One of the things that became clear to me while attending the Consulting Rosarian School sessions last weekend was the fact that the pH of my beds is badly out of whack (to the acidic side) is probably significantly impacting the health of my rose bushes. It is a fact that when the pH between 6.0 and 6.5. that is optimal for roses to absorb nutrients from the soil, when it is low (or high for that matter), the nutrients in the soil become bound up in forms that that roses cannot use. Earlier this year, I had soil samples analyzed and while there are plenty of nutients in the sole, the soil in all my beds is quite acid and so the nutrients are not available to my plants. I guess weeds are more tolerant of the acid soil.
So, I need to apply lime to my soil to bring the pH up and the analysis report give a suggestion about how much to apply. Now, these reports are written as if I were a farmer and growing a crop so the suggested application of lime is in pounds per 1000 sqft. Since I had soil reports for each bed independently and I had measured the dimensions each of the beds for the revitalize the beds project, I spend a little time calculating the square footage of each bed (well, 4 of the beds are the same size). The report called for different amounts of lime per bed so I took the area of each bed and calculated how much I should put on each bed:
- Fence bed, 120 Sqft 18 pounds
- Iris bed 92 sqft; 10.25 pounds
- Fairy bed 92 sqftl; 12.88 pounds
- OGR bed 92 sqft; 12.44 pounds
- Center bed with Souv.. dela Malmaison: 64 sqft, 8 points
Today I purchased two 40# bags of pelletized crushed dolomite limestone. Ok, maybe I am ok on the magnesium content of the soil so calcitic would work but all Lowes had was the dolomitic type.
Now I just need to figure out how to carve out time to apply it. Easier said than done.