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Article: Plants need calcium, too, just like teeth and bones!: What do you think about Alabaster dust?

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Forum: Article: Plants need calcium, too, just like teeth and bones!Replies: 1, Views: 4
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sky_queen
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 7b)

December 24, 2009
7:04 AM

Post #7395163

I can get free Alabaster dust & thought it might do well in the yard/garden. I didn't know exactly what it was so the following is pulled from:

Alabaster Questions and Answers
1988-2002 Max Krimmel, noncommercial duplication and distribution permitted and encouraged

..."What is it?
Hydrated Calcium Sulfate (CaSO42H20) a crystalline form of Gypsum

Dust?
Yes, it is dusty, very similar to sheet rock dust, wear a mask, use a dust collector, work outside. Why does this dust seem to stick to everything? If you want to make Plaster of Paris out of gypsum you heat it up and drive out the water. The scraping action of turning creates the heat and that dust is really low grade Plaster of Paris. Water condenses on the cool cast iron surfaces of the lathe, mixes with the dust and the dust sticks. Alabaster dust is not known to be toxic. Gypsum has been in use for centuries, if the dust were toxic I think we would know so by now. You don't need to treat it like asbestos, or even cocobolo. However, too much of anything will kill you."...

I was thinking it might be more like a fine lava sand for aeration and I had heard of gypsum for the yard. However, after reading your post, I wonder if it would NOT be good for my soil. I am in west Fort Worth with black gumbo soil. It grows things great but gets heavy & sticky wet, or dries completely with large cracks. You know the type. Anyway, I do know it is alkaline rather than acid like Dallas; I can't grow azaelas, camellias, etc. without a lot of 'help'.

So what are your thoughts about adding it to my yard?

Thanks. Shelia

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

December 24, 2009
2:41 PM

Post #7395657

Most plants love gypsum and it's a good source of calcium. It would be great here to help break up my sticky clay soil, and it generally doesn't affect pH.

I'd say try it but don't over-do the application. You can always apply more in a couple of years.

~darius

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Other Article: Plants need calcium, too, just like teeth and bones! Threads you might be interested in:

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