Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GreenStar, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. GreenStar

    GreenStar Banned
    Messages: 114

    in northern macomb county mi. all new housing is being built on very poor clay soil. how effective would spring and fall aeration's and gypsum applications be in promoting overall turf and soil quality. the chem guy's think every lawn needs lime and they sell it over the phone (you know the guy's). what are the rates for appliying gypsum (general figure) and since i'm trying to keep soil compaction to a minimum is a soil reading really needed.
    merry christmas everybody!
  2. Forever Green Lawn

    Forever Green Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Applying gypsum won't help those clay soils much. Gypsum is used quite often out west on clay soils that are sodium based (red clay) as they help add structure. Most of the clay soils in this area are calcium based and gypsum (calcium sulfate) just doesn't have the same effect. Lime doesn't either. To be sure of the type of clay you have, talk to your county extention agent or do a soil test. You mentioned aeration, which will help with compaction and thatch. Unless a soil test shows a lack of calcium or a ph problem, I would skip the gypsum and lime and go with the core areation. Good luck and Happy Holidays!!!
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    The establishment (most turfgrass researchers, teachers, extension agents, and others in the trade for many years) do not now accept the use of gypsum for soil ammendment or conditioning.

    If you want a sellers' viewpoint, go to . There are links there to other info.

    One of the people who really got me going in understanding turf, a teacher now long retired, has been trying to convince me to try gypsum for 3 years. When we went out on my properties this summer, he did convince me to try it next year. I'll be setting up the testing with him later this winter, so I'm not now really up on the details. I believe he uses 2-3# per 1000 ft² per application. And I do not know about the frequency of application, or the longevity. It seems from the little we have discussed that he has accomplished long term success with initial applications.

    On one of his smaller projects, a woman wanted to plant a vegetable garden in an area of lawn with a hardpan; Mr. D. just added gypsum in the garden area, and she had a successful garden with no hardpan - while the surrounding area still retained the hardpan. His biggest was an old landfill, a mountain of trash capped with clay. Codes required plantings to stabilize the hill, but nothing would grow in the clay, so the owner capped the clay with 6" of topsoil. But before he could get anything to grow on the hill, the topsoil would slide down to the bottom. 3 years ago, Mr. D. had the hill treated with gypsum, and the problem was eliminated. He is now looking for a large farm to try it on farm fields. And his gypsum comes from recycled sheetrock; he's working with the recycler to see if the successes can be duplicated.

    Anyone want to try this in their area, email me after mid-Feb, and I will have more details. It's not gonna be a recipe, more like research. But I'm sure Mr. D. will help us in setting up proper testing.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    The main reason for using Horticultural Gypsum is to clean exchange sites in the soil of undedesireable elements namely soduim. However it also cleans away the desireable elements N-P-K etc. We use horticulture gypsum on swim pool water spills or overflows to leach out the salts and acids from the exchange sites. We must come back with a complete fertilizer to refill those elements that are disireable. This is the only way I apply gypsum with out a soil sample test. Then only because swimming pool water is a common problem in my area. OOPs also when we have bad storms and sea water floods.
  5. Ricky

    Ricky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    Another opinion from his web site...............

    Jerry Baker’s Pelletized Gypsum

    This is the perfect soil conditioner! It works through a chemical reaction to loosen and aerate hard-packed or heavy clay soils. It improves drainage and root penetration, enhances proper cell development and growth, plus it is gentle acting and ecologically sound to use. Gypsum conditions the soil so that everything can penetrate down to the roots. It works great on “doggy damage” and tire tracks, too! 4 lbs. in a handy shaker canister. (Not available in KY, or WI.)

    If you have a dog, or plan to use one of those melting products for icy walks or driveways this winter, then October is the time to apply gypsum in at least 4 foot wide strips along all such areas to prevent winter salt damage. The gypsum also neutralizes damage from doggie droppings. Jerry Baker

Share This Page