Dolomite lime is added to garden beds to raise the pH of the soil, and is used a fertilizer to provide the plants with necessary nutrients. Typically, the lime is worked into the top 7 inches of soil two weeks before planting to raise the pH level of the soil. Before adding lime or other pH-altering materials, the soil is tested to ensure the lime application is necessary.
The amount of lime added to gardens varies, but the standard practice is to add 5 pounds of dolomite lime per 100 square feet of soil to raise the pH of the soil by one point. A pH of 6.5 to 7 is usually recommended for vegetable and flower gardens.
Dolomite lime contains calcium and magnesium, and is often used to provide necessary nutrients to some types of plants. For instance, tomatoes and other seed-heavy produce benefit from the high amounts of calcium and magnesium provided by dolomite lime.
Dolomite lime is typically added during the spring or autumn, but shouldn't be added to the soil if rain is expected, or if temperatures are at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When used as a fertilizer, the lime is added directly before planting to boost seed growth, or in small amounts throughout the growing season.