Anyone who has spent some time with me is quite aware of the importance I place on available calcium at a critical piece of growing top quality and top yielding crops. Calcium is key to strong cell wall development and cellular “signalling” (i.e. communication). The historical influence of William Albrecht and the impact calcium:magnesium ratios play in soil flocculation (i.e. better oxygen availability for microbes on tight or heavy soils) has kept my attention tuned into calcium for the better part of the past decade. On soils which have been historically treated with dolomitic limestone the magnesium levels often go beyond adequate. True a bit of extra magnesium will help hold some moisture in the soil on light, sandy soils – but I think the drawbacks of excessive magnesium as it relates to nitrogen utilization are worth keeping in mind.
I have been impacted by the work of the late Carey Reams, a controversial agronomist and “healer” – who labeled calcium the “King of Nutrients”. Reams included an emphasis on calcium(s) in his fertility recommendations – not just a single source/type of calcium – I do know a number of growers who have worked with the Reams targets of available calcium and achieved good results. Read more →