5 Prominent Advantages of Using Gypsum as Soil Amendment for Gardening and Farming
Although farmers have been using gypsum aka calcium sulfate dihydrate since ancient times, in recent years the compound has regained particular attention mostly due to the constant research and newly known facts about it to leading experts that bring forth the several advantages of gypsum. Here are a few prominent benefits of using gypsum as soil amendments for gardens and farms.
1. Provides Calcium and Sulfur to Plants
According to soil scientists, plants are becoming more deficient in sulfur because it’s not being provided by the soil in enough amounts. In such a condition, agricultural gypsum is a fantastic source of sulfur for plant nutrition.
Another nutrient required by plants for the absorption of other nutrients is calcium. Without sufficient calcium, uptake system of plants would fail. Calcium stimulates root growth and helps in absorption of nutrients.
2. Improvement in Acid Soils and Treatment of Aluminum Toxicity
Ability to decrease aluminum toxicity is one of the main benefits of gypsum. Aluminum toxicity is typically paired with soil acidity, especially in subsoil. Gypsum can improve some acid soils even better than lime, which enables it to have deeper rooting with subsequent advantages to the crops. Surface-applied gypsum percolates down to the subsoil and enables improved root growth.
3. Improvement of Soil Structure
Aggregation or flocculation is required to give favorable soil structure for water and air movement and root growth. A major factor contributing to crust formation is clay dispersion and downfall of structure at the soil-air interface. Gypsum has been useful for several years to enhance flocculation and overcome or stop dispersion in sodic soils.
Soil aggregation as well as porosity is improved by soluble calcium to improve water infiltration. Soluble calcium is also important to maintain the soil’s calcium status.
The bad calcium-magnesium ratios of soils can be made more favorable with gypsum. Adding soluble calcium can nullify the dispersion effects of sodium or magnesium ions and help promote structure development and flocculation in dispersed soils.
4. Improvement in Water Infiltration
Gypsum also enhances the ability of soil to drain and avoid being waterlogged because of a blend of high sodium, excess water and swelling clay. When gypsum is applied to soil, it enables water to move into the soil and let the crop grow well.
5. Reduction of Soil Erosion
Gypsum is supposed to help the prevention phosphorous and other nutrients from leaving the soil. According to soil experts, addition of gypsum to soil is the cheapest way to reduce the non-point run-off pollution of phosphorous.
So, when you are going to start adding gypsum to your garden soil?