Travis Johnson wrote:You really need a soil test to get a baseline, and at $12 there is no reason not too.
T Melville wrote:I'm attaching the MSDS for the sheetrock. The way I read it, it's safe. I thought I saw a mention of fire retardant, but can't find it now.
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone wrote:BTW, where do you live? Frostline vs. no frostline makes a big difference in how you do everything.
One other thing, if you can, make a compost extract or tea and pour that over the bed area you are treating once you have the amendments worked into the soil, that will boost the bacterial counts and get things rolling well.
Ken W Wilson wrote:Sorry if that sounded overwhelming or like an interrogation. I didn't mean it that way. I haven't been sleeping enough. Just trying to help.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau T. Melville, First I have to say, very nice garden area you are working on there.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:When a root crop plant grows nice greens but no root, you have soil conditions that don't allow for root growth, this is usually soil that is to tight.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:For an area like that you need to get the soil particles separated, I love the broad fork for this but a regular gardener's fork will do pretty well.
Clay soil is not the best for growing root crops. We need to get some open structures into all those superfine particles so air can get in and water can seep down.
This is where finely broken pieces of gypsum can do superior work, this will need to be forked into the top layer, it will tend to migrate down once you have done this.
I would want about a 5 gal. bucket per 10 sq. ft. to start with, spread it out over the 10 sq. ft. and use the fork to stab down then pull back on the handle to lift, do not turn over the soil, just open it up, this is what a broad fork does too.
If you have straw that too can be forked into the soil on a second pass, this will continue to open the soil structure and your toppings will filter down in the cracks and that will start separating those super fine clay particles.
That will allow water and air to have spaces to hang out and that will help the bacteria and fungal spores (most straw has these organisms present when you buy it) to start growing and doing their soil building thing.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:I like to break gypsum board pieces into a very small size about like a half pencil eraser works fine for soil amendment and these are small enough to drop into broad fork cracks.
John Duda wrote:Drywall is made from crushed slag which is a byproduct of melting a mineral out of rock. We have lots of it here in Pittsburgh. I once put about 5 tons in a steep 300 foot driveway. The story was that as you drove over it, it would lock together, almost like concrete. Well the next big storm washed it all into the road. Some of it in the travel lanes I shoveled into a wheelbarrow and filled in the deepest ruts. After that I just used limestone. Usually #3 which is about 3 inch diameter at the biggest. The limestone is cheaper even here in slag central.
If I was buying an amendment for my garden I'd go with lime. If I had some scrap drywall I'd go with lime.
Here's a link to the characteristics of slag:
There's a mountain of slag as you enter the Squirrel Hill tunnel from the east as your approaching Pittsburgh. I wouldn't go there and shovel up the silt at the bottom of the mountain. I'd buy a bag of lime, for what, two bucks.
John Duda wrote:Bryant
I got that out of my head and seem to remember the discussion about imported dry-wall. I have to admit I don't know what percentage of dry-wall is still imported.
I would use lime.