How to Add Lime to Clay Soil


Gardeners with clay soil have a heavy soil for growing plants. Clay soil contains at least half clay particles, making it exceedingly slow draining and dense enough to make root growth difficult for plants. To determine whether you have clay soil, hold some in your hand and squeeze it tightly. If the soil compacts into a tight ball when you squeeze it, you likely have clay soil in your hand. If clay soil is also highly acidic, it will be even more difficult to cultivate for growing. Lower the acidity and raise the pH levels by adding lime to clay soil.

Step 1

Sprinkle 1 2/3 lb. of agricultural lime over every square yard of growing area in the autumn of the year after you finish growing plants in the area. Sprinkle the lime evenly over the entire area to cover it.

Step 2

Work the lime into the soil with the garden spade or the rototiller to incorporate it into the soil evenly. Strive to work the soil to a depth of at least 4 inches.

Step 3

Rake the soil smooth after you finish incorporating the lime.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not apply lime and fertilizer to the soil at the same time because the two chemicals will work against each other in the soil and negate the benefits of each.

Things You'll Need

  • Agricultural lime
  • Garden spade or rototiller
  • Rake


  • Allotment Vegetable Gardening:Lime - the Vital Fertiliser
Keywords: clay soil, highly acidic, lower acidity, raise pH, adding lime

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.