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Which lime-based fertilizer is suitable for me? 

Written by Han van der Kooij | Last update: 15-01-2020 

Calcium (Ca), or lime, is an important part of the fertilization schedule in greenhouse horticulture. The application of lime is often not optimal. It can be improved. For this, it is important to know which types of lime-based fertilizers are available on the market. In addition, it must also be clear which types are best suited in which situation. Our fertilizer specialist explains more about this in this article. 

Why lime? 

Lime-based fertilizers containing calcium are used by plants as a building block for cell walls and cell membranes. In addition many lime-based fertilizers are used to improve the soil structure (and ultimately soil life). Lime-based fertilizers are also a very good solution for soils with a too low pH, which can be negatively influenced by nitrogen and phosphate. At a too low pH level, the absorption of nitrogen and phosphorus decreases. By using lime, the same effect is achieved, but without negative influences.
But which type of lime-based fertilizer is the most suitable? Many different types of lime-based fertilizers are available, each with different properties.

Types of lime

The different types of lime-based fertilizers that are available ensure that there is always a right solution for every crop and situation. For example, the speed at which a lime-based fertilizer takes effect is important. This is partly due to:

  • Fineness
    Powdered fertilizers are more likely to work than granular fertilizers because they can be absorbed immediately. When lime is used for maintenance of the property, the grain shape is advised. For continued maintenance, on the other hand, powdered lime is recommended.

  • Moisture content
    A dry fertilizer has a more rapid result than a moist fertilizer.
    A moist fertilizer rinses more easily than a dry fertilizer.

  • Magnesium content
    A lower magnesium content is preferred as it allows a more rapid result. Therefore, if quick corrections are needed, it is recommended to use a low-magnesium lime-based fertilizer.

 Dologran - Works slower
- Contains MgO
 Fixed  Bags
 Dolokal  - Works slower
- Contains
 MgO (15%)

 Large quantities
 Magkal- Fineness
- Contains MgO (17%)
   Large quantities
 Vitakal   - Does not contain MgO    Large quantities
 Citrix  - Based on plaster
 - Suitable at high pH in the soil
 (plaster doesnot affect pH)
   Large quantities

Neutralizing Value (NV)

Lime-based fertilizers are often used in agriculture to prevent acidification of the soil. In order to compare the extent to which different lime-based fertilizers neutralize the soil, a fixed measure is used: the neutralizing value (NV).

The neutralizing value is shown by weight and is the number of ml of 0.357 M hydrochloric acid (HCl) neutralized by 1 gram of lime-based fertilizer. To find out how much product is needed, a soil recommendation will be issued in which an NV value is drawn up. The dosage can then be determined on the basis of this value.

The choice of a suitable lime-based fertilizer also strongly depends on the NV value. The lime-based fertilizers to be obtained are very different from NV. This value can be calculated as follows:

(CaCO3 content * 0.56) + (MgCO3 content * 0.67) or (CaO content * 1) + (MgO content * 1.4)

One NW equals 1 kg CaO.

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More information about the right lime fertilizers 

Do you have questions about choosing the right lime fertilizer or would you like personal advice? Then please contact crop care specialist Han van der Kooij using the form below. You will receive a response as soon as possible, on weekdays even within 24 hours.

Han van der KooijAbout Han van der Kooij

Han van der Kooij, fertiliser product specialist at Royal Brinkman, understands the customer like no one else. After being a grower himself, for 26 years, he knows the ropes and is aware of what is involved in being a grower. Converting his own knowledge and experience into recommendations that are useful to growers, is what he likes best about his job. "Finding that this leads to good results, makes me quite satisfied."

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