Can Hydrated Lime Cause Tomatoes to Wilt?

Hydrated lime is one method to elevate the pH level in dirt. As one of the most caustic tactics to lime an area, it’s not frequently utilized in home gardens. Whether it is, it has to be done carefully, for the individual applying it as well as for the plants it may come in contact with. It can burn skin and plant surfaces alike, sometimes leading to wilt in tender garden crops such as tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum).

Hydrated Lime

Hydrated lime, or calcium hydroxide, includes powder or slurry type and is recognized by a number of names, such as slaked lime, pickling lime and contractors lime. Calcium is added to limestone to produce quicklime, which is subsequently treated with water to create hydrated lime. It’s utilized, like all forms of lime in gardening, to increase the soil’s pH level.

Stops Tomato Wilt Disease

The one advantage hydrated lime has over other forms of lime is the fact that it can halt the growth of fusarium, or tomato, when utilized properly. Studies done in 1969 at University of Florida found that the lower the pH, the fewer micronutrients were available and the less fusarium was existing. The study found that the fusarium fungi needed to feed on the micronutrients to grow. So, in some cases, hydrated lime could prevent a tomato plant from wilting.

Reasons for Wilt

Hydrated lime is a caustic material, meaning it can burn skin and organic materials. It can cause a chemical burn on leaves if it comes in contact with them and can also burn roots when used in excess or improperly mixed into the soil. This may cause tomatoes and other plants to wilt or die. The neutralizing worth of hydrated lime is 70, making it significantly greater than that of standard agricultural lime’s 50 to 55 NV. Should you mistakenly use standard liming speeds with hydrated lime, then you can quickly kill your plants. As a result of this caustic nature, hydrated lime is usually not recommended for use in the home garden. A better choice for liming your garden is agricultural limestone, or calcium carbonate.

Safest Lime

Although agricultural lime isn’t as capable of treating fusarium, it’s much safer to use and corrects the pH of dirt effectively. It’s best to check dirt before treatment to make sure that the lime is essential. Tomato plants such as the pH to be between 6.0 and 7.0. If a soil evaluation affirms your pH is too low, flip agricultural lime into the soil before planting the tomatoes. It’s best to apply in the fall, but a finely ground lime can be implemented in the spring, too. Use a drop spreader and till the lime into the initial 4 to 6 inches of dirt, shake it well after the application. Loamy soils require approximately 4 lbs of agricultural lime for every 100 square feet of garden area.

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