We're building a house , and I find myself with small pieces left over .
Are these any good as a soil amendment ? Gypsum iis the main ingredient ,
and I don't know if it acidic or basic . I don't really have any other way
to dispose of this stuff , if I can add it to my compost heap that'd be a
double plus .
We put gypsum through the fertilizer spreader twice a year here. This is
actual raw gypsum, comes in small pellets in bags from the local big box
stores. It does help to turn the Houston gumbo we have under our
property into something other than clay that gets hard when dry and
slick when wet. Started doing that at our Corpus Christi, TX house back
in the seventies, doing it now in this Houston area house. This house
has five feet of gumbo clay under it and about a half inch of sand on
top of that. At my age I may never get it all turned into something
useful. That's why our vegetable gardens are all in raised beds.
Digging holes in this gumbo to plant anything just turns the hole into a
swimming pool or water reservoir every time it rains. I used a large,
long pry pole in these holes to make more holes in hopes I could get
down deep enough to drain the swimming pool. So far so good but lots of
Going to pull the cuke vines this evening if it gets a little cooler,
also the squash plants are coming out and the crowder peas. What the
bugs haven't eaten or pooped on is just dying anyway. The sweet chiles
are doing great as are the tomatoes. Tomatoes need pruning, they're
growing so wild the sunlight can't penetrate. Hopi lima beans are
blooming like crazy and the bees are working them over really good but
no beans as yet.
My herb garden looks like a jungle. We have been harvesting and
dehydrating herbs since May and there's ten times more than we started
with. Nearby neighbors are mostly young people with at least two jobs
and they don't want any fresh herbs as they don't know what to do with
them and mostly eat fast food anyway. Even the flowers are going crazy.
Picked the last of the figs today, got every bit of a quart of figs this
year. Not bad for a four feet tall tree that was planted last year. The
Meiwa kumquat is covered with blooms, if they all come to fruition I
will have to prop the tree up, it too, is only about four feet tall. At
least all this stuff is trying so I'm happy.
Already put up thirty packages of chopped chiles and have no idea how
many packages of chard are in the freezer. I'm getting tired and hope
everything starts slowing down soon.
Gypsum is calcium sulphate and is close to neutral acidity. It will not
alter soil pH.
It would only be of value if your soil would benefit from it. It is often
used to break up clay and it does work but it takes time and quite a bit to
The problem with plasterboard is that it is in chunks where agricultural
gypsum is a fine powder. Assuming there is enough to do any good the board
will take very much longer to work (if at all) as gypsum isn't very soluble
and needs to be finely divided to get into the soil. This is exactly the
same problem as those with marble chips wanting to raise pH, it's too
Used to seeing you on the metalworking news group. I recently subscribed
to this one also.
My brother has tilled scrap drywall into his garden many times and it
works wonders, here in the desert. Last Spring I bought 100 lbs of
powered gypsum and hand broadcast it on our garden.
We have volcanic sand for soil and have added manure. leaves, straw and
all kinds of material to make the soil hold moisture. It works, but
turns the soil acid. Beets, carrots, potatoes and other root vegies like
neutral or slightly basic soil.
After the addition of the gypsum, all the vegetables are growing better
than they ever have. I will add more next Spring!
So, yes, use you tiller to break up the old drywall and improve your garden.
Good luck, Paul in Central ORegon
Try the MSDS - trivial to get in the age of the internet. No need for
Unless it's foil backed, it's:
<3% starch and
<5% crystalline Silica (the deadly carcinogen also known as quartz sand
- and largely not in respirable form, as detailed in the MSDS. Also
found in most soils, shockingly enough.
There may (probably only in type X) be <1% glass fiber.
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
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