Are you struggling with clay or compact hard soil problems in your lawn? or has your lawn taken a serious beating from the cold, snowy seasons? Don’t give up just yet! What your lawn needs to heal is a little boost from its buddy, lawn gypsum.
Gypsum, or calcium sulfate as it is referred to in the professional world, has been effectively used in the United States with much success . Particularly in saline coastal areas and drought-prone western states.
Gardeners, plus lawn specialists and landscapers, have long been using gypsum to enhance soil composition resulting in better plant growth, high soil nutrition, and better tolerance to pests and diseases.
So what really does gypsum do for your lawn? Before we get into the specifics of gypsum’s benefits on your lawn, let’s first define gypsum.
- What Is Gypsum?
- What Does Gypsum Do For Your Lawn
- Benefits of Gypsum On Your Lawn
- Improve Water Penetration In Your Lawn
- Enhances the Soil’s Structure
- Gypsum Has A Higher Content of Sulfur And Calcium
- Helps In The Reduction of Phosphorous Losses
- Strengthens Acidic Soils And Reduces Aluminum Toxicity.
- How Long Does Gypsum Take To Work
What Is Gypsum?
Gypsum is a soluble mineral that is a prime source of calcium – an essential component in plants’ health. Gypsum aids in the physical repair of dense and hard clay soils. In layman’s language, compacted soils look like a sand in a container.
But when you mix it with gypsum, it will resemble a container full of gravel with air pockets surrounding them.
It allows for deeper water and roots penetration. The calcium composition in gypsum also aids in roots development and the absorption of other vital nutrients.
What Does Gypsum Do For Your Lawn
Before you decide to use gypsum in your grass lawn, it’s essential to first conduct a soil analysis to see if it is necessary to add gypsum to your lawn. Its also important to know the kind of soil you have in your yard.
For example, if you live in the coastal region, you might need to add gypsum to your soil to minimize soil salt levels. However, if you have sandy soil in your lawn, it’s advisable not to apply gypsum to prevent excess calcium accumulation.
Moreover, in areas where sodium levels are low, adding gypsum can deny the soil the much-needed salt.
Ok, why that in mind lets see what exactly does gypsum do for your lawn?
Benefits of Gypsum On Your Lawn
Here are several benefits of applying gypsum on your lawn:
Improve Water Penetration In Your Lawn
If your lawn happens to have dense clay soil or compact soil, water might be having a hard time penetrating deep enough to the root zone. Poor water absorption may lead to stagnant water, which can exacerbate root diseases and nutritional deficiencies over time.
Adding gypsum to your lawn soil will improve water absorption and increase sodium levels, thus enabling water to seep through the soil, allowing your grass to thrive. This also increases the chances of grass surviving even in dry seasons by improving the soil structural components that allow favorable soil-water interactions.
Enhances the Soil’s Structure
Flocculation, also known as soil aggregation, is needed to provide a beneficial soil structure for root growth, plus air and water movement. The calcium content in gypsum plays a significant role in improving your lawn soil aggregation. Soil aggregation is crucial as it allows water and air to move with ease under your lawn soil, plus it also encourages roots development within the soil.
Dense clay soil dispersion and soil structure breakdown at the soil-air surface are some of the factors that contribute to hard soil formation. The good thing is gypsum has been used over the years to enhance soil aggregation and prevent soil dispersion in sodic soils.
Gypsum Has A Higher Content of Sulfur And Calcium
It is a good source of both sulfur and calcium, both of which are necessary for healthy lawn growth. With time you will notice your lawn grass looking weak and pale. This is usually due to your soil losing sulfur and calcium, which are vital for your soil nutrition and grass growth.
Proper application of gypsum can be all your lawn needs to spring back to life .both sulfur and calcium work by releasing unavailable nutrients to your lawn soil, allowing the grassroots to ingest them. Plus, calcium also speeds up the growth rate of grassroots, thus enabling grass to suck up more nutrients.
Helps In The Reduction of Phosphorous Losses
The other reason you need to put gypsum on your lawn is to help in soil erosion and reduce phosphorous losses. Different studies have demonstrated that using gypsum in your lawn will help in the retention of phosphorous and other soil nutrients.
Landscapers and other lawn specialists believe using gypsum as a soil enhancer is the most cost-effective approach in reducing soil phosphorous emissions and losses. – it is regarded as the best lawn management approach for lowering soluble phosphorous losses!
Strengthens Acidic Soils And Reduces Aluminum Toxicity.
One of the primary benefits of gypsum is its artistry to reduce aluminum toxicity, which is frequently associated with soil acidity, — especially in surface soils.
Experts believe that gypsum strengthens acid soils more compared to using lime. Which eventually allows healthy and deeper root penetration and improves overall grass health.
How Long Does Gypsum Take To Work
Several variables can influence the efficacy of gypsum in your lawn, including soil sodium levels. The truth of the matter is you won’t see the full effects immediately you apply the gypsum. However, you will start seeing significant changes in your lawn after maybe two to three months.
Note: it would be unfair to expect complete soil restoration with a simple application.
Expect these changes to last for about three years—however, it’s essential to evaluate your lawn soil every year. Even the most severely clay or sodium-damaged soil will recover significantly after a few applications and will be back to its former glory within a year.
Soil compaction is said to have a detrimental impact on infiltration, tilth, root formation, moisture preservation, and soil structure. In such situations, dense clay and hard, compact soil are always treated by adding gypsum to effectively break up the clay components and increase the calcium flow to dissolve excess sodium.