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Adding Calcium

 
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Hello from South Africa,

I recently learned that the area I live in has a tendency to calcium deficiency, and since it's just on the edge of a subtropical zone, I assume acidity too. So would adding calcitic lime / gypsum be a good idea? I posed this question on an organic forum and a slew of seemingly knowledgeable (and helpful) people emphatically stated that without knowing the exact make-up of your soil you run the risk of doing serious damage by adding calcium. So, thing is, it's not that I don't trust their views.... it's just that I would like to get a permaculture perspective if anyone feels like offering one....

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

All the best,
D.

P.S. My concern for calcium levels comes from wanting to make anything I grow as nutritious as possible.
 
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Location: east and dfw texas
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I'm not any expert but a simple ph test could tell something.
have you any way of getting a soil test, that will tell you what is lacking. then you can figure out what organic to improve it.
adding to much of any thing can be just as bad as not enough of something
 
pollinator
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I agree with jimmy - don't add a chemical until you know for certain you have a deficiency that warrants adding a chemical. Most soil problems seem to be able to be fixed simply by adding as much organic material as possible to get the soil biota active.

 
Djp Sa
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Hi,

Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it. Since most of my veg are growing fine as is I'll hold off on any inputs for now. Also, googling "soil biota" led to info on the soil food web, something I look forward to researching further.

All the best and thanks again,
D.

P.S. It's nice to get replies from two Texans, about half my CD collection is made up of singer-songwriters from your neck of the woods....
 
gardener
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Never let an egg shell go to waste. Our family eats about 2 dozen a week, and those shells all go back into the garden.

If you live anywhere near the ocean where they process oysters or clams, their shells are a great organic source of calcium. But I agree with the advise you got: don't start dumping a bunch of unnecessary inputs into your garden without first doing a soil test.
 
Djp Sa
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Thanks for the added input Marco. Good advice, I live half an hour from the sea, will look into clams, etc. Thanks again.
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