For more than 250 years gypsum is one of the earliest types of fertilizer used in the United States. The advantages of using Gypsum as soil amendment is well established. Gypsum contains a moderate amount soluble plant nutrients, such as calcium and sulfur which can improve overall plant growth, and condition soils for future use.
Gypsum can be purchased for home use at a local home and garden store, or online.
Agricultural Gypsum improves the physical and chemical properties of soils. As a soil amendment, gypsum reduces soil erosion and nutrient concentrations (especially phosphorus) in surface water runoff.
Gypsum improves the soil condition by adding calcium and sulfur, thus displacing magnesium in soil particles. The added calcium helps reduce aluminum toxicity in the sub soil.
Gypsum also improves the ability of soil to drain and not become waterlogged due to a combination of:
- High sodium in soil or can be termed,”Salty soil or Sodic Soil”. High sodium levels in the soil change the soil structure, thus reduces its ability to absorb water. This causes soil particles to clump together, inhibiting water flow.
- Gypsum works well on compacted and clay soils by making the soil more porous so that roots can grow deeper, as well as adding calcium and sulfur for plant growth.
Gypsum is available in granular form for agricultural, lawn and garden use. It is suitable for growing garden plants, shrubbery and lawn grass. It should be noted that gypsum does not work well in sand heavy soils. Gypsum can be applied before planting or garden landscaping, however it can be also be added to existing lawns and gardens with a lawn spreader or hand-held garden spreader.
- Spread the gypsum evenly over the entire surface area of a lawn. Gypsum can be spread over plants without harm to the plants.
- Mix gypsum with compost or organic matter using a rake or a hoe. Spread evenly throughout your garden.
- Watering the gypsum into the soil with a garden hose or lawn sprinkler will settle into the soil faster.