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Do gypsum apps REALLY help to loosen clay soils?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Jason Rose, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. shortgrass01

    shortgrass01 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 160

    Doesnt losen the soil period! it allow the sod to make food by improving the root system, Otherwise the sod would dry up due to lack of water in clay based soils. It dont have to be clay based on top, the clay can be 12 inches deep and still your sod will dry up. Depends of what kind of sod your working with to.
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Ok, if gypsum does NOT help loosen up heavy clay soils, I wonder how it ended up being touted that it does. It's sold as just that, read any bag label for gypsum. Also pick up just about any lawn care book. Heavy clay soils, spread gypsum and/or aerate.

    I'm not saying one side is right or wrong (yes it works vs. no it dosn't) I'm just saying that pretty much the majority of available text about it says that it does work.

    I also ended up applying the Gypsum to the property I was talking about in my first post. I applied it only to the areas that were known to hold water or were allowing the water to runoff too quickly when irrigating. I also apply it to my own lawn.
  3. Bustedblade

    Bustedblade LawnSite Member
    from Ny
    Messages: 145

    For a large lawn like that, hit it with a sand and mulch mix, then aerate it in and watch it grow. I call this my estate mix, but I use a tow behind plugger, so the job is fast.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Gypsum is good only for reclaiming sodic soils and adding Ca (and sulfur to some extent) to a deficient soil ..... in particular soils with high pH. As already mentioned, if your Ca:Mg ratio is off, and you have a high pH, then gypsum is one choice to adjust that ratio without negatively impacting soil pH.

    Both Na and Mg (to a lesser extent) can cause chemical compaction. This is where the "myth" comes from, and the "myth" is true if dealing with a sodic soil.

    I will second the post about organic matter. Keeping your SOM at decent levels is your best option for preventing compaction.
  5. Young Bros

    Young Bros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    We sell Gypsum applications to as many as our customers as possible. If the soil test pH is 7.5 or higher we apply sulfur too. If the pH is 6.5 or lower we add lime. If the soil is really poor, we add a pelletized compost. We get all but the sulfur from Natra Turf, it is from a quarry here in Iowa.

    I moved into a rental where the last tentant carved wood on a stump in the lawn. Could not get grass to grow good around there. We applied a couple apps of Hydro Save (Gypsum) and got grass to grow great there. It is suppose to retain water & air in the soil, break up clay, and counter act pet spots and salt damage. We also sell spot gone (the same product but in smaller bag and granulars) to our customers.

    CJFDFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Gypsum dose not effect your soils ph level! It works very well in a tight soil as in clay even if my soil is not high in sodium. The problem is you are using pellets if you can use something like gypsoil (what they spread on farm fields) you will see a huge improvements I will have pics this spring to document proof in my research

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