Questions about limestone (calcium carbonate), magnesium & gypsum (sulfur).
Limestone (Calcium carbonate)
Why must I supply calcium to my birds, chooks, horses etc? (A) Calcium is critical for healthy teeth and bones in animals and for bird bones and egg shells.
Where can I get calcium or magnesium? (A)Pelletized Lime or Pelletized MagLime are inexpensive sources of calcium or magnesium which can be purchased from Ace Minerals.
Why is limestone essential for soil? (A) Limestone is a source of calcium which is an essential plant nutrient & has many roles including fixing acid soil & increasing soil pH, assisting the uptake of other nutrients, promotes proper plant cell elongation, strengthens cell wall structure – calcium is an essential part of plant cell wall, forms calcium pectate compounds which give stability to cell walls and bind cells together, helps in protecting the plant against heat stress, helps in protecting the plant against diseases – numerous fungi and bacteria secrete enzymes which impair plant cell wall & affects fruit quality.
Why increase pH in low pH soils?(A) To improve the availability of key nutrients including phosphorus and sulfur, to enhance biological activity (including earthworm, bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi) and to reduce aluminium toxicity which can restrict root development, all of which leads to healthier plant growth.
What is pH? (A) pH is the measure of hydrogen in the soil, it stands for potential Hydrogen. The pH test only measures hydrogen, not calcium!
Why is particle size important?(A) To benefit soil the product must break down and release the calcium, carbonate and other benefits into soil solution. Larger particles remain in the soil for much longer periods and are of no agronomic benefit. The ultra-fine particles in our product increases surface area and significantly improves availability to the soil and therefore gives you quicker results.
What is the benefit of using pelletized products? (A) (i) Spreading finely ground minerals has always been a problem. We provide a solution by forming ultra–fine powder into a pellet that is both convenient to apply and breaks down easily.(ii) You save money and reduce vehicular soil damage by blending our Pelletized products with compatible fertilizer and doing one spreading run.(iii) The ultra-fine particles will “fix” your soil more quickly and return your land to full productivity earlier, for your financial and aesthetic benefit.
What is limestone? (A) There are two types of limestone. (i) Calcitic, which is CaCO3 (ii) Dolomitic, which is MgCO3. The magnesium is the difference in the two types. Dolomitic lime is very insoluble and takes a much longer time to work. It should only be considered on extremely acid soils or soils low in magnesium.
Is calcium the same as lime? (A) Calcium is only part of the formula for calcium carbonate (limestone) and the carbonate is the active part in the reaction that neutralizes the acid (low pH) found in soils. Calcium is left behind in the pH reaction and will seek out and attach to sites on organic and clay particulate in the soil, being available for plant growth needs.
How does your Pelletized Lime work? (A) The Pelletized Lime is made from finely ground, very pure limestone or calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate will react in the soil to remove hydrogen from soil particles. The reaction creates water, carbon dioxide and calcium.
Can I apply Pelletized Lime myself? (A) Pelletized products can be applied by most normal fertilizer equipment for large jobs or by hand in smaller applications; The pellets range in size between 1mm and 3mm.
How do I know if my soil needs Gypsum? (A) Some indicators that gypsum is possibly needed are: poor plant performance; soil which is hard when dry; soil with a surface crust; soil is sticky after light rainfall; soil is difficult to cultivate because it is too wet or hard, soil has high water run-off and low infiltration; puddles of water have a milky appearance from suspended clay. Some simple field tests to determine if you need gypsum are available at the following website: http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_92439.html
How can I treat soil which is cracked when dry? (A) A soil test will determine if this is caused by salt or an imbalance of calcium and magnesium, and if so, a regular application of our Pelletized Gypsum should alleviate the problem.
Can I use your Pelletized Gypsum as a sulfur source? (A) Our Pelletized Gypsum or powder gypsum is an ideal source of sulfur as it is in sulfate form which plants can use and is available to them immediately.
How often should I apply your Pelletized Gypsum? (A) You can apply it regularly until the problems you are trying to alleviate are solved. Give each dose around one month to fully react. Once your problem has been resolved it can be reduced in frequency or quantity depending on the problems you are addressing.