is going to take a few months to show effect. It's more about making nutrients available to the plants as many are locked up as insoluble compounds in acid soils. Did your soil test give you a percentage of organic content?
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I have 2 compost piles about 6x6 ft going now plus alot of oak leaves and aged sawdust I put through the chipper along with coffee/tea grounds egg shells and anything else organic I even have my sweet neighbors saving theirs for me in exchange for cut flowers when I have them! I have just started mixing in lime also to be on the safe side as this is going in all new beds from here on out and I add more at planting time.
But you know I just read after compost gets ready it is suppose to be fairly neutral in pH is that true? Anyway as acid as my soil is extra lime sure can't hurt. It is also sandy so I am mixing about half and half in the new beds. Time to think about a better watering system besides the old hose I think.
In answer to your questions..nope they didn't give a percentage on organic content. (That would have been nice.) It was the Mehlich I test then UGA gave me their Lime Buffer Capacity Method test. My LBC was 541.

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