Q. After we spread the lime over the bottom of our container garden or Grow-Box do we avoid it when mixing all the other soil and fertilizer mixes? And what does the lime do at the bottom anyway?
A. You do not avoid or worry about moving the lime as you place the custom soil in your container or Grow-Box. Lime is used to provide essential calcium, which Dr. Mittleider reminds us is the foundation of a good feeding program for your crops.
However, what you really need to spread is the Pre-PLant Mix (the primary ingredient of which is lime – or gypsum, depending on your soil pH). Pre-packaged Pre-Plant Mix is available in the Intermountain West region from farm-supply chains including Steve Regan Company and Intermountain Farmers Assoc. You can also buy it from Steve Regan by looking on the website at www.growfood.com and going to the Store/Materials.
If you live too far to get pre-packaged materials, just mix your own. A very simple and basic Pre-Plant formula consists of 80 parts lime or gypsum (if you receive more than 20″ of rainfall per year you use lime – if you get less than 20″ you should use gypsum), 4 parts magnesium sulfate, or Epsom Salts, and 1 part boron, usually available as 20 Mule Team Borax.