How much Lime do I need?

The amount of lime needed to raise your pH level is determined by your soil test report. First you must know what the pH level required by the plants you intend to grow. For lawns that is typically 6.5 to 7.0.

With your soil test report in hand, find what the reading is for Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).

  • Find that level on the list below.

  • Now find your Calcium (Ca) level from your test report

  • Compare your reading with the optimum Ca level listed below.

  • Subtract your level and multiply this figure by 4.

  • Now divide this number by 43.

  • This new figure tells you how many pounds of lime to apply per 1,000 square feet of growing area.

    For example, let's say that your CEC is 6.7 (round it up) Look at 7 on the chart below, the Optimal Ca level is 910. Now subtract the figure for Ca on your soil test report from 910. Take this number and multiply it by 4. Now, divide it by 43 to find how many pounds per 1,000 square feet. (so if you have 3,000 square feet of growing area, then you'll use 3 times the amount).

    Soil CEC/ Optimal Ca Level (ppm)

    30/ 3900

    29/ 3770

    28/ 3640

    27/ 3510

    26/ 3380

    25/ 3250

    24/ 3120

    23/ 2990

    22/ 2860

    21/ 2730

    20/ 2600

    19/ 2470

    18/ 2340

    17/ 2210

    16/ 2080

    15/ 1950

    14/ 1820

    13/ 1690

    12/ 1560

    11/ 1430

    10/ 1300

    9/ 1170

    8/ 1040

    7/ 910

    6/ 708

    5/ 650

    4/ 520

    If your findings indicate that you are going to need to use over 90 pounds per 1,000 square feet, then you need to split up the material into two applications with at least three months between.

    The more Lime you need to add the longer it is going to take for your soil chemistry to come into balance. For this reason look for a micronized lime product which will be absorbed faster than powdered lime and a lot less messy. For lawns you can help correct pH deficiencies in the short term by using liquid lime as a foliar application to your lawn.

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