What is dolomite lime?
Dolomite lime (also known as dolomitic lime, dolomitic limestone, and dolostone) is a type of limestone that is mostly made up of dolomite.
Typically, limestone is made up of calcite and aragonite, both of which are crystal forms of calcium carbonate. However, dolomite is formed in limestone when the calcium ions replace magnesium ions in a process called ‘dolomitization’.
As a mineral compound that is rich in calcium and magnesium, dolomite lime can be used as a fertilizer for cannabis plants being grown in nutrient deficient soil by controlling pH levels.
Why is dolomite lime used for autoflowering cannabis plants?
Whether your autoflowering cannabis plants are being grown hydroponically or in soil, pH is an essential factor in determining the quality of your plant’s yield.
Autoflowering cannabis plants will have no trouble growing in most soils. However, they can truly flourish when the soil pH is between 6.2 and 6.5.
Wondering why pH is vital for growing healthy autoflowering cannabis plants? It is because soil pH levels way below 5.5 and well above 6.5 inhibit your cannabis plant from being able to absorb nutrients such as calcium and magnesium effectively.
An autoflowering cannabis plant that is unable to soak in soil nutrients adequately develops nutrient deficiencies, begins to wilt, and ultimately suffers from a reduced yield.
When should you use dolomite lime for your autoflowering cannabis plants?
If your cannabis plants begin showing signs of a calcium or magnesium deficiency, then it may be a clear indication that your soil is nutrient deficient.
A soil nutrient test can help you get a clear picture of the nutrient concentration of your soil. This report can help you decide whether or not you need to add dolomite lime to your soil.
Dolomite lime is one of the most efficient means of being able to stabilize acidic soil. You will not have to worry about your soil getting too alkaline because dolomite lime has a neutral pH of 7.It cannot raise the pH of your soil beyond 7.
On the other hand, calcium and magnesium are cations, so it is rare for them to lower your soil pH levels.
Managing the soil pH levels for your cannabis plants requires close attention to several factors. The best time to introduce dolomite lime to your autoflowering cannabis plant’s soil is during spring or fall when there is no frost around.
Additionally, if you’re growing your autoflowers outside, you will want to pick a day when the weather forecast does not anticipate rainy or windy weather. You want to make sure that your soil has a chance to absorb dolomite lime properly without being blown away by strong winds or washed up by rainwater.
You can also add dolomite lime to your soil before you begin growing your cannabis plants for an extra boost!
How to apply dolomite lime to plant soil?
The key concern when it comes to applying dolomite lime to your cannabis plant soil is how much dolomite lime to use in soil.
Ideally, you will want to add 6 to 7 teaspoons of fine dolomite lime for each gallon unit of water.
Using fine dolomite lime is crucial because coarse dolomite takes a year before your plant’s roots can absorb it. So, for example, if you choose to mix enough soil with 5 gallons of water, then you will need to add around 30 to 35 teaspoons. That is how you can calculate how much dolomite lime per gallon of water you need to add for immediate results.
However, if your soil pH is not too acidic, you can begin by adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of dolomite lime to 5 gallons of water and see how your cannabis plants respond before you add more.
Pro-Tip: Dolomite lime that has not been appropriately mixed will stratify and form a cake-like layer in your cannabis garden, which can burn your autoflowering cannabis plant’s roots.