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Gypsum is gypsum . . . right? Wrong.

  Gypsum is gypsum…right? Wrong. Gypsum is just gypsum and any will do, right? Wrong! Just like any product in the marketplace, there are high quality and low quality gypsum's and the adage of you get what you pay for is absolutely true. Gypsum is a very misunderstood amendment; most people don’t understand the value. Before I talk about how the quality of gypsum can affect its effectiveness, let me give you a general overview of the material. Gypsum comes in two different forms, both of which can be used in the turf industry. The first is calcium sulfate anhydrite and the second is calcium sulfate dihydrate. As you can read, both forms have both calcium and sulfur as part of the elemental make-up. The difference between the two, however, is directly tied to its effectiveness and that difference is water! The second form, calcium sulfate dehydrate, has 2 additional…



Do you know where your lime and gypsum come from?

There are a lot of companies that claim to have the best product on the market but can those companies stand behind that product 100% without being the manufacturer? We can say without a doubt our products are the best. Calcium Products, Inc., takes pride in the fact that our products are milled, formulated, bagged and distributed, by us, to all points across the U.S.  and Canada. In addition to the Calcium Products bags, look for our product next year in a new line of products for homeowners, Pure Elements. If you want to make sure you are getting the best, look for the name Calcium Products or Pure Elements on the bag. Calcium Products has the purest, cleanest, fastest-acting, most efficient limestone and gypsum on the  market today. If anyone tells you their product is better, ask them where they source their materials.  

What are the two types of gypsum; which to choose?

When choosing gypsum it has to be a calcium sulfate di-hydrate (CaSO4*2H2O). This form of gypsum is by far the most soluble form available. Let’s take a second to review the two major forms of gypsum in the marketplace today in lawn care. The first form is what I mentioned above, calcium sulfate di-hydrate (CaSO4*2H20) and the second form is simply calcium sulfate (anhydrite) (CaSO4). You’re probably thinking, ‘what’s the big deal, gypsum is gypsum and after all it’s only a commodity.’ But there actually is a huge difference. One is very fast acting and extremely water-soluble; the other is not. The di-hydrate form is what you need to look for. This type of gypsum is already infused with two extra molecules of water making it easier to break down.  This makes the nutrients available to the plant as soon as it dissolves into solution; with some brands that’s only…

An update on the Iowa State University recreational soccer project

In the fall of 2012, I was still working part time with Iowa State and the newly seeded athletic fields built the previous year were in need of attention for weak, spotty growth. Dr. Dave Minner, myself, and Brent Cunningham (of rec services at ISU) all went over what took place during field construction (an outside contractor built the fields) to try and determine why the newly seeded grass wasn’t growing like it should. The one thing that stuck out to us was the use of compost from the ISU dairy farms that hadn’t been tested prior to application. Using compost is a great way to build soil structure and organic matter, however, if it isn’t completely composted, it can contain high levels of soluble salts harmful to turfgrass growth. We took a handful of soil samples and sure enough, there were high levels of K, Mg and Na, some…

Turfgrass seed head production

The time of year is upon us when your turf starts to take on a brownish cast due to seed head production. The driving purpose of most plants is to perpetuate their species by reproduction and each year, grasses will attempt to put out a seed head for just that purpose. Why does turf look so brown and straw-like during seed head production? Because the plant is reallocating resources toward reproduction and taking a large majority of the carbohydrates  normally put toward shoot and root growth away. Also, seed head stalks have a completely different texture than the leaf blades you normally mow, which is what results in that straw-like, brownish-tan appearance. In the upper midwest, we are already mostly past the time for Kentucky bluegrass to produce seed heads, but the ryegrass period is upon us now in most areas or just around the corner. Perennial ryegrass has much…


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