Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between MK Hi Cal Pelletized Lime and Pelletized Gypsum?
Hi Calcium pelletized lime is high in calcium and is in the form of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). As calcium carbonate it has a pH of approximately 8.2 and will assist in correcting acid (low pH) soils. It contains at least 30% Calcium and less than 1% Magnesium. Low pH soils generally are low in calcium and the Hi Calcium lime is the quickest way to get calcium into the soil (soil solution).Pelletized Gypsum is Calcium Sulfate (CaSO4). It contains a minimum of 20% Calcium and 16% sulfate. Its ph is neutral (7.0). It provides solutions for many soil situations that need corrected. Soils that are “tight” do not allow water and oxygen to move down through the soil. Gypsum will work to correct that issue. In addition gypsum will alleviate high salt content in soils. Many soils are low in sulfur and gypsum provides 16 lb. of sulfate for every 100 pounds applied. Therefore, gypsum is used in many situations in which calcium and sulfate are needed to solve soil deficiencies.
What is Dolomitic Lime?
Why do you need to apply significantly less pelletized lime and gypsum compared to ag lime or gypsum?
The key to all micronutrients is fineness. Finer particles create more surface are to deliver more of the micronutrient to the soil. MK pulverizes all products to a very fine powder (72% passing through a 200 mesh screen) before pelletizing. We then process into a granule in order to facilitate handling and application. Once it is applied it returns very quickly to the powder state and moves into the soil.
Because of the fineness of the product compared to ag lime or gypsum product is the reason you can apply significantly less (10-15% of what you would apply for ag lime or gypsum).
Are we trying to change pH or provide the proper nutrients?
This is really a key question in understanding calcium and other micronutrients. pH is a measurement of the acidity of a soil. 7.0 is considered a neutral pH. In general, soils that have a low pH ( below 7) are low in either calcium or magnesium. Most soils are low in calcium if the pH is low. Some believe that the answer is to attempt to change the pH of soil on a long term basis. But soils that have a low pH (Below 5.5) are difficult to correct for the long-term as rainfall tends to reduce calcium levels in the long-term. In additions, soils with high levels of organic matter (which is a very positive trait) also tend have a lower pH.
The point of this discussion is to point out managing micronutrients is similar to managing the macronutrients. The best results occur by providing the proper nutrients to the soils when they are needed. If the soil is low in calcium, give it calcium. If low in magnesium, apply magnesium. If low in sulfur, then sulfur (sulfate) should be applied.
Rather than trying to change the long-term pH level it may be more important to ensure the plants has the correct amount of micronutrients that are needed.
Is it ok to put MK products on trees?
Will MK Pelletized Lime or Gypsum “burn” my grass if I put on too much?
Do I need to work it in after applying?
No. MK Pelletized products do not need to be “worked in”. With any type of moisture, the granules will break down and the pulverized powder will begin moving through the top 4 inches of the soil (that is the soil region that is low in micronutrients).
Any tillage should be done prior to application. If tillage is done after application, it should be a very light tillage as you do not want to push the product deep into the soil as we are working on the top 4-6 inches of the soil for the most benefit.
Do I need to water it in?
Does gypsum improve pet urine spots in my lawn?
What should my spread setting be for my lawn application?
What is the sizing of the different granules? Does the size impact the effectiveness?
What is the approximate bulk density of the different product?
Gypsum 64 lbs/ cubic ft
Dolomitic Lime 68 lbs/ cubic ft