Lime soil to reduce its acidity
Your soil has a pH value that affects the plants’ ability to take up nutrients. A pH of 6.5-7 is ideal and you can buy a test kit from the garden centre. If the value is high, above 7, it means your soil is alkaline and has plenty of lime. You can’t do much to change a high pH, but you can alter a low pH. In the vegetable garden where acidic organic matter is often added, the pH can drop well below 6.5. This can be addressed by liming your soil in the winter every few years. To do this, spread garden lime or calcified seaweed on the soil. Fork or rake it into the surface then leave it to work in slowly. Lime also helps to break down large lumps in clay soils. Avoid manuring at the same time, particularly in the spring, as the nitrogen in manure is lost faster when it’s in contact with lime.
Most veg like a neutral pH of 7, adding lime will increase pH value