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Soil Amendments

Q.If Gypsum Not Useful For Home Gardens, What Is When Soil Is Hardpan

Zone Santa Rosa, CA 9b I think | caffreyc added on August 22, 2020 | Answered

The soil in my section of the mobile home park where I live has not been amended for years. In addition, it consists largely of soil that was scraped onto the area when the park was leveled. It is poor quality – does not appear to contain much if any topsoil. I cannot afford to have the soil dug up and amended or large quantities of top soil brought in. I’ve put some compost on top and some areas have been additionally mulched for 2-3 years. Still hard as a rock just below the mulch and compost. I live in California where we get mainly just winter rains – and lately not enough of that. The local fires have required that we restrict water use. I plan to wait til the rains and see if a young gardener friend can at least loosen some of the soil. But without something to break up the hardpan, it will probably harden again during dry weather. Since your article on gypsum says it may not in fact be much use, what can be done, if anything, that does not require digging up and amending the soil mechanically? If you feel the answer might be of use to others, please feel free to post it as well as sending it to my personal email.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 24, 2020

As long as they are not restricted for use in your area, then earthworms may be your answer! They can break up the toughest of soils as long as you feed them. Kitchen scraps and compost can be fine.

Here are some articles that will help you:




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