Gypsum is a wonder material for landscaping. It’s also used in construction for building walls. Gypsum is made of the naturally occurring elements calcium and sulfur and brings many benefits to your soil. Used with other soil amendments, gypsum creates the perfect environment for helpful bacteria and microbes. Applying gypsum to your soil helps in many other ways, too.
Soil structure refers to the composition of your soil. Is it made of clay, heavy soil or looser and humus-laden? Soil structure impacts all aspects of your landscape from drainage to successful gardens and lawns. Applying gypsum to your soil creates extra space between soil particles, especially in compacted soils. This allows humus (nutrient rich organic particles) to be more readily accessible to your plants’ roots. While gypsum is a wonder material, it should be applied annually, as it works even better overtime.
Gypsum can also be used as a fertilizer for your soil, but not your plants. Gypsum gives calcium and sulfur to the soil only. A properly nourished soil allows plants to better access the nitrogen, iron, zinc and other nutrients they need to flourish.
Drainage is greatly improved by the looser soil structure gypsum encourages. Your plants’ roots are then less likely to become waterlogged or rot. Since improved drainage helps soil to retain a good, loose structure, instead of clumping, crusting or becoming compacted, the root systems will be able to develop fully, burrowing deeper and the plants can focus their energy on growing lush foliage and fruit.
Good, healthy soil has a well-balanced pH, meaning it’s not too acidic or too alkaline. Gypsum is a great amendment if your soil’s pH is imbalanced. Most plants need a well-balance pH to thrive. Indigenous plants may have different pH balance needs though, and using gypsum as a soil amendment is an easy way to get the proper balance.
Gypsum in Lawns
As we mentioned above, gypsum is a great amendment for loosening compacted soil. One area of your landscape that is subject to such compaction is your lawn. This is true when you use your lawn as a play or entertainment space. Compacted lawns must be aerated, a process whereby the soil is broken up via poking holes in it. While gypsum will benefit your lawn at anytime, spreading it over your lawn when you aerate is more effective. We can tell you how to aerate your lawn. If you’re planting a new lawn, either from seed or sod, apply gypsum beforehand. This allows your soil to breathe better, which allows water and nutrients to penetrate to the root level. You’ll also cut down on water use and avoid run-off.
You’ve learned all about the benefits of using gypsum; be sure to plan this miracle worker into your next landscape or garden project.