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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?

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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 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.

Last edited by kubali : 06-19-2015 at 02:20 PM.
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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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