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Re: Dolomite Lime, Help is here

Steven & Sharlyn Rocha wrote:
> Hello Iris Lovers,
>         I have some important questions about Dolomite Lime.  I have gotten my
> daughter's sixth grade class interested in planting a bed of iris on the
> school grounds.  I am donating a different color iris for each member of
> the class.  They are planting them tomorrow as a class project.  I prepared
> the soil with compost and super phosphate and  15-15-15. My problem is that
> the soil still doesn't look right to me.  I have never seen a soil so
> claylike.  I used to make pottery, and this soil feels like potter's clay.
> It also had some red dirt at one layer.  Even though I put in plenty of
> compost, it looks clumpy.  Steve said he had heard that adding Dolomite
> Lime to the soil will help breakdown clay.  

I think gypsum is what you want, not lime (unless you have acid soil).
It helps separate the clay particles. Another advantage is that
agricultural gypsum has 16% sulphur in it which acts as an antibacterial
agent. Apply at the rate of 10 # per 100 sq ft. 2 C gypsum weighs 1 1/8
pounds. Fill a two pound coffee can to within 1 1/2 inches from the top
and you have about 10 #. 

Add as much organic material as you can lay hands on. I have clay here
and it is amazing how fast the organic matter disappears.

John                     | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.

John Jones, jijones@ix.netcom.com
Fremont CA, USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay) 
Max high 95F/35C, Min Low 28F/-2C average 10 days each
Heavy clay base for my raised beds.

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