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Soil and Composting: Granulated gypsum do's and don'ts

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 4, Views: 148
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PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 23, 2008
4:27 PM

Post #5457033

I just bought a 50 lb. bag of granulated gypsum to break up the compacted clay that starts a few inches below the mulch in my flower beds.

Does anyone have tips that I should keep in mind before I apply it, or can I just start dusting my beds and watering it in?
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2008
5:15 AM

Post #5519214

I'd probably rake the mulch back, apply the gypsum to the clay and put the mulch back.
jkochan
Chandler, AZ
(Zone 9b)

September 10, 2008
6:24 PM

Post #5534587

It takes a lot of gypsum and a long time to really have an effect on heavy clay. I know I tried and do still use gypsum as another amendment. The best remedy is to keep amending with compost and use a spading fork to help brake up the clay and mix in the compost. ( or a roto tiller if you're luck enough to own one) This works much faster, the results can usually be seen the same season in you plants and you will have better soil than with the gypsum.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

September 10, 2008
11:00 PM

Post #5535653

We find that the rototilling causes more compaction. The clay breaks up and develops better tilth when we use gypsum with the compost. Compost alone mixed with the clay makes for some great adobe bricks. It may depend on the type of clay you are dealing with.
doccat5
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7b)

September 13, 2008
3:28 AM

Post #5545244

If you spray with Bokashi juice after you till, you have little or no compaction. That stuff is just wonderful. DH is tilling a new area, one of few places we haven't done much with. And it's good VA red clay. Between the compost, leaves and the Bokashi it's breaking down nicely. Wish we had this stuff 25 years ago. Would have made it so much simpler to create new garden beds.

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