When and How to Apply Lime

Most gardeners have at least heard of lime and the benefits it can bring to their soil. For all of the newbies in the gardening realm we will break it down for you and explain the benefits of using lime as well as how and when to apply it—if you aren’t a newbie consider this a refresher!

The benefits

Neutralizes the soils pH so it is ready for plant uptake.
• Neutral soil helps organic matter break down.
Greener and stronger plants and lawn that are able to use less water and are more resistant to diseases.
• Produces a source of calcium and magnesium for plants.

Before applying

Before applying lime you need to know your soils pH. Submit a soil sample to get tested at your local county extension service such as Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District. You can test your soil at any time but late fall/early winter is the ideal time for most crops as your soil is in a depleted nutrient condition. This will help you boost the nutrients needed before spring planting! But most importantly, know your plants pH needs. Some plants need a lower pH and in that case adding lime might not be in your favor.

When to add lime

You can make necessary adjustments once you have found the pH of your soil. If your soil is more acidic (especially below 6.0) then liming might be a good idea to ensure your garden has the optimum pH for your plants. Lime increases the pH of acidic soil which increases alkalinity. Soil acidity corrections are temporary and you may need to add lime every year if your soil is acidic. If in doubt, do a pH test as over applying lime can lead to the soil being too alkaline.

How to to apply

Apply a 50lb bag per 1,000 sq. ft to correct a mildly acidic lawn. For heavy clay soil or strongly acidic soil you could possibly need up to 100lbs. Immediately water your lawn after liming to prevent leaf burn. Lime can be used for vegetable gardens too–not just lawns! For garden beds gently rake the lime into several inches of topsoil, you may even sprinkle some evenly on top by hand. Remember that it is much easier to apply lime to a dry garden than a wet one.

Decided you need lime? Come pick some up here at Lane Forest Products!