Gypsum is used as a soil amendment to improve drainage and aeration in the soil, while fertilizers help provide nutrients necessary for plant growth. To save time and effort, many people think about applying them simultaneously.
If I am not wrong, you’re one of them, and you might be wondering whether can you apply Gypsum and fertilizer together. The answer is yes, but it can harm your plants if you don’t use it perfectly.
Gypsum comes in many forms, including powder, flakes, and crystals. You can’t mix all forms of Gypsum with fertilizers. Moreover, it should only be mixed in very small amounts and only when the plant is actively growing.
Seems too complicated? Don’t worry stick to our article to get proper guidance.
What is Gypsum?
Before I delve into whether you can make use of a fertilizer and gypsum mix together, let’s start by going over what Gypsum is.
Gypsum (CaSO4.2H20) is a naturally occurring mineral that’s an important source of calcium, used for plant growth as a balancing element.
It commonly forms when water evaporates from the ground and leaves behind much of the calcium and sulfur it contains.
To some extent, it also produces vital nutrients for plants to serve as a counterbalance for soil equilibrium and heavy metal toxicities. Gypsum prevents the soil from being too poisonous because of its heavy metal and pH imbalances.
The Benefits of Gypsum
Gypsum is a mineral that has been used in agriculture for centuries. There are several reasons why Gypsum can be beneficial to agriculture. Let’s have a closer look at them:
Rich Source of Calcium and Sulfur
Gypsum has an abundance of calcium and sulfur, improving plant health and improving cropland yields. Boundless time goes by, and the growth of plants is decelerating to a minor extent.
Part of this is attributable to a declining amount of sulfur, which is vital in providing nutrients to plants and improving their yield.
When the ground isn’t supplying sufficient of what is needed, adding Gypsum will boost the sulfur content of the ground, so plants can enhance their intake.
Calcium also aids plants in increasing their rate of root growth, thereby allowing additional nutrients to be absorbed.
Enhances Soil Structure
As stated before, Gypsum is a notable source of Calcium that flocculants small clay particles in acid and alkaline soil. It’s the process by which many small clay particles are clumped together to create fewer, but larger particles.
This is important for the creation of soil structures that are conducive to root development and ample airflow and diffusion.
Helps in Reclaiming Sodic Soils
Gypsum is used in the reclamation of sodic soils. If the exchangeable sodium percentage of sodic soils is high, this will need to be decreased for soil improvement and a better yield.
The most effective way to do this is by adding Gypsum, which provides calcium, and the calcium will replace the sodium that is taken up on the clay-binding sites.
Sodium contained in the soil can be leached into a sodium sulfate solution in a suitable sink. The humid acid remaining after removing the Gypsum is called sulfate. Without Gypsum, the soil would not be easy to leach.
Prevents Crust Formation of Soil
Gypsum can decrease the crusting that prevents soil from absorbing raindrops and fountain events and the lime from being absorbed into the soil.
Applying Gypsum can prevent lime crusting on soil substrates that occur due to exogenous rain or from applying supplementary liquid fertilizers in acid soils.
Preventing the formation of crusts encourages quicker seed germination and accelerates the harvesting and selling of the seed.
Due to the quickening of the emergence of seeds, the incidence of growth can be improved by between 50 and 100 percent.
Prevents Water Runoff and Erosion
Gypsum enhances the rate at which groundwater flows into the ground. It’s a robust method of stopping debris and sediments from accumulating because of excessive precipitation or the expansion of expansive clay during wet stretches.
Improves Swelling Clays
Gypsum encourages the replacement of sodium by the more soluble calcium contained in montmorillonite-type clay, which reduces swelling and cracking.
As dispersed sodium is removed from the clay, swelling and weakening are significantly lowered, decreasing clays’ propensity to clog the pores through which air, water, and roots flow.
Promotes Low-Solute Irrigation Water
Gypsum is added to low-solute water used to irrigate seeping water that formerly had sources of leachable salts to enhance its concentration.
The irrigation water from rivers that no longer have leachable salts is unable to easily penetrate lower into the soil or results in soil particles breaking down, which results in low water penetration.
Rainwater can behave the same way and cause soil compaction. The issue can be fixed with the surface application of Gypsum or by the application of irrigation water.
Minimizes Heavy-Metal Toxicity
Calcium present in the Gypsum naturally regulates the balance of minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, and copper, as well as non-nutrient trace elements.
When calcium is present in large amounts, it prevents excess uptake of many phytonutrients; but when it’s in a plant, it will help stave off negative consequences for their levels when they get high.
Calcium facilitates health, primarily through the manipulation of nutrients and non-nutrients.
What Is Fertilizer?
Fertilizers are chemicals that are used to increase the yields of crops. Farmers frequently use them in order to provide the crops with the essential nutrients required to increase their water retention and fertility.
Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are the essential nutrients that usually contribute to the increase of the soil’s water retention and fertility.
What Are The Benefits of Applying Fertilizer?
So, what are the real benefits of applying fertilizers? Let’s check out.
Promotes Plant Growth
Chemical fertilizers generally contain the necessary plant nutrients of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, which are mixed in terms of the specific requirements of the plant they’re being applied to, such as corn or tomatoes.
These macronutrients from fertilizers allow crops to be cultivated even in the most barren areas because the plant’s basic nutritional needs are being met.
Good Source of Nutrients with Predictable Ratio
Manufactured fertilizers contain a definite ratio of phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen. These nutrients are dissolved in the plants’ cells as soon as they’re applied, where they’re needed the most. This consistency in fertilizer nutrients makes commercial plant growth very efficient.
Increases Production Yields
A rapid, thorough production method means so many more crops can be grown within a limited space, subsequently enhancing the total yield of food and reducing its production costs.
Faster Development of Crops
Since fertilizers provide the fundamental nutrients needed for efficient plant growth, plants are able to develop more quickly and much more intensely than they would be if they weren’t being fed by the fertilizers.
When Should You Apply Gypsum To The Soil?
Gypsum is a mineral that can be applied to your garden to improve the soil and provide drainage. However, it shouldn’t be mixed with other types of soil amendments as it’ll create an unstable and water-repellant surface.
Generally, it’s ideal for applying Gypsum in the early spring or fall before rainfall to avoid a surface runoff.
Nevertheless, there are several factors that gardeners should consider when choosing the best time to apply Gypsum, including local weather conditions, the type of plants being grown, and whether there have been any recent rainfall events.
Here are some tips on when is the best time to apply Gypsum:
- January through March
Gypsum is most potent during this time of year and can help improve soil texture and water retention. However, it can be difficult to apply due to cold temperatures and wet conditions.
- April through June
Gypsum has weakened potency by this point in the season, but still has some benefits for improving soil texture and water retention. It’s also easier to apply at this time because temperatures are warmer and drier conditions prevail.
- July through September
Gypsum has lost its potency by this point, but still serves some purpose in improving soil texture and water retention.
Can You Apply Gypsum And Fertilizer Together?
So, can you apply Gypsum and fertilizers together? The answer depends on the type of Gypsum and fertilizer you’re using. Most commercial fertilizers, such as Fertilizer for Zoysia grass, Fox farm fertilizer contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur.
Nature-process development allows dry one to be processed into prills, granules, or pellets of a particular size and weight for easier absorption of that element into the soil.
Whilst, Gypsum is sold either as Ag-gyp or pelletized Gypsum. The application processes of these variations are different, which creates a bit of complexity in terms of applying Gypsum and fertilizers together.
However, the best way of applying these is to use gypsum first on your garden lawn, wait for a while and apply fertilizer. Adding both together won’t sometimes work because it’s quite risky for your plants.
According to garden experts, you have to use fertilizer once a year. But in the case of gypsum, you need to apply it twice or more every year.
Types of Gypsum
As I’ve mentioned above, two common types of gypsum are available. Here I’ll discuss about the application process, size, quality, and benefits of these gypsums.
This type of Gypsum has a large number of coarse particles (40 to 100 mesh), and, as a powder, has to be layered alone using the specially designed application for garret.
Ag-gyp shouldn’t be mixed with other fertilizers because the particle sizes are a little different, which can cause more Ag-gyp to flow out early and more gypsum nutrients to overflow into the soil.
By careful granulation into varying particle sizes, gypsum pellets are formed from a robust, high-quality Ag-gyp (to 200 mesh) that are sufficient for easy spreading, but easily break apart when exposed to soil or field conditions.
These pellets can be used in minimal amounts, producing professional results without excess effort.
This is why pelletized Gypsum, also known as mineral gypsum, can easily be blended with today’s dry fertilizer materials, such as urea, ammonium sulfate, monoammonium phosphate (MAP), or diammonium phosphate (DAP).
In addition, the pelletizing process permits minerals such as nitrogen, humates, phosphorous, and potassium to be ground together and create granules with unique mineral contents.
Recommended Gypsum to Apply
Here are some of the most popular Gypsum products you can apply with other fertilizers:
- Espoma GG6 Garden Gypsum
Espoma GG6 Garden Gypsum Fertilizer is a high quality, pelletized gypsum garden fertilizer that can be used in both indoor and outdoor gardens.
This product is made from natural Gypsum, and it’s safe for use around pets and children. The fertilizer can also be used in container plants or as a top dressing on the soil.
- Arizonas Best AZB40010 Pelletized Gypsum
ThisPelletized gypsum fertilizer is made up of small, uniform pellets that are easy to handle and spread. It improves aeration in the soil for improved plant growth.
- Greenway Biotech Gypsum Powder
This powdered Gypsum is derived from mined Gypsum. The mineral enhances the soil’s drainage, reduces the amount of surface water runoff, and increases the number of earthworms in the soil.
How Much Gypsum Should I Apply?
The amount of Gypsum to be applied depends on the type of soil and the condition of your lawn. If you’re unsure, test a small portion by applying 1 lb./100 sq. ft. of Gypsum per 1000 sq. ft. of your lawn.
In addition, the rate of application can also vary depending on the type of soil you’re working with, how much water your soil has taken up, and any other environmental conditions affecting the health of your lawn.
- As for home gardeners, a good rule of thumb is to spread 40 pounds of granular grade gypsum per 1,000 square feet of land. Applying once is considered sufficient for three years, and you can apply it at any time of the year.
- If you intend to plant plants, distinct types of shrubs, and flowers, mix in 20 to 30 pounds of Gypsum per thousand square feet.
- For every pound of Gypsum utilized, limit yourself to merely 40 pounds per one thousand square feet if you prepare soil wherein plants already exist.
Does Gypsum Start Working Immediately After Application?
The quantity of sodium in the soil is a significant influencer of the effectiveness of Gypsum on your soil. Even the industrial-strength Gypsum is not likely to be effective right after application.
However, you’ll notice considerable improvements in your soil from year to year. Once the calcium level reaches a maximum of 75% base saturation, your soil structure will greatly improve, and the development of your roots will speed up.
In addition, crop yields will greatly increase. Don’t expect the soil to be restored with a single application. However, you can apply grubex and fertilizer together as well.
How much Gypsum do I need for clay soil?
Apply 1/2 pound of Gypsum per square foot of soil if you are applying Gypsum as a way to prevent exposure to de-icing salts. Gypsum isn’t effective and may damage plants if your soil pH is 5.0 or lower.
Can you put Gypsum on top of soil?
Begin by adding Gypsum to the soil’s surface at a ratio of 1 kilo per square meter. Then mix the Gypsum with the area you need to treat up to 30 centimeters, adding it in the topmost 5 to 10 centimeters to retrieve the maximum benefit from it. Gypsum will break down the clay and enhance drainage.
Is Gypsum a good fertilizer?
Gypsum is one of the oldest substances used to enrich agricultural soil in America. There, Gypsum has been a suitable fertilizer for agricultural soils for centuries. It supplies plant nutrients like calcium and sulfur and can help support germination and growth.
Can Gypsum kill plants?
For the most part, the Gypsum used in landscape design won’t harm the plants, but it’s simply not needed. In other words, you can benefit from the new landscape that’s created by using the Gypsum on compacted, alkaline soil when the situation demands more calcium.
So, what do you think? Can you apply Gypsum and fertilizer together? If you’ve just finished the whole discussion, you won’t make the mistake of bringing Ag-gyp to apply with fertilizer. Reminiscing once again, choose pelletized Gypsum to mix with fertilizers.