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Lime from Sheetrock

Posted by ytnok z8-9 E-Cent AL (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 30, 05 at 9:48

Has anyone used sheetrock to add lime to clay soil? I have a new and barren yard full of rocks and red clay. I amended most of the soil with mulch and compost but want to do more in the space for next year's vegetable garden. I was thinking of using some of the sheetrock scraps from the construction around me in lasagna fashion and then turn it in the spring. Any thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Sheetrock is not recommended for the garden.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Hi. I had a large part of my vegetable garden that was very hard and not well drained. I had a lot of left-over sheet rock pieces so I ran them through my shredder and tilled it into the problem area. The ground has been much looser and tillable since then (about three years ago). It worked for me. Good luck. Bill


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

  • Posted by ytnok z8-9 E-Cent AL (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 30, 05 at 13:25

Why is sheetrock "not reccomended" for the garden?


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Because of all of the other stuff in it -- fillers and binders.

IALBTC except sheetrock.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

This has gone through the forum before. I'm sending the link.

Vicky~

Here is a link that might be useful: Sheet rock


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

>Here is a link that might be useful: Sheet rock

That thread quickly devolved into a discussion of whether it's better to use toxics on hand than import non-toxics for the garden and ended with using human waste. It may be more helpful to discuss it here.

I did a quick google search and could find anything on the the manufacture of gypsum board that discussed fillers, binders, or what they are.

I'm interested in knowing the specifics.

Many years ago, I lived a few blocks from a US Gypsum plant. When the wind was right, the stench from a mountain of scrap gyp board could be overpowering. Hadn't thought about that for a long time until this thread reminded me. Thanks for that.

Wayne in the Adks.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

  • Posted by ytnok z8-9 E-Cent AL (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 30, 05 at 14:27

I had a neighbor that rototilled some sheetrock in his clay, and it worked. Another poster above said it worked for them. I kind of agree with one of posters on the previous (but short) discussion of sheet rock that if isn't too toxic to have in your house it isn't too toxic for your garden. But I also agree with Wayne that I'd like more info on the specific binder and fillers rather than just assuming they are no good.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Seems that lignin or lignosulfates are the main binder in sheet rock. Lignin is one of the compounds tht holds wood together, and that is where they get it, so looks it should be fairly green. If you're worried about this stuff in your garden, then toss out those charcoal briquettes, cause lignosulfates hold those together, too. As for fillers, gypsum is the filler. If they could find something cheaper they would use it. Gypsum is mined but is also a byproduct of fossil-fueled power plants. See this link:

http://www.nwgypsum.com/english/e_01.htm

Another compound that might be used in sheetrock is polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). I'm not sure, but it may be used to bind the paper covering to the gypsum. Not something you want to make a martini out of, but it's a water soluble, chlorine-free polymer that has a hazard rating of 1 on a scale of 0 to 4. Here's a PVA link:

http://www.sciencestuff.com/msds/C2272.html

So if I needed some gypsum for my garden and had some sheetrock laying around, I wouldn't mind saving a couple of bucks and a trip to the garden center.

Here is a link that might be useful: lignin


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Ytnok- Do you irrigate your food garden with paint? Wash your clothing in the harshest cleaner in your home? Not trying to be confrontational, just pointing out that things arent always interchangeable. Just because something is in a home doesnt mean its as safe for another use.

With the advent of low-VOC paints, untreated cotton rugs and sheets, flooring made with nontoxic-binders, there have been some realizations that some materials in building MAY be harmful. They might not kill you, they might not even harm many people (ie. only those with asthma) . but many chemicals used today arent 100% good.

If its a flower garden, id consider it, personally. The waste has to go somewhere. If its a food garden, I probably wouldnt because sheerock isnt rated for being eaten, wet, or decomposed/composted

good luck whatever you decide!


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

As far as the original question goes, sheetrock does not provide any lime to the garden at all. It provides gypsum, which can sometimes loosen acid based clay soils. So, if you're looking to sheetrock as a source of lime, you're looking in the wrong direction.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

EVEN if the sheetrock were pure gypsum, which it is not, gypsum is not a recommended soil ammendment for all (most?) soils.

IF I recall correctly, gypsum is recommended for high-sodium clay soils. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

I have clay, but not high-sodium clay.

Not everything in the house is harmless to the garden. Not even everything we recommend highly here is good for plants: a too obvious example is: boiling water and vinegar are frequently recommended here as good, organic herbicides. Certainly not recommended to pour on your favorite peony. :-)


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Aren't vinegar and boiling water recommended as herbicides because they aren't good for plants? I can't recall them being mentioned as effective without the admonition to be careful where you put them. After all, don't herbicides generally kill all plants whether you want them to or not?

I'm not sure I'd compost sheetrock, especially after reading here. I'm not going to even try to compost the old carpet either. But if I don't want to use it on my vegetables I'll skip composting it anyhow, who knows what might end up being grown in today's flowerbed in the future.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

One of the universities -- I believe it was Ohio State, but I'm no longer certain -- stated that use of sheetrock chanced poisoning the soil with boron, something plants need in tiny amounts but an element that is toxic to them in excess amounts.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

While gypsum is the main ingrediant in sheetrock, wallboard, gypsum board, plaster board, and what ever else it might be called, and a large number of people have added it to their soil with apparant good results, the fiberglass used to strengthen that product alone should disuade people from using it in the garden let alone the adhesives used to hold the stuff together.
Could you use it in your garden? Sure, if you care nothing about the future of your soil. People poison their soils every day and think nothing of that. But if you are one of us that believe we should hand our grandchildren a world that is better than what we received gypsum is another product not to use in your soil.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

according to the US dept of agriculture in a report titled "suggested utilization of cut-off gypsum wallboard scraps from new home construction" by Ronald Korcak 1996

"research has demonstrated that the beneficial effects of pulverized gypsum wallboard waste are nearly identical to those of agricultural grade gypsum. gypsum improves plant growth on a varitey of soils due to:

increase in available calcium and sulfer
improved soil tilth and root penetration, particularly in clayey soil
treatment of salt problems in sodic soils.

the scrap drywall should be clean cutoff drywall waste no paint, no type x, no moisture-resistant board.

it shoudl be pulverized to minus 1 inch to 1/4 inch size. it could be spread evenly around the site and allowed to disolve during rainfall events or incorporated with top soil materials."

hope this may clear up any misinformation.

Robert


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

so the govt says it can be useful in sodic-clay soil, as Apchors says .... they also say it should not be added to land fills, and requires recycling at special facilities, at least here in Canada which usually follows US regs, rather than leading

nowadays it's not just the typeX that has the strengthening fibers and fire retardents added, I'd find the proper recycling facility to dispose of it

Bill


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

Use the information you get from any source with caution. This source of this information is the same one that is telling you that there is no harm in genetically modified organisms in your food, that because you have been eating it for over 20 years with no adverse affects there must be no problem. This is the same source of information that allowed Vioxx on the market. Be careful.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

As stated above- it's not made of lime, but gypsum.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

also allowed DDT for crop dusting.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

The clay soils that benefit from gypsum are rare and you probably don't have that type of clay. Simple to check local Ag-Dept who can tell you if these unusual clays are in your area.
Mulch will improve clay and some advise large, actually huge quantities of sand to improve clay.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

While doing some research I discovered these posters on the web it may be of interest to some who want to deconstruct and add the product to the soil.
http://wastegrinding.com/waste.htm


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

here is another link I found re soil augmentation using sheetrock or drywall
www.gypsumrecycling.org


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

And again the discussion devolves.Almost like arguing religion,lots of beliefs but few facts.
If you want to know what sheetrock aka "gyp board" is comprised of,I wouldn't refer to the experts on this site.
Probably one point of agreement,it won't add lime.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

  • Posted by kpic none (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 10:14

After reading this and another thread on using sheet rock in the garden with many advising against it, I did some further research on the subject and found that not only can gypsum board be used in the garden, but there are companies that do recycle gypsum board to be used as a soil improvement. One company, Drywall Recycling Services, explains its use. It is not used to change soil pH, but rather to improve soil, especially clay soils. In fact, their website has the best explanation I've read anywhere for why and how to use lime to improve clay soils, even those with correct pH. A very interesting read.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drywall Recycling Services.


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RE: Lime from Sheetrock

The people in the business of mining and selling Gypsum will tell you that it will improve your soil, especially if that soil is clay. However, soil scientists will tell you that Gypsum will not do much for your soil unless you live in an arid region where the soils are sodic.
You can believe people that want to sell you something or you can believe people that have actually studied what it does in soils.


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