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How to Add Lime to Clay Soil

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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.

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.

  • Gardeners with clay soil have a heavy soil for growing plants.
  • To determine whether you have clay soil, hold some in your hand and squeeze it tightly.

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.

Rake the soil smooth after you finish incorporating the lime.

Add Lime To Acidic Soil

Prepare a concentration of 1 part distilled water to 1 part soil. Mix the concentration well and then insert a piece of litmus paper from a soil pH test kit to determine the acidity of the soil. If the level of acidity is extremely high, add an additional 2 ounces of limestone. Take half of the lime and mix it evenly throughout the top 8 inches of soil and sprinkle the other half of the lime on top of the soil; as moisture is added, the lime will begin to decrease the acidity of the soil.

  • Work the lime into the soil with the garden spade or the rototiller to incorporate it into the soil evenly.
  • Mix the concentration well and then insert a piece of litmus paper from a soil pH test kit to determine the acidity of the soil.

Tip

By adding the lime in the autumn at the end of the growing season, the lime can work to amend the soil during the winter months. Agricultural lime can damage plants, so keep the lime away from existing plants. Clay soils respond slowly to lime amendments due to the heavy nature of the soil.

Warning

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.

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