Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Lime Mean?

Consisting of calcium oxide, lime is a white, caustic, and alkaline substance that is obtained by heating limestone.

Lime is an amazingly versatile substance with many, many uses. For horticultural purposes, lime is used primarily to increase the pH to “sweeten” the soil. One main use is in lawn care where acidic conditions are not conducive for growing grass, which prefers a more neutral pH of 7.


Maximum Yield Explains Lime

Lime is used to treat wastewater by adjusting the pH level (alkalinity) during the biological treatment process. Lime is also used to cover up odors and can be mixed with paint as a whitewash.

Although most vegetables prefer a slightly acidic soil, sometimes lime is needed to slightly increase the pH.

Lime provides important trace elements and nutrients including magnesium and calcium. It also helps the soil convert nutrients into usable forms, and helps improve soil texture.

Peas, corn, beans, lettuce, spinach, and cabbage all grow well in recently limed soil. Potatoes also do well when planted a year or two following an application of lime.

However, because lime increases pH, it is not recommended for soils that are already alkaline. It is most often recommended that lime be applied in autumn.


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