Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by coolbrze, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. coolbrze

    coolbrze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    Just curious if any of you use Solu-Cal or do you use regular Lime? If you use Solu-Cal, what do you think of it?
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    You do not need solu-cal in N.VA. unless you have a manganese deficiency and i'll bet you don't. A bag of minor element's is a whole lot more economical if you do. Solu-cal/calcitic lime is $19 for 50 Lb's. Dolomitic lime - $4.50 for 40 Lb's. around here.
  3. Soil test calls for 50 lb/m of calcuim

    How much calicitic lime do you need to apply?
    How much dolomitic lime do you need to apply?

    Solu Cal is a high calicitic lime. They claim you need only 25% of your ca requirement, but that's false. The solu Cal is reacted with an organic acid, so the Ca breaks down faster, is more readily available to plant, but it's not enough to correct the soil ph for very long.

    Lime applied to the soil takes ~ 1 year to move 3" deep in the soil with normal annuel rainfall of 40" / yr.

    Apply 25% of Ca with solu Cal, and apply the remainder with pellitized lime.
    Great to use when seeding if soil is acid....good time to apply when aerifying, will move thru the soil a little faster

    Never appl;y more than 15-20lbs/m of Ca at one application

    Calicitic lime and dolomitic lime are very different, and seldom can you use either one

    Hope you answer the questions
  4. coolbrze

    coolbrze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    If that's the case, then I'm beginning to question one of the places we shop at, they recommended Solu-Cal 6-12-6 w/ starter fert. for a property we're top-dressing & seeding...
  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,550

    True but 1 bag of sol u cal is equal to 4 bags of dolomitic lime I think. So the difference is only $1 wihich could be made up in labor and micros.

    I assume both work differently but I'm not a scientist and take my lime based on soil test. I would also think sol u cal would be good for maintenance o the pH
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  6. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,704

    Ive used it for a while and have had real good results. Biggest thing is how many bags of regular lime you have to carry, transport and spread versus Solu-Cal. Not to mention the virtually dust free application.

    Obviously, soil test first, but in some areas you can pretty much guess that soil is acidic and know lime hasn't been applied if the customer hasn't had a lawn service and hasn't done it themselves after questioning them.

    Also, I do not think they are "lying" as in the other site member saying what they claim is false.

    Here is their site below, check it out. If you have questions I'd call them directly rather then getting opinion on this site.
  7. Bryn

    Bryn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    I love Solu-Cal, but it is like a drug, once you start using it you cannot stop. It is short lived, and when you read the bag it will tell you about a maintenance plan to follow. I don't fully understand the science, and rely on more educated people to convince me, but it does seem to have an effect on my properties. A sport field, Bermuda grass I know of seemed to fair better than a field that was not treated.

    Not helpful I know, but thought I would offer 2 cents.
  8. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    I think a lot of people don't understand pH adjustments very well. Liming materials are ranked by how they stack up against calcitic limestone (CaCO3) for neutralizing power (called the calcium carbonate equivalent, or CCE). Solu-Cal, being mostly but not totally CaCO3, has a CCE just under 100%. But, it's the second-to-last when it comes to liming materials and their CCE. Quicklime (179% CCE), slaked lime (136% CCE), and dolomitic lime (115% CCE) are all more effective at neutralizing acidity than calcitic lime. This doesn't necessarily mean that one is better than the other. But, it does mean that more calcitic limestone is needed to neutralize a particular amount of acidity than dolomitic limestone.

    Don't forget, also, that product fineness has a huge impact on this. Finer particles change pH more quickly than larger particles. So, if the paticles are all the same size, it will take less dolomitic lime to neutralize your pH than calcitic lime.

    For this (and other reasons), I won't buy Solu-Cal.
  9. See post 3

    Solu Cal enhanced calicitic lime......38% ca and .4% mg
    regular calicitic lime ~............ ~32% ca and 2% mg

    Solu cal Mag.................................10%mg and 21% ca
    regular dolomitic lime................ ~ 12% mg and 20% ca

    Now appears you will need the same amount of dolomitic lime or solu cal mg, BUT if you use enhanced solu cal calicitic lime, you could cut the rate by ~ 18%

    Real value of the solucal products, they react with the soil very quickly and can help you get the turf thru a stress period. Their products are expense to use to correct the soil ph!

    Never inter change calicitic for dolomitic or vise versa! Excess mg, make soil like concrete

    Never lime with out quality soil test!

    Labs assume that soil test are taken at a 6" depth, so if your depth is different.......make sure lab is aware!

    80% of cool season turf roots are in the top 3" of soil profile! I only test to a depth of 3"

    Accept this info or consider it Bs...your decision
  10. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,704

    Here is some information that really explains it in good detail. For those that are interested.

    Attached Files:

    • Lime.pdf
      File size:
      66.6 KB

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