LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Despite the chilly weather, an East Texas expert says it's an excellent time to start thinking about gardens and grass for the upcoming spring season.
Experts say fall is the time to add lime to pastures, lawns, and landscapes to bring a balance to the acidic soils to help neutralize the acidity.
David Curbow, a Lufkin resident, oversees a five acre property where he farms various vegetables.
"If you continually add fertilizer year after year, you change the PH of the soil to point where it's really not doing much good. You've got to add the lime in the soil to get the PH right," Curbow said.
In fact, County Extension Agent Cary Sims with Texas AgriLife said with the high rainfall and soil composition, our region typically causes us to have acidic soils.
"We add lime to soils to make it less acidic. That acidity is important because then the plants will be able to grow better getting more nutrients out of the ground," Sims said.
Sims said a simple soil test can help determine how much lime is required.
"Most every plants, if you can get to 6.5 on your PH scale, you're doing great. Really no need to get to the perfect neutral value of 7, 6.5 is excellent for everything," Sims said.
Adding lime to the soil, Curbow said he sees the benefits during the spring them when plants are ready to grow.
"It gives it a jump start. It's going to take off quicker. It's going to grow faster, and it's going to grow more. It's going to grow bigger tomatoes, bigger ears of corn, bigger watermelons. The plants are going to be a whole lot more healthier. They just absorb the nutrients from the soil," Curbow said.
Sims said ground agricultural limestone is most frequently used. The finer the limestone particles, the more rapidly it becomes effective.