Can You Spread Lime With a Fertilizer Spreader? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If you have been feeling like your soil’s ph levels are low and you need to spread lime to improve it, then you can go ahead with it.

You do not have to worry about extra costs from having to buy a new spreader to lime the soil as your trusty good old fertilizer spreader can do the work.

Can you spread lime with a fertilizer spreader? A fertilizer spreader can be used to spread lime without any issues. All you need to do is make sure you follow the steps correctly and apply the right settings

However you have to know how to properly spread the lime using the fertilizer spreader and how to maintain it after use to avoid corrosion and damage.

Lime is a heavier material than fertilizer and can easily cause damage to the spreader.

Improper setting of the fertilizer spreader can also lead to a waste of time and resources spent, so it is important to understand the process before starting.

This article will also serve as a guide to further explain how you can effectively use your fertilizer to spread lime.

How can you spread lime with a fertilizer spreader?

Can You Spread Lime With a Fertilizer Spreader

Spreading lime on your soil is good for improving your soil’s PH levels.

The soil alkalinity needs to be between 6 and 7 to be able to perform at optimum levels. A PH level lower than this might not yield so much results.

If you have decided that you would be adding lime to your soil, you do not need to buy extra work tools. 

Your fertilizer spreader is multipurpose and can be used to spread the lime on your lawn or yard.

Both drop and broadcast spreaders can be used to spread the lime depending on the type you have.

Follow the steps outlined below to properly lime your lawn:

Step 1: Test Your Soil

Before going about the business of adding lime to your soil, you have to be sure exactly of your soil’s PH levels. 

You can carry out a soil test with a ph. probe or a test kit. Liquid test kits are sold for about $10 at gardening stores.

You can also choose to have a professional test just to be sure.

After carrying out the test, if your soil ph levels fall below 6 then you need to add lime to the soil.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can I use my fertilizer spreader for grass?

Step 2: Purchase the lime

Lime usually comes in powdered, pelletized or pulverized forms. You can buy the powdered garden lime to make your work easier. 

The general rule is that 50 pounds of lime is sufficient to cover about 1000 square feet of land.

If your lawn area is more than this amount then you might need to buy more than a bag of lime.

Also lime can either be dolomitic or calcitic. However dolomitic is best for lawn care as it is rich in calcium and magnesium.

Step 3: Treat Your Yard

Before you add lime to the soil it is advisable to treat your yard by tilling it. By doing this, the lime added to the soil would be able to penetrate fully into the soil. 

This way it will have more contact with the soil as there are no distracting elements and you can see the effects much faster.

Step 4: Know the Right Season

It is important that you know the best time to lime your lawn. Spring is the best period for liming, as well as fall or early spring.

Liming during hot periods can cause the grass to be burnt by the lime. So you have to take this into consideration.

Step 5: Set Your Spreader

Just like fertilizer, there are usually instructions on the bag of lime stating recommended settings for each spreader. 

Follow these recommendations and set your spreader accordingly.

Step 6: Apply the Lime

To make sure the lime is well spread, ensure to first walk an outline of your yard first. 

Then start making straight passes back and forth. You also have to make a second set of passes to cover for any area that might have been left in the first turn.

To do this all you will walk lines that run perpendicular to the first set of lines you made previously. Once this is done, your lime has been effective;y added.

Step 7: Water the Lawn

Lime needs water to be able to act fast as it is a slow acting mineral.

By lightly showering your lawn after application, the water will help speed up the process by soaking it into the soil.

Step 8: Clean Your Spreader

To avoid corrosion and rust damage, after using your fertilizer spreader to spread lime ensure you clean it properly by rinsing the hopper and other parts.

This is very important as lime is a heavy material and can easily damage the spreader if left unattended.

Clean it out and lubricate occasionally. 

And your lime will work its way into your soil over the months.

What Setting Should I Use on Scotts Spreader for Lime?

After buying your bag of lime, you’ll find some recommendations for spreader settings on the bag label.

Most fertilizer, lime and other lawn products come with defined settings for various models of fertilizer spreader.

Before you start the lime application check the bag for the settings, then adjust your Scotts spreader accordingly.

However if there are no recommendations on the bag label check your Scott’s owners manual for instructions.

If you are using a broadcast spreader, Scott recommends a setting of 5 ½ for lime applications.

You can also calibrate your Scotts’ fertilizer spreader to give the best results.

Can You Spread Pulverized Lime With a Broadcast Spreader?

Pulverized lime is more suitable for broadcast spreaders and this is because it is not in powdery form and as such does not easily blow away by the constant wheeling of the spreader.

To spread pulverized lime with your broadcast spreader, check the bag label for instructions on where to set the spreader settings.

If the bag doesn’t come with instructions then you can check your spreader manual for pulverized lime settings and you can also calibrate your spreader to achieve the best results.

Because the lime is not powdery the wheeling motion of the broadcast spreader is the best for pulverized lime.

How Do You Spread Powdered Lime?

Powdered agricultural lime also known as garden lime is a whitish substance that is fine in nature.

It is cheaper than pelletized and pulverized lime and is easier to come across and use.

To effectively spread your lime powder do not use your hands as it is a strong material which can easily wear on your skin.

Before spreading your powdered lime, ensure that you are wearing a mask and gloves to protect your skin and also prevent you from inhaling the fine powder which is dangerous to the lungs.

Your fertilizer spreader can easily spread your lime so you do not have to incur extra costs to buy a lime spreader.

After buying the lime powder, read the instructions to adjust your spreader settings accordingly. 

Drop spreaders spread fertilizers in a targeted row directly under it while broadcast spreaders spread the lime in a fan like direction and you can use any that you prefer.

After the lawn applications, wait for about a month before using other soil products and before seeding the soil.

Lime is a slow acting mineral and results can take up to two years to be evident. However you’ll start seeing effects in about a month. 

Find out more about lime types and lime application in this article

Can You Spread Powdered Lime With a Broadcast Spreader?

Broadcast spreaders are multipurpose and can be used for spreading a number of lawn care products. 

If you are buying powdered lime for your lawn, it is most better to use a drop spreader.

You can spread your powdered lime with a broadcast spreader however its fan like motions are not the most suitable for powdered lime application.

Because of the powdery nature, it is easy for wind to easily blow it away therefore reducing the actual amount of lime going to the soil.

Drop spreaders are more advisable for spreading powdered lime because as the name implies, they drop the products directly under them.

This serves to ensure that the soil gets all the lime that is being applied to it.

If your spreader is a broadcast spreader then you should consider buying pelletized or pulverized lime as this comes in granule form making it easy for the wheels of the spreader, distribute it effectively. 

From this article, you can see that you do not have to go out of your way to effectively spread lime for improving your soil.

Buy your lime based on the type of spreader for you, to make it easier and do not forget to always clean your spreader after use to ensure longevity.

We hope your lawn gets better after the lime application and you can boast of a lush and green yard.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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