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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 04-25-2017, 07:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Gypsum

Does any of you have any experience using gypsum or liquid gypsum in clay soil? I live just northeast of Atlanta.

I made a newly tilled flower bed and want to plant some Basjoos and elephant ears but the soil has really bad drainage. I dug a few nice size holes to fit some existing Basjoos and the soil was very muddy and full of chalky rock. It made me think to fill the holes with water before transplanting and the water literally hasn't drained out of the holes in over a week. VERY BAD and ruining my hard work and plans for a killer banana canopy following a sidewalk in the back yard.

I've been doing some research and found that gypsum or liquid gypsum is being used for this type of scenario to break down the clay enough for proper/better drainage.

I know to do the test with putting some of the clay-ish soil in in a mason jar with clean water to see if it clouds up after 24 hours but I was curious to see if any of you have had this scenario or used gypsum.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gypsum

My experience is that the gypsum takes a really long time if ever to loosen clay soil. I have dug a huge deep hole. Take a post hole digger and dig as far down as you can stand. Fill hole with gravel. I also have put about two or three inches of coarse sand on the bed and till in. I have done both but tilling is a ton of sand alone has worked well. Sounds like you have a big problem.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Gypsum

Thank god it's not my main 2 areas I grow my naners but it still sucks.

I have the basic soil test going with the ball of clay in water now. I'll know by tomorrow afternoon if liquid gypsum will work. It's supposed to work after a rain.

I'm beginning to think is just so compacted from heavy equipment that was used when my house was under construction.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Gypsum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Brah View Post
Thank god it's not my main 2 areas I grow my naners but it still sucks.

I have the basic soil test going with the ball of clay in water now. I'll know by tomorrow afternoon if liquid gypsum will work. It's supposed to work after a rain.

I'm beginning to think is just so compacted from heavy equipment that was used when my house was under construction.
Any update on this? Did the gypsum work?
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Gypsum

I never tried it. I mixed a lot of organic material in the top foot and then put black mulch over that and it has softened up the clay so much. It usually takes a season or two for the organic material to break-down the clay-ish soil.

I figured I would put the gypsum but still have the clay which I don't want. I'm glad I took the time to do it this way instead of gypsum.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gypsum

Gypsum works long term....

If I added it to my clay soil ....it would still be clay soil....for a long time.
If I added it to my soil for along time ... it will still be clay soil.
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gypsum

Just found an example of what I mean.
Pics are from a few years ago .

Untitled

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gypsum

Nasty! Looks worse than mine.
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