When you should apply lime to vegetable garden

The lime, or calcium oxide (CaO), is an alkaline inorganic material (base) from the chemical transformation of the limestone under the effect of heat (> 900 ° C ). It comes in the form of a white powder.

Garden lime owes its name to quicklime because of its quick reaction, which gives off heat when it comes into contact with water, as opposed to slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) which is the residue obtained at the end of said reaction. Quicklime has been used for many years, by gardeners in the soil and in particular in the vegetable patch.

Let’s talk about when you should apply lime to vegetable garden or any other garden as well.

What is the best season for liming?

Lime is essentially crushed rock. It does not dissolve quickly in the soil.

For this reason, fall is the best season for liming. Lime will have enough time to dissolve and be effective during spring sowing.

You can spread the solution always outside the frost period by providing two rainless days (one for preparation, the other for application). The best time to do this is late winter, early spring or autumn.

Nothing prevents you from adding lime in the late spring or summer, but keep in mind that it takes two to three months for it to be effective.

Other times to use lime

1.Lime is used in gardens if the acidity of the soil is too high. Providing limestone modifying the pH of the soil, lime also provides a magnesium supply. Generally, this operation is to be carried out in autumn, in this way the lime can penetrate the soil, more calmly.

Thus, you can spread this lime on your soil, no other amendment will be necessary. During digging, this buried contribution will be very favorable to your land. It is true that quicklime was widely used by the older generations, it was then used as an antiseptic. Chemicals have replaced it, and currently it is very present in shelving with ready-to-use forms.

2.Most vegetables grow best in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. These grow poorly in soils at pH more acidic from 4.5 to 5.5. The use of dolomite lime is recommended in these cases to neutralize the acidity and at the same time meet the calcium and magnesium requirements that the plant needs. Georgia soils are usually deficient in these nutrients. For best results, apply lime three to six months before planting your garden. A good time to apply lime is during the fall, before preparing the soil.

Remove moss from a lawn with lime

The use of lime to remove unwanted foam from the middle of the lawn is common. In reality, lime does not destroy the foam but changes the pH of the soil, making it less favorable for the development of the foam. It is used in October or February / March, at a rate of approximately 100 g / m².

Another calcium amendment, such as dolomite or ash, may also be suitable.

To amend acid soils

Lime can be used as a calcium amendment to increase the pH of acidic soils. This change in pH promotes the development of microbial life, the formation of humus, food and the development of plants.

It can be added every 3 to 5 years, at a rate of 50 to 200 g / m² depending on the acidity of the soil.

Things to remember

Treatment with quicklime must not be renewed for three years and must be reserved for plants which have major attacks of canker or parasites such as the cochineal.

Be careful not to abuse lime treatments because it kills all insects without distinguishing the good from the bad. In addition, it depletes soils and trees, killing the microorganisms and micro-flora necessary for their balance.

So be sure to compensate with large amounts of compost or manure the year after liming.

Lime should not be used the same time as ordinary fertilizers, so it is best to use it at intervals, at least two to three weeks in the middle, and it is best to use rainwater. The reason is that lime will neutralize when it comes into contact with nitrogen and even become ammonia, the effect completely disappears.


Lime comes back to the shelves of garden centers in ready-to-use forms. It is however advisable to know when to use it and take certain precautions when handling it because quicklime is very corrosive.


Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants

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