Sodium Amendment: Bonus Uses for “Gypsum”

From dog spots to weed control, this is a product that should not be overlooked!

For those of you reading this who have used our Soil Test Kit, you know that we recommend sampling your front and back yard separately. What we didn’t elaborate on is why.

As Canadians, we are all familiar with the necessary evil that is winter road salt. It covers your vehicle, stains your shoes, and can irritate your pets’ paws – the obvious downfalls. What you don’t see, however, is the damage being done to your soil.

When sodium accumulates in soil, it can become harmful to root systems.

Road salt is primarily made up of sodium chloride so, if you live along a main road, you can guess where this sodium originates. Maintenance vehicles that are equipped with a spinner disc can throw salt upwards of 20 feet into your front yard.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “My street doesn’t get salted, so I don’t need to worry!” Right? Not necessarily. Think about how much snow builds up on your vehicle during winter driving. Mixed in with that snow is the salt from city streets – some of which is bound to end up on your driveway. In most cases, driveways are sloped to drain right onto the lawn. Maybe that isn’t the case, but where do you throw snow when you shovel?

In general, sodium concentrations are higher within a few feet of hard surfaces.

In these areas, gypsum can be applied without a soil test. This product is naturally mined and is effective in the displacement of sodium ions. Once these ions have been detached from the soil particle, they can be flushed out with rainwater – this process is also called “leaching.”

Bonus application #1: Weed pressure.

Apply gypsum along curbs and other hard surfaces where weeds are becoming an issue. Use a small container to sprinkle a generous amount in these areas. Water in or apply just before rain.

Bonus application #2: Dog spots.

Scoop a cup of gypsum and sprinkle onto the burned grass. Be careful not to suffocate your grass, it still needs oxygen in order to bounce back! Water in after application.

94 views0 comments