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Old 11-06-2003, 11:32 PM
Carl e Roberts
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

I have returned from the local garden center with a 40# bag of
pelletized gysum. I have two areas in mind that I wish to further "break
down" the clay soil to a more friable condition with better tilth and
not as hard packed as it currently is. My questions a At what rate
should this gypsum be applied?
Can I "top dress" with this gypsum or is it necessary to work into the
soil? When should I see results?



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Old 12-06-2003, 02:20 AM
animaux
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

On Wed, 11 Jun 2003 17:28:53 -0500, Carl e Roberts wrote:

I have returned from the local garden center with a 40# bag of
pelletized gysum. I have two areas in mind that I wish to further "break
down" the clay soil to a more friable condition with better tilth and
not as hard packed as it currently is. My questions a At what rate
should this gypsum be applied?
Can I "top dress" with this gypsum or is it necessary to work into the
soil? When should I see results?


If the soil is adequately moist, I would recommend you turn it a bit with a thin
tine fork and try to break up the clods. Water it very well for at least one
inch of water about three days before you plan to work it. If it still clumps,
it is not dry enough, if it is too hard, it is not moist enough.

The other thing you can do is kin to how farmers disc the soil. Rough it up, so
to speak. Take the fork and after watering so the soil is softer (not soaked
and clumped) rock the fork back and forth to tear at it. Break the "tension" of
the soil. Put the gyp down at about ten pounds per every 100 square feet. Let
it get into the torn soil. Water well, put mulch on top and in about three
months you should be able to work the soil with more ease.

At the same time, the addition of compost would be ideal. Adding just gyp to
the soil without compost will render the whole process null.
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:20 AM
Marley1372
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

Adding just gyp to
the soil without compost will render the whole process null.


Mainly because gypsum dosent do crap for your soil. Just add the compost, its
cheaper.

Toad
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Old 12-06-2003, 04:20 AM
David Hare-Scott
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)


"Marley1372" wrote in message
...
Adding just gyp to
the soil without compost will render the whole process null.


Mainly because gypsum dosent do crap for your soil. Just add the

compost, its
cheaper.

Toad


So you are saying that all those who recommend gypsum to assist breaking
up heavy clay soil are wrong? What do you base this opinion on?

David


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Old 12-06-2003, 02:08 PM
animaux
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 13:06:16 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"
wrote:


So you are saying that all those who recommend gypsum to assist breaking
up heavy clay soil are wrong? What do you base this opinion on?

David


Good question. I have used it on soil which was so dead, so full of clay, had
barely 1% organic matter and was clearly stripped of its top horizon that I had
only subsoil to work with. Builders are fond of stripping the top horizon of
soil and they sell it to the topsoil companies, who bag it up and sell it back
to you for a few dollars a bag.

Fortunately, the builder didn't do that to this house because before they did I
insisted they leave every piece of weed and soil in place or the deal was over.
Austin, Texas is a far more green part of Texas. There is much awareness about
the environment and there are many lobbyists and people who stand up to big
government tactics where environmental issues are concerned.

Back to gypsum...I don't have time to explain the process, but I've used in on
awful muck clay, and it helped make the clay friable.
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:32 PM
Marley1372
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

Have you had clay soils which you added pelletized gypsum to?

I dont have to use gypsum, because I mulch my plants every year. This alone
does more for soil structure than anything else in my opinion. Personally, I
just think gypsum is a bunch of crap.

Toad
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:44 PM
Tom Jaszewski
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

On 12 Jun 2003 14:24:59 GMT, (Marley1372) wrote:

Personally, I
just think gypsum is a bunch of crap.



It's a good thing sustainable farmers don't share your opinion!!!

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Old 12-06-2003, 08:08 PM
Mike Lyle
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

animaux wrote in message . ..
[...]
If the soil is adequately moist, I would recommend you turn it a bit with a thin
tine fork and try to break up the clods. Water it very well for at least one
inch of water about three days before you plan to work it. If it still clumps,
it is not dry enough, if it is too hard, it is not moist enough.

The other thing you can do is kin to how farmers disc the soil. Rough it up, so
to speak. Take the fork and after watering so the soil is softer (not soaked
and clumped) rock the fork back and forth to tear at it. Break the "tension" of
the soil. Put the gyp down at about ten pounds per every 100 square feet. Let
it get into the torn soil. Water well, put mulch on top and in about three
months you should be able to work the soil with more ease.

At the same time, the addition of compost would be ideal. Adding just gyp to
the soil without compost will render the whole process null.



I don't know if you have everywhere over there what's called a
"Canterbury hoe" in England: it's the thing with three flat prongs at
right angles to the shaft in the picture at

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/erc/erc36a.html

Great for breaking up strong soil, as you can use both a chopping and
a raking action. I think they come in different weights. Lost mine!

Mike.


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Old 12-06-2003, 10:09 PM
animaux
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

On 12 Jun 2003 11:58:56 -0700, (Mike Lyle) wrote:


I don't know if you have everywhere over there what's called a
"Canterbury hoe" in England: it's the thing with three flat prongs at
right angles to the shaft in the picture at

http://www.permaculture.co.uk/erc/erc36a.html

Great for breaking up strong soil, as you can use both a chopping and
a raking action. I think they come in different weights. Lost mine!

Mike.


Yes, I have one. I use it all the time, but have virtually no use for it any
more as most of my property is already cultivated. Once I prepare beds, I
rarely, if ever, go back in and stir things up.

The type fork I'm talking about is:

http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jh...duct2071&site=

These are some of the nicest tools, for the price, than I'd seen anywhere.
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Old 13-06-2003, 02:56 AM
Tom Jaszewski
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

On Thu, 12 Jun 2003 20:08:27 -0500, (Joe Doe)
wrote:

In article , Tom Jaszewski
wrote:

On 12 Jun 2003 14:24:59 GMT,
(Marley1372) wrote:

Personally, I
just think gypsum is a bunch of crap.



It's a good thing sustainable farmers don't share your opinion!!!


Gypsum is mainly helpful in sodic soils and is generally misapplied to
all clay soils. They help sodic soils because the calcium displaces
sodium which allows clay particles to flocculate and thus improve
drainage. In soils that are already high in calcium this obviously cannot
occur and so is indeed a waste.

See:
http://www.wtamu.edu/~crobinson/DrDirt/gypsum.html

http://turfgrass.hort.iastate.edu/extension/gypsum.pdf

Roland



Nice to see you again Roland, but I'm afraid there's more to this
story than Iowa turfgrass and Dr Dirt's perennial.

As always the sensible course is to have a Morgan extraction done and
determine what nutrients are PLANT available.

I would agree that more important than adding gypsum, where soil
testing indicates, is the addition of carbon sources and building a
soil biology.
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Old 13-06-2003, 01:08 PM
Mike Lyle
 
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Default pelletized gypsum (to amend clay soil)

animaux wrote in message . ..
[...]

The type fork I'm talking about is:

http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jh...duct2071&site=

These are some of the nicest tools, for the price, than I'd seen anywhere.


Very nice, and a typically American low price. Here the equivalents,
virtually identical in appearance, are Spear & Jackson of Sheffield,
and would cost about the same number of pounds. I've just had the
pleasure of spending my sister and brother-in-law's money on a set of
tools for them, and the S&J were what I chose: a good balance and a
lovely warm woody feel. Only trouble with stainless is they don't wear
down to a slender cutting edge like my old carbon steel warriors: your
grandchildren will still be trying to run them in!

Mike.


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