Is Lime Good for Bell Pepper Plants?

16 May

Is Lime Good for Bell Pepper Plants?

Two main types of soil alterations exist — those who are rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, and the ones that correct soil pH therefore plants can absorb those nutrients. Garden lime falls into the latter class. In cases of very acidic soil, limestone may help to make vegetables like bell peppers thrive. But unless you know your soil’s pH level, adding anything to generate soil more or less acidic might backfire on you.

When Lime Works

Garden lime, also called ground limestone, is helpful for either growing crops which prefer neutral to alkaline soil or for correcting excessively acidic soil. Acidic soil is what includes a low (under neutral) pH degree; it’s the opposite of alkaline, or high pH, soil. Neutral dirt peaked as 7.0. Bell peppers prefer slightly acidic soil of 5.5 to 6.8. If your lawn has a pH lower than 5.5, lime may help.


Choose ground calcitic limestone, unless your land also includes a magensium deficiency. In that case, ground dolomitic limestone is a better choice. How much you will apply depends on three variables — just how much ground you intend to enhance, your soil’s current pH level and the pH level you need to attain. For each 10 square feet of lawn bed, and each point you want to raise your soil’s pH, add 1/2 pound of ground limestone. Consequently, if your bell peppers will occupy approximately 10 square feet and the present pH level is 4.5, decide on a layer of 1/2 to 1 pound of ground limestone over the soil and rake it in the garden bed. This will get it into the “sweet spot” bell peppers want. Ideally, you are going to use lime several months prior to planting. Conduct a second soil test just prior to putting bell peppers to ensure that you have the desirable pH range of 5.5 to 6.8.


Lime may be a bad amendment for growing bell peppers. Many gardeners will discover they need to produce their bell pepper mattresses slightly more acidic, rather than less — especially those in Mediterranean areas, that have notoriously chalky soil. Conduct a soil test yourself, or send a soil sample into your professional testing service. This step will determine if your soil is acidic to warrant adding garden lime to your pepper beds before planting. Until the pH level is below 5.5, however, using garden lime is likely simply to make your soil less hospitable to nurturing bell peppers.

Common Soil Amendments for Bell Peppers

Unless your garden is considerably depleted of nutrients, you won’t have to perform much in the means of feeding your soil or your plants at the bell pepper lawn. Work with a 3-inch layer of compost into the soil before sowing seeds or planting seedlings. In midseason, lightly scratch a 1-inch layer of compost into the soil. If your lawn is too alkaline, rather than acidic, work peat moss or garden sulfur into the soil, with the amount recommended on the package for your current pH level and the total amount of ground you’re covering.

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