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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 06-19-2015, 01:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

I live on the Ozark plateau, and I have very acidic soil in my yard, and have had problems with calcium deficiency with my bananas, deformed leaves, etc. I ground up a bunch of sheet rock (made of gypsum) and made a solution with it to water with, and the new leaves are much bigger, and without, or lessened deformities they were having before. I dont trust lime, I have seen my neighbors burn their yards up with it, with the recommended dosage given by the local extension office. Any other ideas, foliar sprays, etc.?
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

Quote:
Originally Posted by siege2050 View Post
I live on the Ozark plateau, and I have very acidic soil in my yard, and have had problems with calcium deficiency with my bananas, deformed leaves, etc. I ground up a bunch of sheet rock (made of gypsum) and made a solution with it to water with, and the new leaves are much bigger, and without, or lessened deformities they were having before. I dont trust lime, I have seen my neighbors burn their yards up with it, with the recommended dosage given by the local extension office. Any other ideas, foliar sprays, etc.?
egg shells are a good source of calcium, but do take awhile to break down.
But a very safe source of calcium.
Calcium may be applied in soluble form as part of a fertilizer. For example, many commercial fertilizers intended for tomato plants include calcium. Other common fertilizers, such as soft rock phosphate and bat guano, contain calcium naturally. Soft rock phosphate is an especially effective fertilizer that delivers high amounts of calcium (35 percent) in soluble form, so the plant can use it right away. To apply, till it into the soil, as it will not dissolve into the soil structure on its own.

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Old 06-19-2015, 03:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

I was using miracle grow, but after looking on the package after seeing the signs of deficiency, I noticed that Miracle Grow tomato formula has no calcium! lol, I thought that was strange since tomatoes need so much calcium. Guess its time for a new fert.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

My partner is a contractor. When he has left over drywall pieces I just spread them around and mulch on top so that they gradually break down. Covers weeds in the short term and perhaps provides calcium in the long term. Can't really tell if it helps or hurts, other than my bananas on my new lot being clearly calcium deficient until I used dolomite lime. It's been less than a year though and I imagine the drywall hasn't broken down enough to be useful yet.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

This is the first signs I see, the parallel lines, and puckering which I have looked up and turns out to be calcium, boron which work together. Then later the leaf will be twisted with heavy veining, and start getting necrotic, missing a lot of the leaf tissue. After I gave them a dose of drywall, the next leaf was about 4 times as large as before with very little dead tissue on the very end. so definitely worked here. I may try to boil some eggshells down to make a foliar spray, I probably really need to lime but neighbors dead yard after following the instructions of local extension office scares me lol




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Old 06-19-2015, 11:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

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This is the first signs I see, the parallel lines, and puckering which I have looked up and turns out to be calcium, boron which work together. Then later the leaf will be twisted with heavy veining, and start getting necrotic, missing a lot of the leaf tissue. After I gave them a dose of drywall, the next leaf was about 4 times as large as before with very little dead tissue on the very end. so definitely worked here. I may try to boil some eggshells down to make a foliar spray, I probably really need to lime but neighbors dead yard after following the instructions of local extension office scares me lol




What is the pH of the soil? If it is 5.5 to 7.0 it's OK. To add calcium I would suggest "agricultural pelletized lime". Regardless of what you apply it takes weeks even months to correct.
When was this plant planted? Hard to tell from pic but looks like it's sunburned. The above is just based on my very limited knowledge of anything.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

Its been out since about the 15th of april, this one is Saba, the pic was taken when the sun was very strong today so the leaf is folded. I have looked on a few sites and that seems to be what the early stages of calcium deficiency looks like. I will post a link to one of the sites I used to determine it. I am not sure of the exact acidity, but I know its pretty strong, my neighbors had theirs tested because of difficulties with grass, etc. and it came back very acidic, my yard is surrounded by oaks, hickories, pines, and wild blueberries, and all my hydrangeas that were pink when I bought them are now super blue. Considering how well the blueberries do, I am guessing its below 5.5. My soil is full of limestone, but the acidic nature of the trees over the years has made the soil very acidic. I need to eventually put down fresh lime, after I get the soil tested, but I am going to do research and figure out the dosage on my own, my neighbors grass was killed when they followed the extension offices recommendation, but they may have made a mistake.

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Old 06-20-2015, 12:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

Must be the sun reflecting off the leaves. Your right the plant being out in the that long rules that out. If your pH is below 5.5 you need to do something. Only thing I can think of is try and find a good liquid to spray on. You can call OSU Ag for a recommendation. If you need a name there let me know.
Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

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Originally Posted by siege2050 View Post
I live on the Ozark plateau, and I have very acidic soil in my yard, and have had problems with calcium deficiency ...
Out here in the southwest, calcium deficiency in native soils in suburban areas is rarely a problem. However I do have agricultural customers in other regions that need supplemental Ca for a variety of reasons. One approach is to purchase soluble gypsum from an agricultural supplier. In ag dosages it will be completely soluble in non-alkaline water. I supply two other supplements to address the problem:
Maxi-Cal 10-0-0 which is popular in hydroponics, and Phos Pro Calcium which is a mainstay of commercial fruit & nut orchards in California's central valley.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

I guess that gives me a use for that gypsum sand I got from an unnamed state somewhere in the Southwest...
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

How much dolomite and how often?
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

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How much dolomite and how often?
I do for turf only......
Apply according to directions.........But if you feel you need less or more...go for it.

The previous posts answer the question.

The Op is an experienced grower....


Dolomite is another great web search for application rates.......
I know of folks using the dolomite from the pool filter in their amazing gardens....dolomite is somewhat inert and you may use it in all your plantings..


If you have been discarding it in northern zones with clay soils .....keep it for your plants and garden...


Your location is sand.... dolomite is not be the best amendment for a sandy soil.
Will it work as an amendment ....yes.....but it has no real nutritional value
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

another good one for calcium and zinc is take some oyster shells and I put them in a old pillow case and smash them up with a sledge hammer, not only do you get calcium and zinc for free it is really great for anger management....lol
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

I started drying out pig and cow bones and then smash them and adding them to my raised beds. I can't tell you if it helps but I figure it can't hurt and there is such a thing as bone meal. My next one will be biochar with bones and wood.
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Old 02-10-2021, 03:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

Ok ... to answer the question and the basics .....
Gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate; about 17% to 20% calcium and 13% to 16% sulfate. It does not raise the Ph of soil when added and it takes about 5 or 6 months or longer to break down for plant roots to begin taking up the calcium.

Lime is usually calcium oxide and/ or calcium hydroxide. It will raise the Ph of the soil. So one needs to be aware of the soil PH and use as needed. Again lime takes while to break down before calcium is available to plant uptake; but not as long as gypsum.

If calcium is need immediately to cure plant deficiency, then use calcium chloride or calcium nitrate as a foliar spray or ground drench. Mix 1/2 to 1 oz per gal of water for foliar spraying. The calcium is already in a form for immediate plant uptake & uses.


Other forms of calcium will have to breakdown until the calcium is water soluble. So the question is how long will it take to breakdown and the calcium to be water soluble. Oyster shells and bone meal will likely take several months (same as lime) depending on fine the shells & bone are ground.
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

Edwmax,

I remember reading somewhere that bone meal usually takes around a month but that would all depend on the microbiology and how quick they did their job.

I also remember reading about someone crushing eggshells and placing them in a container with water and letting that do its thing for some time and supposedly that would work immediately.

I am not arguing just mentioning about these and hope you or anyone else can add to it
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

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Edwmax,

I remember reading somewhere that bone meal usually takes around a month but that would all depend on the microbiology and how quick they did their job.

I also remember reading about someone crushing eggshells and placing them in a container with water and letting that do its thing for some time and supposedly that would work immediately.

I am not arguing just mentioning about these and hope you or anyone else can add to it
Quick answer ....Yes..... to both questions.
Plus there are many great and accurate internet videos which support both opinions.

Pick the opinion which best suits you growing needs.

Me.....For fun do bonemeal amendment like Espoma added in a personal custom mix.
Results are predictable,quick and noticeable.

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Old 02-10-2021, 10:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

I have used all three, and now prefer gypsum. It can be broken down quicker with added bacteria. I am not a personal fan of bone meal, although it does work if you don't overdo it. I use it when I rarely add phosphorus. I keep phosphorus low, as it can prevent the uptake of other nutrients. If you keep adding the bone meal, over time phosphorus can build up in the soil and cause problems. The egg shells work, but not as good as I originally thought. Some say to cook the eggshells which I have not tried yet. The gypsum, added along with additional microbes, and worked into the soil with a small amount of nitrogen in the form of manure works best for me.
I personally grow 100 percent naturally. I focus on minerals in balance, including trace minerals not often considered such as selenium. In fact I have a few test plants planned for this upcoming season, where I will introduce certain rare minerals into the soil. Last year, I had some really good results with other minerals, which really made the plants look healthy and lush.
I like how gypsum does not interfere with absorption of these trace minerals, if used in the right amounts. Some of the others can change the soil ph unfavorably. Doing so can cause a lockout, and prevent uptake of other minerals.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

Cincinnana,

Thanks for your comments. I use what I can and as natural as possible. Always looking for better ways.


AaronTT,

What other natural element do you add, if you don't mindme asking?

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Old 02-11-2021, 06:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anybody add gypsum to their soil for calcium?

As I was pointing out each calcium product has its pros & cons; and . One needs to know this and what his required needs are. Agricultural Lime and gypsum are very finely ground to speedup its breakdown in the presents of water & microbes in the soil. These are normally applied at the 1st of the year (January & February) so some calcium will be available by May & June. Other forms of Lime & gypsum are more for long term amendments. .... So the real question is what are your needs and expected results?????
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