Ann Marie
Wed, 19 Feb 2003 14:31:39 PST
PBS members in California should be aware that Gypsum is listed in State Water Resources Control Board(SWRCB) and Storm Water Pollution Protection Plans (SWPPP) as a pollutant by the EPA.  Watering these areas that have gypsum in the soil can run off into a drain or other facility that carries water, then our water gets contaminated. Homeowners haven't been addressed as of yet to these fines.  But contractors that work for the cities and state are being fined big $$$ for not contain the water on their jobsite.  The contractors are looking for sources of pollutors to back charge.  The Cities are under the gun from these protection agencies(EPA, SWRCB)  to make homeowners responsible too.  It may not happen for a couple of years, but this is also why it is harder to find these products, because they are bad for our water sources.  You should check with your city to see if they have a plan and if the chemicals you are using are on their lists not to be used.
I'm not lecturing anyone I just thought you may want to know what is going on in California.   As Jane McGary's message points out, not all clay soils are equivalent. The
one universal panacea is organic matter, the more the better. My NJ red
clay, laced like a plum pudding with chunks of red shale, is slowly
responding to compost, shredded leaves, shredded branches cadged from the
county road department and used as a mulch (dusting of dried blood or
cottonseed meal speeds their decay) and my favorite, llama beans. The last
can be used intact, or shredded. be warned, the holes in a shredder/
grinder's screen are just that little bit bigger than the "beans" to result
in spraying these little manure pellets all over the driveway with
machine-gun rapidity. Organic matter is not like money in the bank. It
continues to break down and needs constant replenishment. When you consider
that an acre of deciduous woodland here in NJ drops a ton to a ton and a
half of leaves and litter EVERY year, you gain an appreciation for what Mama
Nature does in the recycling department.

About gypsum - usual problem is that people dust a thin coating which is not
sufficient. Gypsum, aka calcium sulphate, should be used at a rate of 5
pounds per 100 square feet in loamy soil, twice that rate of application if
soil is heavy. Spread gypsum, dig in to thoroughly incorporate in top few
inches, lastly thoroughly moisten the treated soil. Gypsum helps loosen
heavy soils, most dramatically where high magnesium levels make matters

Judy in the Garden State with snow-so-deep (otherwise I could see my

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Ann Marie of Southern California, Zone 21 per Sunset Western Garden book (my bible) 

"If it can hold soil, it can hold  plants" Love: Amaryllis Belladonna, Oxalis, Crinum, Succulents, Hippeastrum, Peruvian Daffodils, Iris, Epiphyllum, Epidendrum, Hapranthus 

R Website:  metal sculptures and art for your home and garden.  

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