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mrkosar
02-15-2009, 04:00 PM
Does anyone use this to break up high clay soils? I know adding lime to a high PH soil isn't supposed to be done, but I've heard a few people say it really helps break up the soil and doesn't raise the PH anymore than it already is.

Do Cal-Sol gypsum type products do this quicker than calcitic lime?

I know that compost will do a better job, but it is hard to find a supplier in my area, plus i don't have the equipment to put it down at a reasonable price. So I'm looking for an easier to spread alternative that will bust up this clay.

Soils are high in PH, low in K, high in mag, average in calcium if this helps.

RGM
02-15-2009, 04:05 PM
What kind of area you working in just beds or lawn size. Home depot sells a product called clay breaker work real good its just like a compost with gypsum and maybe some sand it come in a mulch size bag.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-15-2009, 04:11 PM
Does anyone use this to break up high clay soils? I know adding lime to a high PH soil isn't supposed to be done, but I've heard a few people say it really helps break up the soil and doesn't raise the PH anymore than it already is.

Do Cal-Sol gypsum type products do this quicker than calcitic lime?

I know that compost will do a better job, but it is hard to find a supplier in my area, plus i don't have the equipment to put it down at a reasonable price. So I'm looking for an easier to spread alternative that will bust up this clay.

Soils are high in PH, low in K, high in mag, average in calcium if this helps.

All my research has been Lime is what you add to an acidic ph soil, to sweeten up the soil, what do you mean by lime to a high ph soil isn't suppost to be done?????? Did I mis-understand something here?

mrkosar
02-15-2009, 04:11 PM
all lawns. average 7-8K.

mrkosar
02-15-2009, 04:17 PM
All my research has been Lime is what you add to an acidic ph soil, to sweeten up the soil, what do you mean by lime to a high ph soil isn't suppost to be done??????

exactly. lime is added to acidic low ph soils to raise the ph. i've been told you don't want to add lime to high ph soils because it might raise the ph even more. you add sulfur to lower the PH.

now cal-sol has the calcium and sulfur, which is why i was asking if a product like this is quicker/better for a high PH soil than calcitic lime. someone was recently raving about the effects of calcitic lime breaking up clay soils and i wondered if anyone had experience or has heard this too.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-15-2009, 04:21 PM
exactly. lime is added to acidic low ph soils to raise the ph. i've been told you don't want to add lime to high ph soils because it might raise the ph even more. you add sulfur to lower the PH.

now cal-sol has the calcium and sulfur, which is why i was asking if a product like this is quicker/better for a high PH soil than calcitic lime. someone was recently raving about the effects of calcitic lime breaking up clay soils and i wondered if anyone had experience or has heard this too.

LOL, I guess this is why I wasn't good in Chemistry, wouldn't an acidic soil automatically have a high ph? I mean how would you know you have an acidic soil without testing the ph and basing this off of your PH reading?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-15-2009, 04:29 PM
This is straight from Wikipedia:

Altering soil pH

The aim when attempting to adjust soil acidity is not so much to neutralise the pH as to replace lost cation nutrients, particularly calcium. This can be achieved by adding limestone to the soil, which is available in various forms:

* Agricultural lime (ground limestone or chalk) is used for soil liming. These natural forms of calcium carbonate are probably the cheapest form of lime for gardening and agricultural use and can be applied at any time of the year. These forms are slow reacting, thus their effect on soil fertility and plant growth is steady and long lasting. Ground lime should be applied to clay and heavy soils at a rate of about 500 to 1,000 g/m (1 to 2 lb/yd or 4,500 to 9,000 lb/ac).
* Quicklime and slaked lime: The former is produced by burning rock limestone in kilns. It is highly caustic and cannot be applied directly to the soil. Quicklime reacts with water to produce slaked, or hydrated, lime, thus quicklime is spread around agricultural land in heaps to absorb rain and atmospheric moisture and form slaked lime, which is then spread on the soil. Quicklime should be applied to heavy clays at a rate of about 400 to 500 g/m (0.75 to 1 lb/yd or 3,600 to 4,500 lb/ac), hydrated lime at 250 to 500 g/m (0.5 to 1 lb/yd). However, quicklime and hydrated lime are very fast acting and are not suitable for inclusion in an organic system. Their use is prohibited under the standards of both The Soil Association and the Henry Doubleday Research Association.
* Calcium sulfate (gypsum) cannot be used to amend soil acidity. It is a common myth that gypsum affects soil acidity.[1] However, gypsum does reduce aluminium toxicity. Because gypsum is more soluble than alkaline earth carbonates, it is recommended for the treatment of acidic subsoils.[2]

The pH of an alkaline soil is lowered by adding sulfur, iron sulfates or aluminium sulfate, although these tend to be expensive, and the effects short term. Urea, urea phosphate, ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphates, ammonium sulfate and monopotassium phosphate also lower soil pH.

phasthound
02-15-2009, 05:58 PM
Does anyone use this to break up high clay soils? I know adding lime to a high PH soil isn't supposed to be done, but I've heard a few people say it really helps break up the soil and doesn't raise the PH anymore than it already is.

Do Cal-Sol gypsum type products do this quicker than calcitic lime?

I know that compost will do a better job, but it is hard to find a supplier in my area, plus i don't have the equipment to put it down at a reasonable price. So I'm looking for an easier to spread alternative that will bust up this clay.

Soils are high in PH, low in K, high in mag, average in calcium if this helps.

We carry gypsum with soluble humate.


The easiest way to apply active humic acids to the soil. Soluble humic acids are biologically active and able to react in the soil immediately.
Expedites the improved friability of clay soils compared to regular gypsum alone.
Buffers salinity issues better than regular gypsum alone. A valuable source of essential calcium and sulfur.
Provides a greater amount of calcium than other gypsum products.
Provides a greater amount of soluble humic acid than other
combination products.
Stimulates the growth and proliferation of desirable soil micro-organisms.
Contains natural trace elements and amino acids from solublehumate.
Increases water holding capacity of soils.
Increases the cation exchange capacity of soils.
Unlocks insoluble nutrient bonds in the soil and increases
their solubility and availability to plants.
Decreases thatch due to increased microbial activity.
Will not affect soil pH.
100% Natural Gypsum rock used in formulation guarantees consistency.
Clean uniform pellet sizing for accurate application rates.
Pellets dissolve rapidly in water, avoiding disruption on low cut turf.


Sold by the pallet.

muddstopper
02-15-2009, 08:06 PM
Soils are high in PH, low in K, high in mag, average in calcium if this helps.

High Magnesium is what is driving your ph levels to the high numbers. Magnesium has about 1.67 times more ph raiseing ability than calcium. It depends on what your base saturation is as to whether or not to use calcitic lime. If the calcium saturation is 60% or higher, gypsum would be a better choice. 60% or lower use calcitic lime to get the calcium levels above 60% and then use gypsum. Also K can be a factor in raising ph. Your K levels are low and therefore you could use potassium sulfate to drive down magnesium saturation levels and actually lower your Ph. With ph reading of 8, pure calcitic lime is only about ph8.5 so using the calcitic lime cant raise the levels much more, but the additional calcium should lower magnesium saturation levels and result in a lower ph reading.

Also it was mentioned that ammonium phoshpate would lower ph levels. Only if the ph level is above ph 6.8 which is the ph of diammonium phosphate. In a ph of 8, dap would actually lower the ph, but shouldnt be used unless you have low P levels. Get your Ca and K levels to their correct ranges and you should see a decrease in you Ph.

mrkosar
02-15-2009, 08:45 PM
High Magnesium is what is driving your ph levels to the high numbers. Magnesium has about 1.67 times more ph raiseing ability than calcium. It depends on what your base saturation is as to whether or not to use calcitic lime. If the calcium saturation is 60% or higher, gypsum would be a better choice. 60% or lower use calcitic lime to get the calcium levels above 60% and then use gypsum. Also K can be a factor in raising ph. Your K levels are low and therefore you could use potassium sulfate to drive down magnesium saturation levels and actually lower your Ph. With ph reading of 8, pure calcitic lime is only about ph8.5 so using the calcitic lime cant raise the levels much more, but the additional calcium should lower magnesium saturation levels and result in a lower ph reading.

Also it was mentioned that ammonium phoshpate would lower ph levels. Only if the ph level is above ph 6.8 which is the ph of diammonium phosphate. In a ph of 8, dap would actually lower the ph, but shouldnt be used unless you have low P levels. Get your Ca and K levels to their correct ranges and you should see a decrease in you Ph.

muddstopper as always you know your stuff. thanks. you suggested this to me a while back and i am testing out the sop apps still. they are helping, but with the cost of those products skyrocketing i was looking for an alternative. is there a cheaper potash product out there that will work as good?

RGM
02-15-2009, 09:00 PM
I am just trying to keep it simple moss generally grows in high ph soil like under trees were leave or pine needle which are high in acid break down. When I was growing up back in the '60 early '70s everybody put lime on there lawns in the fall after they chopped up there leaves. We did'nt have all the video games we played outside and our dads kept the lawns nice to have fun on. It was like a contest between all the other dads in the hood that know one would talk about. Now almost everyone has a landscaper a chem lawn type company or both to treat there lawns or they just don't care. Anyone else tries to do it theirself or just does not care. But back to moss I put down some lime.

ICT Bill
02-15-2009, 10:03 PM
Listen to MUDD, great advice. CA to Mg ratio is what you should be looking at and SOM (Soil Organic Matter), if can get the CA to Mg ratio at 6:1 or 7:1 the soil will open right up, I did not believe it until I saw it.

Don't chase PH, Chase SOM, if you can get SOM to 5% the PH will be perfect for turf in most cases

Moss areas are typically low light and hold water for a long time, maybe mulching the areas and planting something else is a better idea

Kiril
02-16-2009, 12:28 AM
High Magnesium is what is driving your ph levels to the high numbers. Magnesium has about 1.67 times more ph raiseing ability than calcium.

Please explain. Consider the following first.

http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/classes/ssc102/Section5.pdf.

The definition of alkalinity for the CO2-water system is:

Alkalinity = [OH-] + [HCO3-] + 2[CO3-2] - [H+]

Your K levels are low and therefore you could use potassium sulfate to drive down magnesium saturation levels and actually lower your Ph.

Once again ... please explain given the following.

General lyotropic series = Al > Ca > Mg > (K = NH4) > Na


I might also point out that ratios mean nothing if your soil does not have sufficient nutrients to support the desired plant growth. Focus less on ratios and more on getting nutrient levels to the range needed to support your plants. Ratios are good for a general assessment of soil status but beyond that ....?

Also .... gypsum is used for sodic soil reclamation and nutrient adjustments, not as a generic "soil buster" or pH reduction as is so commonly thought. This is one of the biggest "myths" of modern day land care. Depending on your specific soil properties, gypsum "might" offset particle dispersion caused by Mg, but further information would be needed to determine how effective it would be.

treegal1
02-16-2009, 07:36 AM
I might also point out that ratios mean nothing if your soil does not have sufficient nutrients to support the desired plant growth. Focus less on ratios and more on getting nutrient levels to the range needed to support your plants. Ratios are good for a general assessment of soil status but beyond that ....?exactly!! just for example I am all stocked up here with lime, dont want any more, just need more compost..............maybe a shot of fert in the compost...........

mrkosar
02-16-2009, 11:37 AM
Please explain. Consider the following first.

http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/classes/ssc102/Section5.pdf.

The definition of alkalinity for the CO2-water system is:

Alkalinity = [OH-] + [HCO3-] + 2[CO3-2] - [H+]



Once again ... please explain given the following.

General lyotropic series = Al > Ca > Mg > (K = NH4) > Na


I might also point out that ratios mean nothing if your soil does not have sufficient nutrients to support the desired plant growth. Focus less on ratios and more on getting nutrient levels to the range needed to support your plants. Ratios are good for a general assessment of soil status but beyond that ....?

Also .... gypsum is used for sodic soil reclamation and nutrient adjustments, not as a generic "soil buster" or pH reduction as is so commonly thought. This is one of the biggest "myths" of modern day land care. Depending on your specific soil properties, gypsum "might" offset particle dispersion caused by Mg, but further information would be needed to determine how effective it would be.

so what is your suggestion? is there a cheaper alternative to potash out there besides paying an ungodly $45/50 lbs. bag of SOP?

Kiril
02-16-2009, 11:39 AM
so what is your suggestion? is there a cheaper alternative to potash out there besides paying an ungodly $45/50 lbs. bag of SOP?

I can't make a suggestion without more information.

mrkosar
02-16-2009, 01:30 PM
what other information do you need?

PH high
low K
high mag
average calcium

Kiril
02-16-2009, 01:38 PM
soil test results would be a good place to start ... plus a location so you can pull a soil report.

Smallaxe
02-16-2009, 02:40 PM
Does anyone use this to break up high clay soils? I know adding lime to a high PH soil isn't supposed to be done, but I've heard a few people say it really helps break up the soil and doesn't raise the PH anymore than it already is.

Do Cal-Sol gypsum type products do this quicker than calcitic lime?

I know that compost will do a better job, but it is hard to find a supplier in my area, plus i don't have the equipment to put it down at a reasonable price. So I'm looking for an easier to spread alternative that will bust up this clay.

Soils are high in PH, low in K, high in mag, average in calcium if this helps.

I hope this does turn into one of those 'concrete' rants again, but, if you need a 'cheap' way to break up clay then - sand is your cheapest way. I have been playing with sand even more than usual since I first was told it turns a lawn into 'concrete'.

What I find is that sand spread over the top of the clay based lawn works fine and helps the soil the area actually grow a little quicker. Probably by making the surface less hydrophobic and holding the water in place by giving it some room 'in' the soil surface. Maybe...

Compost purchased by the bag at the box store is better than nothing!! and should go down with the sand. Not a big cost. In fact in different places around the country I found that some of the composted and bagged manures are a high percentage of sand.

In reading some of the discussion here it seemed the was a reference to acid being a high pH. I could have misunderstood but, just to clarify that acid is less than 7.0 pH and alkaline is greater than 7.0 pH.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-16-2009, 05:39 PM
i like sand and have had great results with it

Kiril
02-17-2009, 01:32 AM
I hope this does turn into one of those 'concrete' rants again, but, if you need a 'cheap' way to break up clay then - sand is your cheapest way.

Making adobe bricks ... you decide if your soil is susceptible.

http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G-521.pdf

Smallaxe
02-17-2009, 12:57 PM
Making adobe bricks ... you decide if your soil is susceptible.

http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G-521.pdf

Most usable soils contain 3 basic ingredients.
Just keep it out of the ovens. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil#Characteristics
Soil texture refers to sand, silt and clay composition. Sand and silt are the product of physical weathering while soil is the product of chemical weathering. Soil content is influential on soil behavior, affecting the retention capacity for nutrients and water.[17]Sand and silt are the products of physical weathering, while clay is the product of chemical weathering. Clay content is influential on soil behavior because it has retention capacity for nutrients and water. Clay soils resist wind and water erosion better than silty and sandy soils, because the particals are more tightly joined to each other. In medium textured soils, clay often is often translocated downward through the soil profile and accumulates in the subsoil.

muddstopper
02-17-2009, 08:05 PM
Please explain. Consider the following first.

http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/classes/ssc102/Section5.pdf.

The definition of alkalinity for the CO2-water system is:

Alkalinity = [OH-] + [HCO3-] + 2[CO3-2] - [H+]



Once again ... please explain given the following.

General lyotropic series = Al > Ca > Mg > (K = NH4) > Na


I might also point out that ratios mean nothing if your soil does not have sufficient nutrients to support the desired plant growth. Focus less on ratios and more on getting nutrient levels to the range needed to support your plants. Ratios are good for a general assessment of soil status but beyond that ....?

Also .... gypsum is used for sodic soil reclamation and nutrient adjustments, not as a generic "soil buster" or pH reduction as is so commonly thought. This is one of the biggest "myths" of modern day land care. Depending on your specific soil properties, gypsum "might" offset particle dispersion caused by Mg, but further information would be needed to determine how effective it would be.

I went to your site and immediantly got confused. first off. any site that includes chemical equations in their explanations loses me. I dont have a background in chemistry and didnt even take basic chemistry in highschool, so I read the site, but dont know what I read.

it looked to me the site was making references to carbonate and their effect on ph. Which I agree with. My statement about magnesium having 1.67 times the effect of calcium is based on magnesium carbonate verses calcium carbonate. To take this one step farther, calcium oxide or magnesium oxide will not have any immediant effect on ph when applied to the soil, but both will change the ph long term. Anytime you have mositure in the soil you have exchanges being made. Thru these exchanges, the calcium oxide and or magnesium oxide will form bonding with CO2 and other elements to form the carbonates needed to effect the ph. Maybenot overnite, but 1-2 3 years down the road you will see a change in the ph levels. This is how it was explained to me, and I am sure it was dumbed down for my benefit, but I am open to other interpetations.

my suggestion of KSO4 driving down magnesium saturation levels and therefore lowering ph is also based on the same principle of K bonding with CO2 and eventually forming carbonate. Magnesium also has a greater effect on ph than K. Further, KSO4 also contains sulfur in the sulfate form. The sulfur being a anion element will attach to the stronger magnesium cation element and help remove that cation thru leaching. It takes about 3lbs of S to move 1lb of Mg, but that sulfur has to go thru other changes first. SO4 being a sulfate form of sulfur, it will take 9 lbs of SO4 to move 1lb of magnesium. Whenever the saturation of the ph driving element is lowered in the soil, the ph will go down. In this soil, magnesium is high with low calcium and K levels. Magnesium has a greater effect on ph than either Ca or K. Therefore, raiseing the saturation levels of Ca and K will lower the saturation levels of Mg and should lower ph. Again, I am open to your thoughts on this.

Your statement about ratios meaning nothing is only partialy true. You can have a 6:1 Ca/Mg ration with only 6 lbs of Ca and 1lb of Mg and have the desired ratio, but you still wont have enough of either nutrient to feed the plants. Ratios are important, but must be taken in context of having enough of both elements to create a given condition. Just because your ratios are correct doesnt mean you have all the material you need. On this I think we pretty much agree.

Kiril
02-18-2009, 01:46 AM
Just because your ratios are correct doesnt mean you have all the material you need. On this I think we pretty much agree.

That was my point, but it was also my point that ratios only give you a general idea of soil fertility and perhaps structure to some extent, you can't make any concrete decisions based on ratios alone.

I'll see about answering the other stuff tomorrow if I can find a way to present it.