Cleaning Up Your Own Backyard

Use Lime To Stabilize The Soil On Your Land

by Warren Garcia

Hydrated lime is used to stabilize poor-quality soils. The clay content within acidic soils bonds with the calcium components within lime. As a result, the soil composition is altered, and the soil will not be as likely to shrink and spread. It will also maintain its load-bearing capabilities, which can be beneficial if you are going to eventually add a concrete slab or another hardscaping material to the landscape.

Stabilization Prerequisites

Two distinct regions with varying weather types will influence the quality of the soil. A dry climate may feature a more alkaline soil type than a region that tends to receive a lot of rainfall. A soil testing kit should always be used first. The kit will present results that will indicate whether the soil on your land would benefit from the use of a stabilization process.

Soil that is well-compacted may not respond well to the addition of lime. If lime is used for a soil type that is not in need of stabilizing, the lime may not penetrate well, and the soil could appear to have a chalky, yellowish surface.

If you determine that lime will be of value to the landscape, purchase either a powder or a pellet lime product. A powder lime product will be somewhat messier and more tedious to apply than a pellet lime product. A spreader can be used to add either type of lime across your land.

The Application Of Lime

Lime should be applied to property that has been cleared. Lime will need to soak into the ground, which will restrict a property owner from applying lime to soil that contains frost, snow, or ice on its surface. The best time to perform a soil stabilization process is during the early or late fall. The temperature will likely not have dipped below freezing during these times.

The soil will have fall, winter, and early spring to become fully stabilized. Many people prefer to perform landscaping upgrades to their land during the spring. If you choose to apply lime early, you will be able to plant or add hardscaping or landscaping features to your land as soon as the spring weather warrants you to do so.

A lime spreader should be moved across an expanse of land in straight lines. To ensure that all of the land is adequately covered with a powder or pellet, apply lime in horizontal and vertical lines. Use a water hose to soak the lime, once you have completed the application process. 

Contact a lime stabilization service near you to learn more.