Calcium assists in turf survival during more stressful periods of time. Its nutrient carrying capabilities within the turfgrass are critical. Its responsibility within the soil is major. Then why do we not see it added to fertility programs more ? Lets go over some of the major proven facts of Calcium:
a.) Calcium Improves Soil Structure in heavy clay soils; Calcium is used to flocculate the clays in the soil. Flocculation is the process where smaller clay particles are broken up and then held together in fewer but larger particles. These particles allow more air space between them which means more air and water movement down through the root system. Better infiltration and conductivity results in less water on the surface which may help minimize algae problems.
b.) Calcium Helps plants absorb Nutrients better. In a simplified manner, Calcium is a nutrient carrier in both the soil and the turfgrass tissue. In the soil it helps control the water movement and conductivity which means it can deliver more nutrients from the soil solution. In the turfgrass, calcium helps regulate water and nutrient uptake by the roots and the movement throughout the plant. Calcium aids cell division and cell wall formation and is critical for respiration during high heat and humidity periods. A large Calcium deficiency within the turfgrass could result in poor root development and little response to nitrogen or iron applications. Also, high nitrogen applications in the spring or fall can lead to wilt if the calcium within the turfgrass is below its target range.
c.) Calcium Helps bind organic matter to Clay. The value of organics is increased when Calcium levels in the soil are correct. Microbial populations favor a correct Ca: Mg ratio (1). Imbalances of Calcium and Magnesium can permit organic residues to decay into alcohol, a sterilant to bacteria, and also into formaldehyde, a preservative of cell tissue. In soil tests, this is exactly what is happening when we see high levels of organics and low levels ofavailable Calcium. A minimal response to organic fertilizer inputs can be seen in these situations.
d.) Calcium can decrease the Sodium content in the soil. Because Calcium is divalent (double positive charge), and atomic weight of the Calcium molecule being 40 and sodium being 23 with a single charge, sodium can be replaced on the soil colloid by Calcium. The sodium is then ionized in the soil solution, which then can be flushed.
Calcium has been building and strengthening our bones for many years, now try it on your turfgrass, it will like it, and in return strengthen you.
CALCIUM - THE FEATURES & BENEFITS
WHY CALCIUM IS IMPORTANT FOR TURFGRASSES?
Used for Sodium Abatement, Magnesium Reduction, and Aerating High CEC (tight) Soils. At the end of the day all nutrients are of importance and that is why we belive in balanced turf nutrition.
CALCIUM IN THE SOIL:
Primary nutrient in maintaining proper soil pH
Improves soil texture
Reduces soil compaction
Creates better environment for the proliferation of beneficial bacteria
Possible links to weed suppression
CALCIUM IN THE PLANT:
Vital constituent of cell walls within the plant
Strong cell walls significantly reduce disease and insect pressures and outbreaks
Enhances cell tissue strength for greater resistance to heat and traffic stress
Increases the availability of N-P-K and other vital micro nutrients
Used more by weight and volume than any other nutrient
Ca2+ is the most dominant cation in the soil
Should occupy 62-70%of the negatively charged sites of soil particles
Significant in building Brix in the plant
Influences 7 other nutrients in a positive way
Manganese (Mn), Potassium (K), Iron (Fe), Phosphate (P), Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), Magnesium (Mg)
INFLUENCING SOIL PH
Soil pH becomes self-adjusting when Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium are in proper equilibrium (pH is the result not the cause of nutrient interaction in the soil)
Calcium tends to flocculate and help form stable aggregates which leads to good pore space for roots and microbes.
Calcium is a component of every living cell
Involved in cell elongation and division
Calcium is the main constituent of all cell walls and membranes, hence essential for :
protection against insects; and