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Solu-Cal vs: Pelletized Lime

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by garydale, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Does anyone have any input on Solu-Cal in leau of using Pelletized line.
    Literature says you use only 25% as much for the same results.
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    No personal experience, a local supplier really talked it up earlier this Spring. More or less, it's 4x's the price, but you use 4x's less product. The 4x's less product right there saves you time (loading bags) especially on larger lawns.

    I'll likely look into it for my premium lawns this fall.
  3. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    It's a very good product that will raise the PH level within the soil much quicker than Dolomitic Limestone. To raise the PH level 1 full point, you need to apply it at a rate of 12 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. At that rate, a 50 lb bag will net you a little over 4,000 sq. ft.
  4. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    What is the max per application of the solu-cal? I know that dolomitic can only be put down at 50lbs per 1,000 any more does not do any further good. Is that true with solu-cal does the 12 lbs rate mentioned above max out the per app rate?
  5. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Here's some infomation on Solu-Cal. This information comes from R.F. Morse or West Wareham, Massachusetts. They are now a Certified John Deere Dealership and work in conjunction with John Deere Landscapes. We carry it at our John Deere location.

    What lime does for topsoil, gypsum does for the subsoil-exchanging calcium for aluminum to form a negatively charged hydroxy anion. The resulting salt can be leached out of the soil solution.

    If you have pH problems, you can apply lime or gypsum, depending on where the problem lies. Then just sit back and wait. And wait. And wait.

    If you're a bit impatient for all that, apply Solu-Cal or Solu-Cal S, the two basic products that are represented for the Massachusetts-based R. F. Morse & Son.

    Lime is a pretty inefficient approach, but Solu-Cal, can change the pH in as little as two weeks. Calcium carbonate and calcium oxide-forms of calcium that are insoluble-make up our product as they make up lime, only we have added an organic acid. We have made an insoluble nutrient soluble. It's working, it's very fast.

    How fast? Superintendents are seeing results within two weeks.

    Maybe it's greenup, maybe it's a fertilizer application they made recently that is being utilized better. The reason is that in both Solu-Cal and Solu-Cal S they're getting available calcium that the plant hasn't necessarily gotten in the past through the use of other forms of calcium. The plant never showed them what was happening because it was taking so long to happen. There is nothing magical about it - it's calcium. But it's calcium that is readily available to the plant.

    The products are granular, and do have competitors on the market. Those rivals are expensive and not very effective. Don't be fooled.

    Solu-Cal, a calcidic lime, is four times more effective than regular lime. If a superintendent is told to use a ton of lime per acre, he can do the same thing with 500 pounds of Solu-Cal. There are labor savings, storage savings, fewer empty bags to fool with, fewer refills.

    It's not going to save anything budget-wise, since it's more expensive per bag-but you use less, and it balances out.

    Solu-Cal S is calcium sulfate, the same as gypsum. It is also four times as effective. It's extremely good at reducing high levels of magnesium and sodium, in reducing compaction. Compaction is one of a superintendent's biggest enemies. Solu-Cal S will also give very available calcium to the plant without affecting pH.

    There is also competition from liquid, sprayable calcium. Many superintendents are abandoning those products.

    Feeding the soil is a more efficient way of entering calcium into the plant than spraying it; that's what we're hearing from superintendents all over the Southeast. The efficiency of our products is certainly there, and superintendents are getting results that they can live with.

    In today's management strategies, calcium is seen as being more and more important. Having a very efficient way to get it is what we are all about.

    Careful reading and evaluation of soil tests is critical in deciding whether calcium can help solve problems on greens, tees and fairways.


    To maintain optimum growing conditions, apply five pounds of Solu-Cal per 1,000 square feet, or 200 pounds per acre once or twice a year. To adjust pH, apply 12 pounds per 1,000 square feet, or 500 pounds per acre once or twice a year.

    With Solu-Cal S, apply five pounds per 1,000 square feet or 200 pounds per acre to maintain optimum growing conditions. Do this once or twice a year. The rates to correct high sodium or magnesium levels are 12 pounds per 1,000 or 500 pounds per acre--again, applied once or twice annually.

    R. F. Morse & Son, Inc., also make two subsidiary products: Solu-Cal S with potassium nitrate and K-Cal, which is Solu-Cal with sulfate of potash. David Brown, superintendent at Cross Creek Plantation near Seneca, S.C., tried the former.

    I have been looking for a potassium nitrate product for a long time, he notes, and we just put some of this material down after aerating our bentgrass greens. After just a few days, I can see a difference. Solu-Cal S flushes the salts out, and I think it just makes everything else that we've put down work a little better. We have been under a lot of weather stress here lately, he said near the end of a hot, humid August, but the greens really seem to be bouncing back after the treatment.
  6. group501

    group501 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    We have been using Solu-cal for the last 5 years and are very happy with it. We sell it as a renewable service and apply the maintenance rate of 5# per 1000. This has proven to be a nice profit center for our business and has provided a noticeable difference on our customers lawns.

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I was also told that the Solu-Cal takes MUCH less water for it to activate.

    I had GREAT success on the lawns I did last fall, even with the drought. It was the first year I did an analysis on each one and followed the recommendations. NEVER had the success whether on a pay yard or my own that I did last fall/ this Spring.
  8. TurfBusiness

    TurfBusiness LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I have used soil applied liquid calcium product at a site with an ESP of 24. After 3 apps. in 3 months it dropped to 14. This site had heavy clay and a high CEC. I was very happy with the sodium reduction.
  9. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Thanks guys, great feedback as always.
  10. Bryn

    Bryn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    I'm taking a look at this product, and was wondering if there are any more users, opinions, or results to share.

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