Anyone Heard of or used Liquid Gypsum?

davidwv(z6SouthernWV)May 29, 2010

Have any of you heard of or had and experience with this product Liquid Gypsum \ Liquid Thrive, same product different name? I donÂt know if that their claims are advertising hype or if it works as advertised. With my garden soil being heavy clay this product seems somewhat interesting to me. And if it does work as advertised the price is very reasonable too.

With my increasing age and health problems I just cannot lug the organic material up the steep hill where my garden is located like I used to be able to do. We do amend with compost, grass clippings, cardboard and some leaves. I have an "ok" amount of organic material in my soil, enough for the worms to be a little happy. For example after the couple of inches of rain we have had, there are lots of holes showing in the garden from the worms entrances. But it is still very poor draining, taking several days to a couple of weeks to dry out, and that is with no additional rain.

Before asking about this product I did a search on the forum to make sure it had not been discussed previously and I ran up on a thread were someone said that molasses would help clay soil, any truth to this?

Right now I am in desperate need of planting my tomatoes and other garden veggies, but with over 2 inches of rain in the past two days my garden is too wet to work in. I may have to put down some boards to distribute my weight and ease them into the soil anyway. I just canÂt keep putting it off.

I would appreciate any comments or thoughts you guys might have about the products I mentioned.



Here is a link that might be useful: Liquid Gypsum

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Gypsum is known to help sodic clay soils by latching onto the salts that cause those particular clay soils to bind together. Gypsum does nothing for non sodic clay soils in spite of the hype the sellers of those products use. Since few of the clay soils in West Virginia will be sodic, because of ample rainfall, the use of even liquid gypsum would generally be a waste of your money.
The simple fact is that the single most bestest way to make clay soils workable (or sandy soils) is to add organic matter to them.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Although his explanation of the "how's" and "why's" is a bit off, Kimmsr's take home message is correct. If you don't have an imbalance of sodium to calcium and magnesium, gypsum won't help even a little.

That being said, liquid gypsum isn't gypsum at all. It's calcium chloride and I've seen it burn the hell out of plants. And to answer your other question, liquid gypsum and thrive are precisely the same product. They just use different names in different states; like most con artists.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:17AM
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David.... You mention your age/health issues as a limiting factor in your ability to tend/cultivate your garden. I guess we all mitigate our age/health situations differently. May I suggest a few that have been helpful to me? [1] Re: lugging materials to a higher part of my garden: There are two boys in our church who are eager to help AND to earn some spending money. It seems like a continuation of my child-rearing years, so no pride issues. They haul and tug and TAKE INSTRUCTIONS better than an adult would. [1] When my sons visit, I ask them to haul stuff to the upper level. Once it is there, I can process it [make compost pile, dig/ammend soil, etc] [3] Once or twice a year my sons bring in tree-trim-mulch and spread where I need it. [4] I have a small garden cart - way easier to handle than a wheel barrow - that helps me to move things around. [5] Finally ... after so many years of being stubbornly independent, actually asking for help was a bit of a challenge. But have been just blown away by the cheerful and eager help that folks are willing to extend. Age 'is what it is' as they say. Can't leap tall buildings with a single 'shrug' OH WELL.

Can't add much to kimmsrs's OM, OM, OM, drumbeat [which I'm sure you know]My soil is clay-based and 35 years of adding OM is in good shape. Hope some of these suggestions will help. Good gardening!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:11AM
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