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Home » Blogs » Can You Put Too Much Lime On A Food Plot? [Facts]

Can You Put Too Much Lime On A Food Plot? [Facts]

Lime works great for your food plots. It helps balance the soil’s pH level. But how much lime should you put on your food plot?

And can you put too much lime on a food plot?

Yes, there is a limit to putting lime in your food plot. Putting too much lime (more than 1-3 tons per acre) in your soil will make it too alkaline. When your soil pH is too high, the grass won’t get any nutrients. It will become yellow and won’t grow properly. So, when using lime, make sure you follow proper guidance.

Now, you have plenty of questions, we assume. For example, how should you know how much lime to use? Or, what are the things to consider when using lime? etc etc.

All your questions will be answered in this article. So, stay tuned.

Can You Put Too Much Lime On A Food Plot?

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Too much of something good is bad.” Even if using lime in your food plot is beneficial, there is still a limit. 

Acidic soil is a hindrance for plants to grow. That’s where lime comes in to save the day.

But when you use too much lime on your food plot, the soil becomes more alkaline. That is also bad for your plant in the food plot.

So, to sum it up, balance is the key when using lime on your food plot.  

Also, since you are planning to work a food plot, you also need to know how to make sweet feed for deer.

Too much of something good is bad
Source: Mossy Oak

How Much Lime Per Acre For Food Plots?

Usually, you need one-three tons of lime per acre of flood plot. This depends on your soil’s pH level and the type of lime you are using. So, before you lime your food plot, use a soil test kit and determine the pH. With a soil test kit, you can test your soil’s pH by yourself. Also, decide what type of lime you need to use. 

How Much Pelletized Lime Per Acre?

Pelletized lime is probably the finest lime you will find on the market. It has a high neutralizing value and great finesse. That’s why you will need less of it to get the job done compared to other types of lime.

To raise your pH level by 1, the approximate amount of pelletized lime needed is 3 tons. 

How Much Agricultural Lime Per Acre?

Agricultural lime usually has less neutralizing value than pelletized lime. That means it needs more in terms of quantity than pelletized lime. If you want to raise your pH level by 1, you will probably need 5–6 tons of agricultural lime per acre.

Factors To Decide How Much Lime To Use On A Food Plot

Before knowing how much lime you need to use, you must understand the variables to consider. There are quite a few factors to think about if you decide to use lime for your food plot. 

By taking these factors into consideration, we will be able to figure out the ideal amount of lime to use. 

Choosing the Right Lime:

There are different types of lime that have different purposes. For neutralizing acidity, there are three things to look for in a liming material. These are: NV (neutralizing value),  finesse, and the calcium and magnesium content.

The NV of a liming material should be at least 95. More NV means the lime can neutralize more effectively. The finesse of the lime is also important; the finer the particles of the lime, the better it will react with the soil.

Another important thing is the calcium content of the lime. A good-quality lime should have at least 37–40% calcium content. 

Using a good-quality lime should not require that much to get the job done.   

We have picked some of the best liming materials for you to try,

Jonathan Green Mag-I-Cal Plus Soil Food for Lawns in Acidic & Hard SoilsEnhances the capacity of your lawn to use soil nutrients.
Earth Science Fast Acting LimeRestores vital components to the soil
Jobe’s Additive De-AcidifierGives plants like hydrangeas a pink hue and makes them healthier and more productive.

Soil pH Level:

This is the main factor to consider when choosing lime for your soil. Different types of soil have different pHs. That means, if your soil is naturally acidic, you will need to use a higher amount of lime for a longer period of time.

The average soil acidity level across the United States is 6.4, which is close to neutral. But there are some regions where the soil could be highly acidic. So, before you decide to use lime on your food plot, get your soil tested for acidity.

Let’s see what the pH level says about your soil.

pH LevelAcidic or Alkaline?What it means
7.5 or higherAlkalineNot good for most plants as high alkaline
6.5 – 7.5Neutral Optimal for most plants
5.5 – 6.5Slightly acidicOptimal for most plants
5.0 – 5.5Moderately acidicAt this level the soil loses some its nutrients
Below 5Strongly acidicSome minerals can become toxic for your plants
Soil pH Level
Image: Soil pH level across USA

Choice of Crops to Grow:

Another important factor that determines how much lime you should use on your plot is the type of plants you’ll be growing.  

Different types of plants need different types of pH. So, you must do your homework before you use lime in your food plot. 

To make your life easier, we have prepared a chart to indicate which pH level is best for which plants.

PlantspH Level
Soybeans6.5 or more
Clover6 – 7
Oats4.5 – 6 
Cabbage6 – 7
Corn6 – 6.8
Alfalfa6 – 6.5
Wheat6 – 7
Turnip6 – 7.5
Chicory5.6 – 6
Kale6 – 7.5

You need to choose your crops and cultivate them carefully. If you mess up, it might be useless. For example, deer will not eat corn if it’s not grown properly. 

Weather Condition:

Rainfall can have an effect on the soil’s pH. Studies have shown that the areas affected by heavy rainfall have higher acidity in the soil compared to the areas that haven’t. In higher rainfall areas, the soil pH level is 5–7, whereas, in lower rainy areas, the soil pH is 6.5–9. 

Rainfall washes away the calcium and magnesium content of the soil. They are replaced by iron and aluminum, which are more acidic elements. 

Nutrient Availability:

Soil pH has a direct impact on the nutrients that are available in the soil. You can manipulate the nutrients in the soil by controlling the pH level.

Take a look at the image below for a better understanding,

Nutrient Availability
Source: Horiba

Strongly acidic or alkaline soils lack vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, etc. Instead, iron, manganese, copper, and zinc are found in highly acidic soil. On the other hand, alkaline soil contains mostly molybdenum.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How often should you lime a field?

You should lime your soil at least once every three years. After you lime the soil, it takes at least six months to dissolve completely and start working. Once it starts working, the pH level of the soil will be good for at least 2–3 years.

What Happens If You Add Too Much Lime To Soil?

The goal of using lime is to reduce the acidity of your soil. If you use too much lime, it will no longer be acidic, but it won’t stay neutral either.

Alkaline soil is not good for your plant either. That’s because all the vital minerals are absent in alkaline soil. So, you should aim for a neutral pH level in your soil. 

What cancels out too much lime?

If you have accidentally put too much lime in your soil, don’t worry, you can use sulfur to cancel it out. You can use elemental sulfur or ammonium sulfate to achieve that. But use the appropriate amount. 


Can you put too much lime on a food plot? Yes, you can put too much lime on your food plot. Putting that in will make your soil alkaline, which prevents your plants from getting necessary nutrients. That is just as bad as planting on acidic soil.

The amount of lime that should be used depends on many factors, including the type of lime and the soil pH level. Depending on the factors, you shouldn’t need more than 3-5 tons of lime per acre. 

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