Have you ever tried to build a garden on clay soil? If you have, you might know the hassle related to setting it up. Clay soil doesn't hold up good for the plants. It is loose and is soft, when having low moisture content it can dry and become as hard as a rock.
I have created this article with the sole purpose of helping guys like you to grow a garden full of plants even when having clay soil. This article will provide with you the necessary steps and information required to use gypsum for clay soil.
What's Wrong With Clay Soils?
You might have noticed clay soils drain very slowly and tend to stick together and form clots when wet. Clay soils may be very rich in nutrients but they dry up and become hard as rocks which surely can be major problem for your plants to grow.
So if you want to plant some plants in such kind of soil a little bit of tinkering with the soil would be required. The soil needs to be prepared and broken down into smaller chunks by using some additives.
How Can I Help My Soil?
Gypsum for clay soil can be a life saver for your plants. Addition of gypsum is necessary for good health of your plants. To proceed add gypsum at the rate of 1 kg per sq. meter and don't forget to dig it up to 10-12 cm. You can buy gypsum from Amazon.
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Gypsum breaks the clay soil into small pieces and makes it easier to work with. Breaking soil in small pieces helps the plants to expand their roots much farther in the soil to soak up the nutrients from the soil. It also helps to improve the draining ability of the soil. If the soil is too much clayey more amount of gypsum should be added.
Add Organic Matter
Gypsum might provide the base for your plants but it doesn't provide any nutrients to the plant so an organic compost is a must for your clay soil. Prepare an organic compost by using wet organic garbage. Once prepared add it to the soil and tip it over upto 5-6 cm down. Make sure it's mixed completely. You can buy organic compost from Amazon.
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Organic compost helps as the nutrient supplier for the plants. Since gypsum is incapable of raising plants on its own a second hand is needed and the role of this second hand is played by the organic compost.
It provides with necessary material required by the plants for their growth. This won't help or show results overnight but continuous application for a year or two would help.
Leave the garden to settle for a week at the least so it settles on its own. once it settles try to unravel the soil a bit evenly all over your garden. This is done so to spread the gypsum all over the field.
What Are The Effects Of Gypsum On Soil?
Gypsum is helpful for clay soil but it is neutral in nature. It is non-toxic for humans and animals. It doesn't cause any irritation or allergies. So overall it's perfectly fine for use.
Since Gypsum is neutral and does not change the soil pH, you can use it in areas where plants like Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and other acid loving plants grow, because they need a little calcium too. As with all products, Gypsum must be applied as directed on the label of the brand you use.
What Should I Do If I Already Have An Established Garden?
If you already have an established garden it will take too much work and too much time to dig, replant all the plants and then do all the stuff all over again. But then here's where gypsum comes into play.
Here gypsum can be used to recondition the soil as it can just be spread over in the soil surface. It doesn't need to be mixed deeper into the soil so you need not do much work rather than just spreading it.
What does gypsum do is it gets mixed with the soil with time and starts to loosen the soil structure. It does so as it has the ability to penetrate thousands of small fine clay particles in heavy and hard type of soils and so loosen the soil structure.
Then once mixed, it creates air and moisture spaces in the soil which with time tend to loosen up and break up the clay soil structure. Though it doesn't happen overnight, it takes years to get the soil perfectly fine by regular application of gypsum.
Remember Gypsum doesn't work overnight. It takes time to settle, usually a period of 2-3 years. But eventually it will help to improve the texture and quality of your soil. If you would like to know more about it, comment here.