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?

Dolomitic Lime is Calcium Magnesium Carbonate (CaMgCO3). Similar to High Cal Lime in terms of pH, but it contains much less calcium (minimum 16%) and much more magnesium (minimum 10%). This is a solution for soils that have a low pH and are low in magnesium. Therefore, they need calcium and magnesium.

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?

Yes, micronutrients are important to trees also. Although deep rooted trees many times reach deep enough to get to the micronutrients if they are deficient in the top six inches of soil, but applying to trees will beneficial and will certainly not hurt tree health and growth.

Will MK Pelletized Lime or Gypsum “burn” my grass if I put on too much?

No, our products will not burn grass or any other plants if you apply too much. The only issue in applying too much is that you spent more money for the product than you needed to spend if you apply too much. But the calcium and the other micronutrients will be in the soil for use when it is needed.

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?

There is nothing wrong with watering the product after application. But if there is already moisture in the ground, the product will breakdown without any additional water. Watering just speeds up the process of breaking down the granule and returning it to the finely ground powder.

Does gypsum improve pet urine spots in my lawn?

Yes. Urines spot are generally caused by high salt content. Applying gypsum to the spots will decrease the salt and return the grass to a green color.

What should my spread setting be for my lawn application?

Go to the SPREADER SETTINGS section of the website.

What is the sizing of the different granules? Does the size impact the effectiveness?

The SGN size of each product (ag, fairway, and greens) is listed on EDUCATION page. The effectiveness of each product does not change because the size of the granule changes. All sizes of granules have the same level of effectiveness.

What is the approximate bulk density of the different product?

Hi Cal Lime             68 lbs/ cubic ft
Gypsum                   64 lbs/ cubic ft
Dolomitic Lime     68 lbs/ cubic ft

Can MK products be blended with other fertilizer products and be spread at the same time?

Yes. They are designed to blend and spread with other fertilizer products if that is desired.