How Much Lime Needed To Sprinkle In The Garden?

You have decided to lime your garden but do not know how much lime to spread?

In this article you will learn what is the necessary amount of lime for different soil types and how much lime you should spread depending on the current condition of your garden.

How much lime the garden needs depends mainly on the soil type and the current soil pH. Depending on the difference between the current and target pH value, lime should be spread. On average, it can be said that about 150 grams of lime per square meter should be spread annually in the vegetable bed and about 50-100 grams of lime per square meter and year are necessary for lawn, woody plants or perennials.

How much lime the garden needs

Not every garden or soil needs extra lime.

Whether and how much your garden needs lime depends on several factors:

Soil type

Depending on whether you have a heavy soil (clay or loam) or a lighter soil (sand) in your garden, lime needs will differ.

This is because the target pH for heavy soils is higher than that for lighter soils.

This is mainly due to the lower permeability and higher density of heavy soils, which makes diffusion, i.e. the balancing of lime and other substances, more difficult.

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In addition to the soil type, i.e. the main material the soil is made of, a distinction is also made between the soil texture.

Soil texture describes whether a soil is rather dense, loose, coarse-grained or fine-grained.

In addition to the soil type, you can also influence the texture yourself, e.g. by loosening with a sow tooth or sowing green manure.

If the soil is rather dense and coarse-grained, this corresponds to the lime requirement of heavy soils. If the soil is more loosened and fine-grained, this indicates a light soil.

Location and precipitation

In addition, the lime requirement depends on the location and the corresponding precipitation in the garden.

Over time, the soil in Central Europe is washed out by the rain and becomes acidic.

So if it rains a lot and often where you live, the lime requirement in the soil can be higher than in a rather drier place.

To determine the lime requirement of the garden, the soil pH is used.

This measures the acidity or alkalinity of the garden, which is influenced by soil type and texture as well as rainfall.

Depending on the difference between the current and target soil pH, you can calculate the amount of lime needed for your garden.

If the current soil pH is below the target, then you should spread lime in the garden. However, if the current pH is above the target, then no liming is needed.

To test the soil pH you can either use such a test strip from Neudorff* or buy a soil tester (such as this one*) that can be used again and again.

Lime requirement for sandy soils

Sandy soils are very light soils that are naturally slightly acidic and thus have a relatively low target pH of about 5.3.

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This means, for example, if you current pH of your sandy soil is 4.8, then you should spread about 100-150 grams of lime per square meter.

How much lime to spread without knowing the soil pH?

If you have no way to determine the pH of your soil or you do not know exactly what kind of soil you have in the garden, then you can also use the following simplified amounts for a lime addition:

Vegetable bed: sprinkle 150 grams per m² per year
Lawns/woods/shrubs: 50-100 grams per m² per year.

How often to spread lime?

First, you should spread the required amount of lime in the garden once a year.

At what time or at what season you should do this, you can read in the article that I have linked to you here on the right.

After liming, you should measure the soil pH again about a quarter to half a year later and then decide whether a further addition of lime is necessary.

What to do if the current pH is above the target soil pH?

If the current soil pH value is above the target value for the respective soil type, then you should not spread lime in the garden.

On the contrary, in this case you should wait and measure the soil pH again after some time, after about a year, to check if there is still an excess of lime or if there is a lack of lime in the meantime.

If this is the case, then you can very carefully try to lower the soil pH with simple biological means, for example by mixing some coffee grounds or pine needles under the soil.

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What to do if too much lime has been spread?

If you have spread too much lime than necessary in the garden, then the first thing to do is to wait and not to take any hasty countermeasures before you know what the effect of the lime in the soil will be.

Then you should measure the soil pH after about a quarter to half a year after liming.

If the pH value is then much higher than the actual target value, you can carefully try to lower the pH value, for example by mixing pine needles or coffee grounds under the soil.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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