Are clay or hardpan problems in your garden?
Gypsum may be just the answer to help break -up and loosen the soil structure. It's not a miracle and it doesn't work over-night, but a three-year program of yearly applications should help improve poor soil conditions. It's easy to apply and relatively inexpensive for the job it does.
One of the biggest problems a home gardener faces in a new or established garden is a clay or hardpan type of soil. Poor drainage, soggy soil, and soil compaction are just a few of the conditions that clay or hardpan soils create.
It should be noted that Gypsum does not contain any major plant nutrients, so it will still be necessary to continue a regular fertilizing program. Plus, you should continue to add organic humus in new areas, as you plant. Gypsum does contain calcium and sulfur, which are beneficial to plant growth.
Gypsum is easy to apply! Simply spread it on the lawn with a lawn fertilizer spreader, at the rate of 40 pounds per thousand square feet. The granular grade is the best, and easiest to apply, for home garden use.
A single application each year is sufficient. And, it can be spread at any time of the year. Water it in right away, in order to get it working in the soil. Gypsum is neutral, non-toxic to humans and animals and does not burn.
When preparing the new soil for planting flowers, shrubs, vegetables or a new lawn, mix 20 to 30 pounds of Gypsum per one thousand square feet of heavy soil. Mix the Gypsum into the soil and water well.
If you are making an application of Gypsum on the soil around established plantings use it at the rate of only 40 pounds per thousand square feet. Under these circumstances, the Gypsum can be spread or broadcast over the beds. And, like with the lawn, a single application should be done only once a year, over a three-year period. There is no need to mix it into the soil, simply water-it-in.
Since Gypsum is neutral and does not change the soil pH, you can use it in areas where plants like Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias, and other acid-loving plants grow, because they need a little calcium too. As with all products, Gypsum must be applied as directed on the label of the brand you use.
Remember Gypsum doesn't work over-night, it takes yearly applications over a three-year period. But Gypsum can eventually help improve the soil structure in heavy clay or hardpan type soils.