How To Add Garden Lime (Gardener Advice)

Lime is a key part of the soil for gardeners, especially those who are trying to grow vegetables or fruit. It helps make the soil more alkaline, which is good for plants and trees but bad for some pests. 

It’s also necessary if you want to grow certain types of plants like azaleas or blueberries in your yard.

Garden Lime : How and why to use garden lime in your veggie
Garden Lime Takeaways
Garden lime is a soil amendment used to raise the pH level of acidic soil.
Applying garden lime can help to neutralize soil acidity for better plant growth.
Garden lime can come in different forms, such as pellets, powders, or liquids.
Knowing when and how to apply garden lime can help prevent overuse or underuse.
Testing soil regularly can help determine the need for garden lime application.

Digging In

Once you’ve got the garden lime in hand, it’s time to get down to the business of actually putting it into your garden.

There are two methods for doing so: sifting and mixing. Sifting is great if you want a completely even distribution of lime throughout your soil (i.e., if you have a large area). 

Mixing is better for small areas or patches because it’s easier and faster than sifting you just work as quickly as possible, mixing until all the pieces are evenly distributed throughout the ground.

Your chosen method of applying lime will depend largely on how much patience and dedication you have toward gardening tasks. 

If this is your first time adding lime to your soil, we suggest using mixing because it’s less time-consuming than sifting; 

However, if there’s any chance that some areas may not receive their fair share of calcium carbonate, then sifting might be necessary here in order ensure even distribution throughout all parts of your garden bed(s).

 Before applying fertilizers to your lawn, make sure to keep your pets off the grass, as fertilizers can be harmful to their health. Learn more about how long dogs should stay off of fertilized grass in our guide on keeping your pets safe during lawn care.

Raking Over

You should always aerate your lawn or garden before adding lime. A good way to do this is with a garden rake, which has small teeth that poke holes in the soil as you pull it along. 

This allows air and water to reach down deeper into the soil than they could otherwise, which results in healthier plants.

You should avoid using metal rakes on your lawn or garden because these can compact rather than break up clumps of soil and cause more damage than good. 

Instead, try using a plastic-tined or bamboo rake instead; if you don’t have one handy, try making your own from either type of material!

Garden Lime Application: Raking Over

1.Choose the appropriate garden rake for your lawn or garden, based on size and shape.
2.Remove any debris or large rocks from the area to be raked over.
3.Move the rake back and forth over the soil or grass, applying moderate pressure.
4.Ensure to create rows several inches apart to ensure full coverage.
5.Brush any loose soil into the holes created by the rake.
6.Apply garden lime per the recommended amount and water thoroughly.
7.Repeat the process after 4-6 weeks as necessary.

This table gives step-by-step instructions on how to properly rake over your lawn or garden to prepare for the application of garden lime. It provides specific tips to ensure proper coverage and soil aeration.

Sprinkling Over

Sprinkling lime on the soil is one of the easiest ways to add this mineral to your garden. It’s also one of the most effective, since you don’t have to worry about how much you’re putting down and it gets into all of your plant’s root zones. 

Lime works best when applied before planting, so plan ahead if you want to put it down in advance.

When adding lime this way, spread 3-4 pounds per 1,000 square feet (that translates into roughly 1 pound per 100 square feet). 

For example: If you have a 30′ by 50′ space that needs working on and want to cover all areas equally with lime application…you’ll want about 15 pounds total!

Fertilizing your own lawn can be simple and cost-effective. Check out our expert guide on fertilizing your own lawn to learn about the different types of fertilizers, and when and how to apply them.

Spreading With A Drop-Spreader

You can use a drop-spreader to spread dry lime on your lawn, garden or acreage. The drop-spreader distributes lime in small amounts over the ground. This helps to ensure even coverage and reduces waste.

If you’re applying lime to large areas of land, such as a lawn or garden, a drop-spreader will help you apply it evenly and prevent wastage. 

A drop-spreader uses gravity to broadcast the dry product over long distances but doesn’t require any mixing or measuring before application – just add water!

Garden Lime Application: Spreading With A Drop-Spreader

1.Choose the appropriate drop spreader for your lawn or garden, ensuring it is in good condition.
2.Set the spreader to the recommended opening size determined by the lime you are using.
3.Fill the drop spreader with the correct amount of garden lime – check manufacturer’s instructions.
4.Begin spreading the lime, walking at an even pace to avoid overlapping or missed patches.
5.Move in parallel rows across the garden or lawn, spreading evenly.
6.Ensure to covering the area once or twice as recommended on the product label.
7.Repeat the spreading process after 4-6 weeks if needed.

This table gives step-by-step instructions on how to properly use a drop-spreader to spread garden lime on your lawn or garden. It provides specific tips for even coverage, and emphasizes the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Spreading With a Rotary Spreader

With a rotary spreader, you simply turn the dial to select your desired application rate and get to work. 

The dial allows you to customize the spreader’s rate of application, which can be helpful if your soil has varying levels of lime requirement more lime may need to be applied in areas where there are heavy clay soils or lots of water drainage issues.

Rotary spreaders are also great for covering large areas with minimal effort; just keep turning the handle until you’ve completed your task! 

To ensure that all of this hard work doesn’t go to waste, remember: cleanliness is next to godliness!

 Choosing the right soil is crucial for a healthy container garden. If you’re unsure about the type of soil to use, check out our recommendations on what kind of soil to use for container gardening to help your plants thrive.

Spreading With a Wheel-Barrel And Shovel

When you’re ready to spread the lime, place it in a wheel-barrel and shovel it over your garden area. When you are spreading lime on soil, do so before you plant any plants or seeds. The best time is when the ground is damp or wet. 

You can also use this method if you want to add more lime after planting new plants into an existing garden area where lime was previously applied but has since been washed out of the topsoil due to rain or watering.

Watering after applying lime can help prevent scorching of plants as well as bring beneficial nutrients up from deeper in the soil profile where they may have been leached away by rainwater washing over them

Mulching With

Mulching with organic material is a great way to keep the soil moist and help prevent weeds. Mulch can be made from leaves, straw, grass clippings or other organic materials.

Add mulch to the surface of your soil so it can absorb water and release it slowly into the roots of plants. This helps reduce evaporation and keep the soil cooler in summer which reduces stress on plants caused by high temperatures.

 Adding garden soil is a great way to enrich your garden, but it’s important to do it correctly. Learn about the different ways to add garden soil in our guide on 13 proven ways to add garden soil, including top-dressing, sheet mulching, and more.

Adding To The Soil With Composting

Composting is a simple and effective way to recycle food scraps and other organic materials. It’s also an excellent way to build the soil in your garden, since compost contains nutrients that plants need in order to grow healthy roots.

To make compost, you can either use a large bin or pile your organic materials into one location so they begin breaking down into a soil-like material.

Adding To The Soil When Planting Trees And Shrubs

When you are adding lime to your soil, it is important to add the right amount. Too much lime can cause problems for plants and trees, whereas too little lime can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Lime has a number of benefits for gardeners:

  • It helps balance the pH of your soil, which makes it easier for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.
  • It neutralizes acidity in your soil so it can absorb nutrients more easily and grow better.
  • It breaks down organic matter in your soil as it decays over time so that there is less maintenance work that needs doing in future years (such as clearing away dead leaves or weeds).

Proper garden drainage is essential for healthy plants and soil. Check out our guide on 13 ways to add garden drainage to learn about different techniques such as building a raised bed, installing a French drain, and more. Implementing these methods can help prevent waterlogging and other issues that can harm your plants.

Working Into The Soil With A Tiller

If you have a tiller, this is the easiest way to get lime into your soil. You simply have to turn on your tiller and mix it into the top few inches of your garden’s soil. As long as you don’t use too much lime at once, it should mix in by itself with no problem.

Making A Lime Tea

Mixing lime into water and pouring it on your soil is a great way to add it to your garden. To make the tea:

Fill a bucket with water

Add some course ground limestone or dolomite lime powder (the amount you’ll use will depend on how much you want to apply and how concentrated the lime is in your mix; it’s best to use about 1-2 pounds of dry material per gallon of water)

Mix well so that all the dry materials are dissolved in the water

Making A Slurry

To make a slurry, mix the lime in water. You can add it to a watering can or use a spray attachment on your hose to water your plants with the mixture. 

The sprayer should be set to apply approximately 1 quart of lime per 100 square feet of surface area (approximately 3 ounces for every 1,000 square feet).


We hope that this blog has helped you understand the importance lime plays in a garden and how to incorporate it into your own. If you are looking for more information, feel free to contact us.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to learn more about garden lime:

Better Homes and Gardens: BHG provides a comprehensive guide on garden lime, including how to use it in your garden, the benefits of using it, and more.

Bob Vila: Bob Vila offers information on garden lime, including what it is, how it works, and when to use it.

Baker Lime: Baker Lime provides an overview of garden lime, including its benefits, uses, and types available.


What is garden lime?

Garden lime is a soil amendment that is used to raise the pH level of acidic soil.

How does garden lime work?

Garden lime works by neutralizing the acidity in soil, which helps to create a more balanced pH level for healthy plant growth.

When should I apply garden lime?

The best time to apply garden lime is in the fall or spring, before seeding or planting.

How do I apply garden lime?

Garden lime can be applied by spreading it evenly over the soil surface and then watering it in.

How often should I apply garden lime?

The frequency of garden lime application depends on the pH level of the soil. It is recommended to test soil regularly and apply lime if pH levels fall below 6.0.