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
Ground Limestone--Consists of calcium
carbonate plus impurities. May have some magnesium carbonate.
limestone--10-49% dolomite, 50-90% calcite with 5-22% magnesium carbonate.
Recommended for acidic soil deficient in magnesium.
Approximately 50-50 calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.
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.
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
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.
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
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
For additional information on lawn maintenance please see: Bermuda or Fescue maintenance.
(Please read disclaimer below before using this form)
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