How to Make Lime Compost


Composting is a natural way of turning used organic materials into nutrient-filled mulch for your plants. Adding lime to compost helps balance the pH level of compost that is too acidic, bringing it to a level that is ideal for plant growth. Making lime compost isn't much different than making standard compost. You simply add lime to the pile as needed once the composting process is complete.

Step 1

Select a warm, out-of-the-way part of your yard or garden that does not get direct sunlight. A place with some protection from the wind will also keep the pile from being shifted. Dig a hole for the compost pile or just start the pile flat on the ground.

Step 2

Create a bed of organic material, such as hay or straw on the ground or bottom of the pit. Layer additional bedding materials, such as mulch and sawdust over top of the hay, then manure provide nutrients during the composting action. Cover the manure with another layer of mulch. Continue to layer the materials in order until you reach a height of around 3 feet.

Step 3

Water the compost pile with a garden hose between each layer of organic material. This will weigh each layer down and also moisten each layer. The pile will need to be watered regularly to keep it moist at all times while it is composting.

Step 4

Continue to add organic material to the pile as it you come across it. Appropriate materials for a compost pile include blades of grass, fallen leaves and food waste, like fruit peels, vegetable peelings and used coffee grounds.

Step 5

Turn the entire compost pile out every 3 to 4 weeks with a pitchfork and return it back to the pile. This process lets air move through the pile, encouraging faster decomposition of materials.

Step 6

Test the pH level of your compost with a pH soil testing kit once it is finished. Lime should be added to your compost pile only if the pH level is 5 or below.

Step 7

Add ground limestone to the compost to bring up the pH level. It can be worked into the compost pile by turning it with a pitchfork. Use only a small amount of limestone at a time and recheck it before adding more. The ideal pH level is right around 7.

Tips and Warnings

  • While some people add limestone to the beginning layers of a compost pile, it is best to wait until the composting process is complete. PH levels will even out as the compost matures and, if you have used too much limestone, you are likely to end up with compost that is too alkaline for your plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Hay or straw
  • Mulch
  • Sawdust
  • Manure
  • Garden hose
  • Organic materials
  • Pitchfork
  • pH testing kit
  • Ground limestone


  • Home Vegetable Garden
  • Composter Connection
Keywords: lime, compost, pH level

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence has been writing professionally for six years and has been published on Associated Content. She is also a freelance filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. Lawrence attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science in English.