Friday, March 17, 2006

Gypsum Application Tips!

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

Putting the advice and information to work from last Saturday's meeting, I bought 1, 50-pound bag of agricultural gypsum yesterday from Laguna Hills Nursery. It set me back all of $8.99, and it should be enough for 500 to 1,000 square feet of garden. I plan to take advantage of this week-end's rain, and try to spread it this afternoon. My soil analysis indicated that my soil is high in sodium, which explains the stunted vine syndrome I had last season! The purpose of the gypsum is to help break up the Huntington Beach clay soil, and allow water to flow easier through the soil, thereby flushing sodium/salts away. So, for example, although I have relatively rich and fertile soil, drainage is not as good as it could be. The suggested time of application is 6-8 weeks prior to planting, so now is a good time. Very important is that you simply place it on the very surface of your soil. It's not necessary to work it in since the rain should do it for me.

If you're interested in obtaining your own soil analysis, I used International Ag Labs, 800 W. Lake Avenue, P.O. Box 788, Fairmont, MN 56031,, (507) 235-6909. For a soil analysis, including a test for microbial soil activity/soil index, the price is $47. For just a soil analysis, the price is $25. You'll want to request a Field Data Sheet, and soil sample bag from them at You'll then send in your soil sample and completed Field Data Sheet. In 10-14 days, you'll have your soil analysis.

I think you'll be very interested in the results!

Try to stay dry this week-end!