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Liming on boggy ground.


 
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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:50 am    Post subject: Liming on boggy ground. Reply with quote

Hi, looking for advice on liming my lawn. Basically there is no soil in the area I live, it is bogland. I have a lawn of sorts but was curious to find out about the benefits of liming, the different types and if possible a specific brand that people found most affective. Thanks.
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TMAK
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi DoneWick,
I'm sorry I have no advice, I think I may have the same problem as you, I just have a thin layer of peat over stick grey subsoil (Podzols I think) Did you put any drainage in, mine is very wet and I'm looking at draining it but was looking for advice or if anyone had any luck with it.

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Good guy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the sound of it, you guys will have a very hard time growing anything resembling a 'proper' lawn. Lawn-type grasses require a reasonable depth (min 150mm) of good topsoil, over a subsoil that drains well.
Liming the ground, if it is peat bog, is a bit like using your domestic air-conditioning unit to change the weather of Ireland - a waste of time. As for brands, lime is basically just calcium carbonate: it's source may contribute tiny quantities of other element as well, but they are irrelevant in changing the ph of the soil.
Trying to go against the fundamental factors of your garden's make up is batting your head against a brick wall. Most of the respected gardening gurus advise growing 'the right plant in the right place.' Lawn grass doesn't fit in a bog. But lots of other lovely plants do.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We would need to see a pic, but i would agree with Good guy so why not go native and grow wildflower meadow,
The area usually at the side of a raised bog is known as a lag I think, also known as a bog lawn, some farmers grow carrotts on it and they do well spuds can be grown also , but I would go for a native bog meadow to attract wildlife, so for the main grass i would go for deer sedge, along with bog cotton interspersed with Tormental, bog asphodel, cranberry, purple moor grass interspersed with blocks of heather to maintain the area cut once per year in late August/Sept.
depending on the situation you may not need to do anything just leave alone and it will grow naturally,
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking generally here and agreeing mostly with the other posters.

Ground lime can be used to make the soil more alkaline, with an application of 250g per metre squared commonly increasing pH by one point. However as lime is available in different formulations, I advise also consulting the rates set out on the pack. Bonemeal and wood ashes are two other additions which will help elevate the pH levels in soil.
But if all the land around you is acidic bogland then you will probably be putting a lot of energy into fighting a constant battle.

I'd advise playing to your strengths like the other posters mentioned ....

Below is a list of trees suitable for planting in acidic soils:

· Most Fir (Abies)
· Most Spruce (Picea)
· Most Pines (Pinus)
· Most Yew (Taxus)
· Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis)
· Horse Chestnut (Aesculus)
· Most Birch (Betula)
· Most Alder (Alnus)
· Most Oaks (Quercus)
· Magnolia
· Serviceberry (Amelanchier)
· Larch (Larix)
· Most Junipers (Juniperus)
· False Cypress (Chamaecyparis)
· Killarney strawberry tree (Arbutus)

Below is a list of shrubs suitable for planting in acidic soils:

· Most dogwoods (Cornus)
· Sweetbush (Clethra)
· Azalea
· Rhododendron
· Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
· Blueberries (Vaccinium)
· Most heathers and heaths

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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for all the information, very much appreciated.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

worth popping this in in relation to birch:

"The case is strong for the inclusion of native birch in any afforestation of acid-sensitive areas. Birch has long been considered the tree to best ‘improve soil and is excellent in the deacidification process thus making [birches] more suitable for silviculture’ and thus birch may be better at extracting nutrients than any competitor on poor, acid soils (Gardiner1968)."
http://researchrepository.ucd.ie/bitstream/handle/10197/3839/Broadleaf_Acid_Soils_MC.pdf?sequence=1

IIRC, birch leaf litter will have a deacidification effect on acid soil.
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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting about the Birch. Looking at another garden nearby that is on similarly acidic soil, the owner has planted large amounts of Broom and it seems to have created a soil ( of sorts) out of the bog.
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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TMAK,
I did an extensive amount of drainage work, both by machine and by hand. I scarified in Autumn and I also aerated. It is hugely improved on what I started out with but as one of the posters mentioned it is a constant battle. Every Autumn moss tries to reclaim it. I have a wild garden also but just wanted one green area, coming from Wicklow I need a certain amount of green!
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I tell you that locally our road is known as the bog road, it might give you a clue about our gardening conditions.

I would agree with the principal of working with the conditions, not against them. BUT all is not lost. As long as you are not in a hollow where the water collects, you would be amazed at what you can grow.

Not long after we moved in (17 years ago) I bought a beautiful blue, almost purple hydrangea. The following year it was a wishy washy pink. I thought that can't be right on acid soil?! Then I found out that the folks whose homeland it was had regularly limed the soil for veg (they grew all their own).

There is a ditch on three sides of our garden and, although after a couple of days rain, the back lawn looks like a paddy field. Within another couple of dry days the front garden is dust dry.

I couldn't grow camellias or rhodo's to save my life (I've tried). The only problem I have with grass - can't in all honesty call it a 'lawn', is leather jackets. They munch through the roots weakening the grass, so I am so pleased when the starlings show up. They eat the leather jackets and aerate the grass!

The only other problem is wind-rock on large plants, as the 'soil' is very light. We have birch all down one side of the garden. Their leaf mould is wonderful stuff and it rots down quickly. But they have hungry, thirsty roots and the ground around them is very dry and poor.

We do have a patch of winter flowering ericas. They tolerate lime and provide a wonderful food supply for bees early in the year.

I also have blueberries but I'm afraid to say I have them planted in their own bed, in ericaceous compost!

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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TMAK
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info. I tried a bit of drainage in the wettest area about a month ago, it seems to have dried it a bit, At least I can walk in this area now, although the weather might be giving me false hope!!
I'm not to concerned with it having to be a pristine lawn, sounds like a battle that I'm not willing to take on, Hopefully just somewhere that's reasonabley green that the little lad can kick a ball without getting stuck.
It was previously used as grazing, I took one section in July put in a small drain and just kept mowing it, it looks surprisingly green, and looks like a lawn from a distance, even the rushes have died back with the constant mowing.
hopefully it will get there in time.
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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sue, you have answered one question that I was very curious about. I have been inundated with Starlings during their nesting season and was very curious to know what they were actually eating..have to be honest and admit I have never heard of Leather Jackets!
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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crikey, just read that at their "economic threshold of 1 million per hectare the weight of leatherjackets feeding below ground can be greater than the weight of livestock above ground"..
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DoneWick
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It also explains the brown grass where the starling are most prevalent.
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