What is gypsum?

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What is gypsum to be added to garden soil and where do you get it? Does it have an effect on the ph of the soil? Can't wait to get out there and start scratching in the dirt, in the mean time this is the next best thing!!!!

-- barbara (barbaraj@mis.net), January 07, 2000


it is a meneral, and I don't know why you would add it to your garden. I think it would have somewhat the effect that lime would have. I say that because they mine gypsum near me and and we are also big in limestone here in southern Indiana. This answer may not be right, I am just putting 2 and 2 toghter and making a guess at the effect it would have on your garden Grant

-- Grant Eversoll (theegrange@earthlink.net), January 08, 2000.

I'm pretty sure gypsum is alkaline and can be used to replace lime. And I think drywall is made of gypsum.

-- john leake (natlivent@pcpros.net), January 08, 2000.

I'm quoting from my bag made by GreenAll, a garden/soil supply company. Gypsum is for loosening hard soils. Gypsum is calcium sulphate and supplies calcium and sulfur to the soil, is used to overcome alkalinity and to floculate clay or adobe soils. Aids penetration of water. Gypsum may be applied to the soil surface, but it is better to mix it thoroughly throughout the root area, being careful not to damage roots. Can be used on veges, flowers, shrubs, trees, and established lawns. See package for amount.

-- Jan Allan (Mudthumb@AOL.com), January 09, 2000.

Sheetrock, drywall or gypsum board are all made of gypsum. I have heard of people getting scraps off of construction sites and using it in there garden. If anyone wants some let me know it costs us a fortune to send to the dump and there is a lot of it on every job. I think it has a binding agent and small fiberglass hairs in it (very fine) but other than the paper i beleive it is mostly gypsum.

-- brian r (brian3006@msn.com), January 10, 2000.

Out here in the Northwest, there is a type of soil called "serpentine". If you ever drive through here, you will see areas which have very little to almost no vegetation. The soil is actually poisonous to most plants, because it has way too much magnesium and way too little calcium.

Normally one would think you should just add lime to increase the calcium, but serpentine also tends to have a high pH, and the lime would make it even higher. So we use gypsum, as it has calcium, but doesn't raise the pH.

-- jumpoff joe (jumpoff@echoweb.net), January 11, 2000.

The info that "jumpoffjoe" gave about the differences between lime and gypsum is good, and important. It isn't a good idea to blindly put lime on you soil unless you need it, and it is the proper product to use for your problem. Many soils, as joe mentioned, may be better improved by using gypsum instead of lime. However, lime is often more easily obtained, and may be cheaper.

-- Jim (jiminwis@yahoo.com), January 12, 2000.

My friend lived in Lawton Oklahoma and was growing a garden. We have a lot of red clay here in OK. He used gypsum to help break up the soil. We are breaking the ground for a new garden at my house and parts of the garden is real hard. I have put down 40 lbs per 1000 sq ft as directed and wet it down after application. Several of the people I talked to today at the garden store said that it really helps with hard soil. Surfing the net I found good information at the home garding guied. I also found some of the manufactures had good information on their sites. Go to google.com and type Gypsum gardening.

-- Curtis Jones (cjones5576@aol.com), April 29, 2001.

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