heavy clay soil - Knowledgebase Question

Anaheim, Ca
Question by rivrratjim17
June 28, 2010
I have heavily compacted clay soil in my garden of about 170 s/f. (26'L x6.5 W...with about a one foot depth) I only want to plant flowers and/or ground cover. I heard different stories on using pure Gypsum to break down the clay,(Armstrong) or Home Depot told me to use only AMEND, that already has the gypsum in it, along with nutrients.

I made a 1/2

Answer from NGA
June 28, 2010


Either will help loosen your clay soil. Here's something to consider; Gypsum improves soil porosity, which is the soil's ability to absorb nutrients. Gypsum will allow easier soil penetration for plant roots and can be applied at a rate of up to 60 lbs. per 1,000 feet of garden area. Gypsum is also called lime and is available in pelleted forms for easy application. You can find it in the garden department of your local Home Depot. Speaking of Home Depot, the information you were given is correct. Amend has gypsum. It's mostly compost, which is an excellent material to help loosen your garden soil. The combination of compost and gypsum is a good product to use with clay soils. Either approach will help break up your clay soil. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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