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MG Lime Application Calculator

Do you have a TURF or GARDEN area with a low pH??

by Ed Lee

New planting sites may require amendments to bring the pH of the soil to the proper conditions for successful growth. The continuous use of most nitrogen fertilizers will over a period of years can lower the soil pH to the level that will require correction. These acid conditions can usually be corrected through the application of lime. The amount of lime to be used should be determined by a soil test for the particular type of plant to be grown.


There are various types of material available for use as liming materials.1
Ground Limestone--Consists of calcium carbonate plus impurities. May have some magnesium carbonate.
Dolomitic limestone--10-49% dolomite, 50-90% calcite with 5-22% magnesium carbonate. Recommended for acidic soil deficient in magnesium.
Dolomite-- Approximately 50-50 calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.
Hydrated lime--Calcium hydroxide plus impurities. White powder that reacts quickly when mixed with moist soil. May be called slaked, spray or builder lime.
NOTE: Gypsum (CASO4) is not to be considered as an agricultural liming material.2


The effectiveness of the lime application is a function of the calcium carbonate content, partical size, moisture content, and application.
The calcium carbonate equivalent (cce)2 is an expression of the acid neutralizing value of a liming material compared to pure calcium carbonate. This value is required by law to be printed on the Bag of liming material.
The fineness2 is related to the particle size of the liming material and affects the rate at which the liming material is disolved in the soil. The particles are graded by determining the percentages of particles of each size by passing the material through a series of sieves. In Oklahoma, the minimum "fineness" for agricultural liming material is that 98% must pass through a #4 mesh, 90% through a #8 mesh and 30% through a #60 mesh sieve. A #10 sieve will pass particles 7/100 inch in diameter. Any particle that will not pass through this sieve is probably ineffective for residential use. Regulations in other states may define the requirements differently.
The fineness factor (ff)2 is calculated as one-half (1/2) the percent passing through a #8 sieve plus one-half (1/2) the percent passing through a #60 mesh sieve. The higher the ff the more effective the material will be. These numbers may also be listed on the bag of material.
The moisture factor (mf) is important when weighing large quanties of material. Water does not affect acidity so the weight of any water must be taken into account when calculating the amount to be applied. For normal residential applications the material can be condidered dry.
The application factor is determined by the end user of the product. The lime material will react more rapidly if thoroughly mixed with the soil. A lime mixture with all particles passing a #10 sieve will react with the soil in 1 year or less with adequate moisture and incorporation into the soil.1 Smaller particles normally will decrease the reaction time.
The effective calcium carbonate equivalent (ecce)2 is the percent of "calcium carbonate equivalent" cce multiplied by the "fineness factor" ff. This value is important in determining the amount of material to be applied to meet the soil test requirements. It is also useful in comparing the costs of various sources of liming material. Material entering Oklahoma may refer to this differently, i.e. Effective neutralizing value (ENV).

Enter your size of the area to be limed in Square Feet or Acres, your soil test liming rate requirements in pounds per 1000 sq.ft. or tons per acre, and your lime material bag Effective Calcium Carbonate Equivalent (ecce) in the form below and press the "Calculate" button.
Results will be calculated and displayed below. For users with a large area or liming requirements a comparison of the costs of three different sources of lime can be obtained by entering the cost for each source.
For additional information on lawn maintenance please see: Bermuda or Fescue maintenance.
(Please read disclaimer below before using this form)

Liming Rate
Bag Analysis
Bag 1 ECCE Cost $ for
Bag 2 ECCE Cost $ for
Bag 3 ECCE Cost $ for

Notes: Information excerpted from: Oklahoma Department of Agriculture

Disclaimer: This calculation is based on the liming application requirements and is only meant to assist the Master Gardener in determining the appropriate amount of liming material that should be applied to a turf area. The results are only as accurate as the data entered and is not designed or intended to serve as a substitute for measurement of turf areas, calibration of equipment and the use of soil tests. You should act in accordance to the standard practices involved in the application and incorporation of any amendment in a turf area.