Different kinds of Lime for the Garden

Most people in our area lime their gardens because of the acid soil we have. The most common kind to find locally is dolomite lime, which contains magnesium carbonate as well as the calcium carbonate which forms regular, or “Agricultural” lime.

Magnesium is a soil nutrient that is needed along with the usual NPK macro nutrients we pay attention to, but if you add it every year in the form of dolomite lime you may end up adding too much, unbalancing the Calcium/Magnesium ratio in your soil. In clay soils particularly, this can “tighten up” the soil and make it hard to dig and hard to form a good “tilth”.

How do you know if your soil has too much magnesium? You’d need to get a soil test from a lab to be sure. Personally I’ll be alternating aglime and dolomite lime in the garden from now on, while I get a soil test done.