Author Topic: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals  (Read 511 times)

Plantinyum

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Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« on: August 02, 2022, 12:58:49 AM »
I recently had a deficiency on a banana in my gh, one member of the forum suggested me to use calcium carbonate and borax and after i added those two the new leaf of the plant has no defformation.
Now since i have around 3 kilos of calcium carbonate i wonder if i should use it on all of my tropicals in the gh/ fruit plants.
I am planning on removing the mulch ,adding the calcium along with a granular npk fert and placing the mulch back.
Are there any risks to adding calcium carbonate to the soil? How much sould i use, like per square meter if theres such a reccomandation ?
Thank you, have a nice day !

pagnr

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2022, 01:39:24 AM »
Calcium carbonate is basically limestone dust, the most common source.
In horticulture it would be used to supply Calcium and increase the pH of soils or pot mix. i.e. to pH balance acid bog peat in pot mix.
Generally the finer the powder, the more pH reactive it is.
Not sure I would be rushing in to apply it to tropicals, unless your pot mix is low pH.
I think many species prefer neutral to slightly acid soil.
There are other Calcium sources that don't alter pH as easily.

Plantinyum

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2022, 04:34:55 AM »
Calcium carbonate is basically limestone dust, the most common source.
In horticulture it would be used to supply Calcium and increase the pH of soils or pot mix. i.e. to pH balance acid bog peat in pot mix.
Generally the finer the powder, the more pH reactive it is.
Not sure I would be rushing in to apply it to tropicals, unless your pot mix is low pH.
I think many species prefer neutral to slightly acid soil.
There are other Calcium sources that don't alter pH as easily.
Thanks, were talking about plants grown directly into the ground, no pots. Ok i think i have to test my soil firts to see what ph it is, i have the ph strips and a ph meter that will be using and will compare the results  .....

Plantinyum

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2022, 06:11:06 AM »
A am also interested in gipsum, what tipe of gipsum is generally used? Does the builders gipsum, the one that combined with water hardens up, can be used for amending?

skhan

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2022, 08:09:09 AM »
As mentioned above, I would be careful about not overdoing it.
Parts of South Florida soil are made up primarily of calcium carbonate and we have a hard time growing some of the rarer tropical trees.
From my exp Abiu, Starapple, many Eugenias, Plinias and Myrciaria don't like it here without constant sulfur applications
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Finca La Isla

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2022, 09:26:57 AM »
I think south Florida is the exception. It seems that most tropical soils are very acidic and, depending on the specie, it is common to add C. My soil has a ph of 6.1 and I still add calcium in the case of avocados and durian, for instance.
I do consultations in other regions and I commonly find ph of 4.5-5.5. In this case the quantity of tropical trees that would do better with calcium applications is much greater. There’s a lot of calcium applied in CR.
Peter

pagnr

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2022, 05:54:18 PM »
I am also interested in gypsum, what tipe of gypsum is generally used? Does the builders gypsum, the one that combined with water hardens up, can be used for amending?

Gypsum is Calcium Sulphate, It can be used to supply Ca and S. It is useful as a non lime form of Ca. i.e. not Limestone or Dolomite Lime.
Gypsum will not push up the pH like lime because the Sulphur balances the Ca. In pot mixes up to about 1 kg of Gypsum per cubic metre will not alter pH.
The finer the gypsum particles the greater the reaction. Coarse Gypsum particles act as slow release. Fine powder will be used faster.
You can even bust up Gypsum based building plasterboard for a source.
Natural Gypsum is mined from deposits.
Phosphogypsum is a byproduct of Superphosphate, which is derived from phosphate rock. It can contain heavy metals etc.

When I first started investigating pot mix fertilisers, I often over did amendments. That includes an episode of top dressing Citrus rootstock pots with a good handful of coarse,  "slow release" Gypsum. Over time it severely set them back. The rate was too much, and burnt the roots.
Now I would calculate the amount to apply based on the size of the pots.

Plantinyum

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2022, 09:55:53 AM »
Thanks for all the comments to all of you!!




I am also interested in gypsum, what tipe of gypsum is generally used? Does the builders gypsum, the one that combined with water hardens up, can be used for amending?

Gypsum is Calcium Sulphate, It can be used to supply Ca and S. It is useful as a non lime form of Ca. i.e. not Limestone or Dolomite Lime.
Gypsum will not push up the pH like lime because the Sulphur balances the Ca. In pot mixes up to about 1 kg of Gypsum per cubic metre will not alter pH.
The finer the gypsum particles the greater the reaction. Coarse Gypsum particles act as slow release. Fine powder will be used faster.
You can even bust up Gypsum based building plasterboard for a source.
Natural Gypsum is mined from deposits.
Phosphogypsum is a byproduct of Superphosphate, which is derived from phosphate rock. It can contain heavy metals etc.

When I first started investigating pot mix fertilisers, I often over did amendments. That includes an episode of top dressing Citrus rootstock pots with a good handful of coarse,  "slow release" Gypsum. Over time it severely set them back. The rate was too much, and burnt the roots.
Now I would calculate the amount to apply based on the size of the pots.

so i should rather not use the building one then , i will look for a garden friendly gipsum .
So gipsum is highly priced by citrus? I am having some problems with citrus and i think i may have a too acidic soil....citrus NEVER do well for me !

Plantinyum

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2022, 05:25:36 PM »
Well i did a test of the soil in the greenhouse, i took samples from 2 spots in there, at both ends length-wise. I took 3 samples per spot, one from the top soil, one 15-20 cm down and one at 30 cm down.
I used a non fancy ph meter and ph test trips, all of the readings were pretty close to each other , from around 5 to around 6. Due to the remote difference between the colors of the ph strips i couldnt differenciate the results between 5 and 6 ph. I had some readings on the ph meter that were 5.50 so i just take it as just between 5 and 6 for the strips.
I will share the results only on the ph meter, as it clearly showed some ph change as i was testing the samples. The strips being hard to read due to the closeness of the readings did have a colour closer to the 5 ph.
Results with ph meter -
- The top soil on both samples was like 5-10 points below 5, but i take it as a 5 anyway.
- the 15 cm probes showed a ph of 5.60 / 5 and a half...
- the 30 cm ones showed a result of 5.80.
I' m sure that deaper where my soil was not ammended prior to planting, the ph is probably more like a 7, deaper the soil is clay like.
So if i can count not on a 100%  on those radings, they clearly show that the soil gets more alkaline with depth, whereas at the top due to the mulch it is more acidic.
So i would say i have an average ph of arround 6...i wont add the calcium carbonate for now, i will look into other alternatives ....

1rainman

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2022, 09:14:00 PM »
Here in south Florida we have sand with lots of shells for soil
 High calcium. Citrus love calcium as do bananas. You can just crush up a centrum multi vitamin and add to water for micronutrients. Humans and plants mostly use the same micronutrients it isn't enough to overdose them. But near impossible to over fertilize bananas and citrus also will eat up a lot of calcium. Palms, cactus, pineapples also love Florida sand.

Most normal plants hate it. Virtually everything else. Mostly high ph and lack of nutrients other than calcium more of a problem than the calcium itself. But in low doses this sand and shells improves soil for most plants.

Calcium bicarbonate is what shells are made out of or something close maybe it dissolves into that. Lime is just lime I don't think it has calcium in it. Maybe I'm wrong. But calcium does make alkaline soil. Sand is neutral ph. Pine needles are extremely acidic and we have a lot of pine. So Florida soil is usually slightly acidic to slightly alkaline though can be fairly acidic or high alkaline in some areas.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2022, 09:18:32 PM by 1rainman »

Plantinyum

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2022, 01:49:54 AM »
1rainman, thanks for the information, i will add some of the calcium only to the citrus i have, hopefully this improves things . I started collecting egg shells and will be crushing them and adding to the calcium lovers.
That's a interesting idea with the multivitamin , have u used it this way and how many tablets per liter of water ?

pagnr

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2022, 02:53:27 AM »
pH meters from hardware shops are often inaccurate.
One way to check is fill 5 glasses with water, and check if it gives different readings between them.
You could also check the pH of vinegar, should be acid.
Then diluted vinegar, should be higher than pure vinegar.
Then test the pH of beer.
It won't help your meter testing, but it will be a shame not to drink it and waste it.
If your readings are all over the place, the meter is inaccurate.
If it can tell the difference between vinegar and water, you can work out if it is calibrated.
There can be problems with the probe, i.e. wet soil/dry soil and soft soil/hard soil giving variable readings.

Plantinyum

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Re: Calcium carbonate use for tropicals
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2022, 04:14:42 AM »
pH meters from hardware shops are often inaccurate.
One way to check is fill 5 glasses with water, and check if it gives different readings between them.
You could also check the pH of vinegar, should be acid.
Then diluted vinegar, should be higher than pure vinegar.
Then test the pH of beer.
It won't help your meter testing, but it will be a shame not to drink it and waste it.

If your readings are all over the place, the meter is inaccurate.
If it can tell the difference between vinegar and water, you can work out if it is calibrated.
There can be problems with the probe, i.e. wet soil/dry soil and soft soil/hard soil giving variable readings.
Ive tested the same device before on lemons, vinegar and some other stuffs , i callibrated it back then as it had a slight inaccuracy.  Before i tested the soil probes i tested the purified water and it showed 6.40 . Dunno if purified water and distilled water are the same thought, distilled is said to be around 7. Then i tested store bought water with a ph of about 7 and it had a verry slight innacuracy, same with the tomato i tested, theire said to be with a ph of 4, it showed 4.04.
I also wanted to test vinegar and beer,but we have only homemade vinegar and i didnt had a beer available atm. 😀

 

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