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Gypsum will improve the physical condition and drainage of most clay soils allowing better root development by breaking up clay deposits. Its sulphur content helps neutralize alkaline soils.

Gypsum works in two ways. Both depend upon the gypsum being dissolved by rain or irrigation water and entering the soil solution. The first is called the electrolyte effect (“electrolyte” means salt solution). This effect is based on the fact that swelling and clay dispersion decrease as the salinity of water infiltrating the soil increases. It occurs with all types of salts, not only gypsum. It is short-term in nature because it ceases when all the applied gypsum has disappeared.

The second effect is specific to calcium salts, including gypsum. It is based on the fact that cations in the soil, such as calcium (Ca2+), Magnesium (Mg2+), sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+), are bound to clay particles by electrical forces and are exchangeable. This means that if a high concentration of calcium cations are introduced to the soil solution (by adding gypsum) they will exchange for other cations, particularly sodium, on the clay. By this process a sodic clay is changed to a calcic clay (that is, one dominated by exchangeable calcium), thereby reducing the swelling and clay dispersion. At the same time, the sodium cations are released into the soil solution, but are leached below the root zone where their presence is less important than nearer the surface. This second effect is a long-term benefit, lasting well after all the applied gypsum has disappeared from the root zone.

Gypsum can be used to treat soils of any pH because it only has to dissolve in water to produce benefits. Gypsum itself has little effect on soil pH (generally a decrease of 0.1 or 0.2 units).

It is used everywhere at the rate of 1kg per square metres. One 50kg unit covers 100 square metres.

However, if the pH (0.01 M CaCl2)+ of the soil is less than 5 it is preferable to use a mixture of lime and gypsum because the soil benefits in two ways. Not only is structure improved by the addition of calcium, but also pH is increased, thereby helping to overcome the nutritional problems associated with strongly acidic soils.

Likely benefits of gypsum application to sodic clay topsoils include:
– Increased water intake, resulting in improved water storage for subsequent plant growth* and reduced risk of soil erosion
– Less wear on implements
– Reduced fuel consumption
– Improved trafficability after heavy rain or irrigation

FREE HOME DELIVERY We offer a free home delivery service across all Melbourne suburbs as well as regional areas across Victoria. UP TO 40% EXTRA PRODUCT FREE Receive up to 40% extra product free with your first delivery.
Regular price $18.98
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