View Full Version : 0-46-0 triple superphosphate

08-18-2006, 11:06 AM
Last fall I had a soil test performed prior to installing my lawn (new construction). I needed 50 lbs/1000 lime and 0-46-0 at 9 lbs/1000 which I tilled into the soil and then put down 10-6-4 at 10 lbs/1000 when I seeded the KB-rye-red fescue seed. Some sections of the lawn are still really thin so I am going to aerate and overseed again this fall. I just used a generic soil test to test the soil and even though I followed the recommendations last year, the soil looks to be as deficient in phosphorus as last year and and the pH looks to still be at about 6. My question is, could I use the recommendations from last years soil test this year using the 0-46-0 triple superphosphate on my existing turf without killing it. I heard that the 0-46-0 can kill existing turf. My other thought is to use Lesco starter fert with 50% slow release at a double rate to get 1.5 lbs of N/1000 and 2 lbs. P/1000 when I overseed and put down lime and then follow-that up later in fall with the labeled rate of starter fert.

Any thoughts? Should I get another soil test?

08-19-2006, 01:02 AM
I have never added that much to help soil chemistry brfore actual seeding and growth took place. You might have been better off breaking all of that stuff down over a period of two years and cultivating it into the soil every spring and fall when you aerify. Also, take the soil test and send it to a lab for analysis, that way you will definetly know where you stand.

08-19-2006, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I believe I will go the route of a soil test and then space out the amending over the next year or two.

08-20-2006, 06:29 AM
Get a new soil sample and send it to a good lab. Take 10 or 15 small amounts from 6 inches deep and mix them in a bucket. Do not touch the soil with your hands or contaminate it any other way.

Post the results and you will get great advise.

0-46-0 will not kill your lawn unless it was extreeeemly over applied.

08-22-2006, 10:01 PM
I belive your extension office sends the test to Penn State, good turfgras program, good lab.

08-22-2006, 11:22 PM
Without looking at your soil test, I will say this. Back in the 1950's a few test where done compareing rock phosphate, Super Phosphate, Tripple super phosphate, Diammonium Phosphate, and Monoammonium Phosphate, to see just how long they would stay available to plants before becoming boundup in the soil into an unusable form. I am not going into the whole published papers, but to make a long story short, Under worst growing conditions, Rock P , Super P, Tripple super P, could be taken up by plants for a period of about 4 weeks, and 8 weeks under the best conditions, Diammonium P and Monoammonium P would stay available for up to a year. In low Ph soils, 5.5ph and less, the P would be adsorbed by Alummium and Iron and in high ph soils, the P would be adsorbed by calcium and form tricalcium Phosphate, the mineral it was originally mined from. When you do get your new soil test back, reconsider your P sources if you wish to have the P available to your plants for a longer period of time. Also, it has been debated, and excepted as a fact by some, that applications of P less than 250lbs per acre have never show to build P levels in the soil. I think this has more to do with the type of test used to determine the P levels in the first place. There are several extraction acids used for determining P levels. Each extracten will give a different reading of actual P levels. Lenght of time the material is soaked in the extracten will also give a different reading. Soil testing companies base their recommendations according to the methods they use to test the soil. So two different labs can show two completely different results and give different recommendations as well. I am not saying one is right or wrong, but once you choose a testing company, stay with them unless it becomes obvious that they are not doing something right. Switching testing companies will have you trying to build soil fertility on two different soil models and that just wont work.

08-23-2006, 08:40 AM
I belive your extension office sends the test to Penn State, good turfgras program, good lab.

The Best,

Thank You!

08-23-2006, 09:40 AM
The testing lab was Penn State. Last years test results: the soil pH was 6.1 so the recommendation was 50 lbs/lime/1000 and the P content recommendation was 5 lbs of P. I was good in Potash. Based on what everyone is saying, I am convinced the soil and the fact that I used the farm-grade 0-46-0 is why I am still deficient in P.

The lawn was originally seeded in July and baked in Aug and Sept. I rented a harleyrake and ripped everything up and added the 0-46-0 and lime at that point, tilling it in to about 2-3 inches but by the time the lime upped the pH, the 0-46-0 was already inactive. The grass came in well in some areas but thin in others(probably due to the mix of soil). The soil quality is poor, the builder moved piles of soil to other piles of soil so there really is no good topsoil. My budget is about $400 this fall so aerating, seeding, liming, and fertilizing is what I can afford for now. I plan to do a full program next year to stay on top of weeds. Hopefully next fall, I can topdress with some compost or even better, add a couple inches of good topsoil. I have a 1 acre lot so it gets expensive quick.

08-23-2006, 10:30 AM
Great blog Dr. Green. There is a dealer for Solu-Cal in Jersey which is kinda close but what does that product typically run in $$? Also, I would not think of tilling up the yard at this point, just patching in with topsoil here and there. I should not have used the harleyrake last year, I should have just aerated the heck out of the lawn and seeded. I am going to aerate like crazy this fall when I overseed to try to aid in decreasing the compaction.

08-23-2006, 07:45 PM
I have not seen or used solu-cal lime, but have used other forms of liquid lime products. The liquid lime products are nothing more than regular lime that has been ground down in size to sift thru a 300 mesh screen. what this means is that the lime products will react faster with the soil to raise ph levels. This ph neutralizing action is very short lived simply because of the amount of actual lime being applied to the soil. I cant say about solu cal lime but liquid lime is usually sold in 2 gal jugs and contains approx 11 lbs of actual lime product, the rest is water and clay that is used as a suspension agent to keep the lime from setteling out of the water. The prices usually run around $25+/- a jug. Not exactly the best bang for the buck. In most cases, where the goal is to raise calcium levels in the soil, regular bagged lime will do the job for way less in price of the liquid lime products. You can buy about 300lbs of bagged lime for the cost of the 11lbs of lime in the liquid lime products. Bagged lime is also finely ground with most passing thru a 100 mesh screen. The advantage of the smaller grind is simply that the smaller granuals can contact more soil surfaces using less amounts of the product, and translocate faster thru the soil, but because of the small amount of the product that is used, and the price of such products, It usually just doesnt make agronomical or economical sense to use the liquid lime products. If you wish to compare the Calcium Carbonate Equivelent of the two products, just check the lables, the lables dont lie and you can see exactly what you are getting for your money.

08-23-2006, 08:08 PM
After posting, I looked up Solu-Cal to see just what it was. Its not a liquid lime as the name suggests. The MSDS sheet didnot give any hint as to actual CCE but did say that it is 29% calcium and is a finely ground powder. I think price would still be a deciding factor, but a finely ground lime will translocate faster thru the soil and work faster than a larger ground lime. Looks like a decent product, but I sure would like to see a lable.

08-23-2006, 10:24 PM
Lesco carries a product called Cal-sul that is from what I read, the same product. It is gypsum.


But I also read that gypsum doesn't help all clay soils, only if the salt content is high, and it doesn't raise pH which I need to do. I may be best off with using lime at this point to raise the pH

08-23-2006, 11:26 PM
gypsum is a completly different product. Gypsum contains calcium and sulfur, The solucal doesnot contain any sulfur. I can only suspect that your soils actually need lime since the recommendations called for 50 lbs per M . Calcium isnt the only material that will raise pH. Magnesium will raise ph 1.6 times more than calcium on a lb per lb basis. You need to look at the base saturation of several different base saturation levels to determine what kind of lime you need to use. Dolomitic lime contains calcium and magnesium and if your soil needs the magnesium, as well as the calcium, then dolomitic lime would be your best lime choice. I didnt notice but I dont think the solucal contained any magnesium and if your soil needs the magnesium, solucal would be a poor liming choice.

08-24-2006, 08:13 AM
Here are the results for last years soil test:

Phosphorus - 58 ppm
Potassium - 181 ppm
pH-6.1 via 1:1 soil:water pH

P lb/A-116 via Mehlich 3 (ICP)

Exchangeable cations (meq/100g)
Acidity-2.00 via Mehlich buffer pH
K-0.46-via Mehlich 3 (ICP)
Mg-2.18-via Mehlich 3 (ICP)
Ca-5.97-via Mehlich 3 (ICP)
CEC-10.6 Summation of cations

% Saturation of the CEC
Ca 56.2

Here are my problems: 1. Unlike most consumers who want nice grass, I want a healthy soil first and the excellent turf that would follow is secondary. 2. I was a bio major so the soil chemistry is interesting to me and something I want to understand and act on (silly me) and it is now an obsession.

Thanks so much for all the valuable input.

Dr Green
08-24-2006, 06:41 PM

Mudstopper found out it was a granular product. Heres the skinny on Solucal.

It is a HIGH cal lime (29% thats a lot)that is coated with an organic acid T.O.G. That organic acid is the chelating agent that reacts with the soil when applied and makes it available so much faster. It also gives a big boost of calcium which aids making cell walls stronger. This has many benefits including reduced disease activity.

As far as longevity, I'll explain it this way. Lime takes 3-6 months to breakdown and change PH. after 6 months you achieve what you wanted.
Solucal does it immediately, and you get the benefit for 6 months immediately after app, instead of waiting 6 months.

You are just getting your 6 months up front instead of waiting. ID rather apply a product , get paid, and see the results while Im on the lawn as opposed to someone else next year.

its 4-5 times more potent than regular dolomitic lime. You use less bags, less labor, less money if you pay 5-6 bucks a bag for lime like some want these days and Its works so much faster.

As far as Lesco goes, they have a Lesco-cal 13-0-6 fertilizer. The tell customers it was the same as Solucal and fert. It is only fertilime. thats it. the TOG organic acid is a propietary blend that they dont have and thats what makes the Solucal work. Without it its just fertilime.

If you sell fertilime, call it fertilime. Ill buy that cheaper than Lesco-cal price.

as far as price goes, you can expect to pay between 13.50-16 dollars a bag

Straight Solucal goes 10,000 sq ft at a maintenence rate, and for corrective app, use 4 times less to achieve the same as the Lime recommendation.

Hope it helps

08-25-2006, 11:37 AM
Your base saturations
% Saturation of the CEC
K-4.4, K is potassium and 5% is considered excellent

Mg-20.6, Magnesium is at the high end for a sandy soil and really high for a clay soil, you should consider nutrient treatments that will lower this level some, getting it down to around 12-15%. Ca, and sulfur will do this so you can consider using gypsum as your calcium and sulfur choice.

Ca 56.2 Calcium levels are a little on the low side, Regular Calcitic lime or the solucal lime will work to raise calcium levels to around 65-70%. Calcium will displace magnesium as a saturation on a lb per lb bases. For every percentage point you raise you calcium Saturation levels you will also lower your magnesium saturation levels. Since you need to raise your Calcium by about 14 points, simply adding calicitc lime to acheive a base saturation of Calcium of 70%, you will lower your magnesium levels by the same 14points and endup with a magnesium saturation of around 6.4%. What this means is that to acheive a near perfect balance you are going to have to use some Calcitic lime as well as dolomitic lime to get the Ca and Mg levels where you want them. This will probably raise your ph higher than you desire as well. to keep from raising the ph, you can use gypsum and dolomitic lime together to keep the ph in check. This will add Ca and Mg and S. Sulfur will provide extra anions for the calcium and magnesium to attach to in the soil thus reducing their base saturation levels. I havent worked with the Mehlech testing procedures, so I cant do the math to tell you how much of what to use. Best to give your soil testing facility a call and get the formulas they use for determining amounts found and correction rates. With your Bio Major background, you can probably figure out how to use their equations

08-25-2006, 11:56 AM


As far as longevity, I'll explain it this way. Lime takes 3-6 months to breakdown and change PH. after 6 months you achieve what you wanted.
Solucal does it immediately, and you get the benefit for 6 months immediately after app, instead of waiting 6 months.

Using a leaf analysis, surface applications of ag grade lime, ( thats the large gound limestone). Calcium can become available to plants in as little as three days if watered in using 1/2in of water, or after one major rain event. So much for waiting 3 to 6 months to see the benefit of applying limestone.

Lime only has the ability to neutralize approx a 1/4 inch radius around each granual of the limestone. For this reason, finer ground products will contact far more surface areas than larger ground limestone. The larger contact surface will have a faster effect on ph. Still, to correct calcium deficienies in the soil, a lb of calcium is still just a lb of calcium, reguardless of the size of the grind. to change the fertility levels of the soil by increaseing calcium levels, you will still need to apply the same amount of calcium or lime, reguardless of the fineness of the grind. This is where one needs to justify the cost of the products. If you need only a little bit of Ca, then the finer ground, more expensive products might make a great choice, but when you start factoring in the amounts needed and the price of those products, regular gound limestone can quickly become the more obvious choice. I am not saying dont buy the Solu-cal lime, it looks like a good product, and it certainly has its place in the turf industry.

08-26-2006, 04:32 AM
Is that Phosphorus level low? It doesn't seem very low to me. What range should he be shooting for? Doesn't 58ppm roughly equal 116 Lbs./ac?

08-26-2006, 10:57 AM
I consider the P low. Yes 58ppm is 116lb of P in one acre of soil. There are several different tests used to determine P levels, in this case the mehlech3 test was used, but you also have meh1&2 as well as the Bray1-2-3 and the Olsen and a simple water test, I think Lamotte also test for P. Not only do different labs use different test methods, but they also vary the time the test is ran, this can vary from 10 minutes to 30 mintues, depending on the lenght of time the soil is in the solution, you can get different reading, even using the same test. Each of these testing procedures will give a different reading of P levels in the soil. Now you know why different labs give different amounts as their low and optium levels . Each of these methods is an accepted method to use but you have to be familar with the fertility models to be able to interpet the test results. Based on the Bray1 test, 116 lbs of P would be about half of what should be there as a minimum. The maximum would be determined by Zinc levels, Copper Levels and Iron levels in the soil.
My thoughts are to correct Calcium and Magnesium levels first, then K, S and Na, then P, but all of these can pretty much be addressed with normal fertilizer applications and done at the same time. If you just address NPK, you will never get the balance right.