How to Insert Metabolism to Strawberry Plants and Gypsum

Nov - 17

How to Insert Metabolism to Strawberry Plants and Gypsum

Calcium is one of the trace elements that help all plants grow, including strawberries (CFragaria spp*. , U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 10). The plants thrive in slightly acidic soil, a low-pH environment that tends to make nutrients like calcium unavailable to strawberry plant roots. For this reason, home growers and farmers alike frequently turn to gypsum, which contributes potassium without changing the pH level of strawberry patches.

New Beds

When you are creating a new strawberry patch, a broadcast spreader will help provide the most even coverage. Since gypsum doesn’t need to be worked into the soil, it can function as a finishing touch after you’ve turned the mattresses and worked in almost any other soil amendments. A 20-pound bag of gypsum will offer necessary calcium to a 100-square-foot strawberry patch, but you can multiply that number as required if you are creating a bigger bed. Use 30 lbs per 100 square feet if a soil test indicates that your soil is excessively low in sodium.

Existing Patches

Once you’ve got tidy — or not so tidy — rows of strawberries, then a lawn spreader is not a practical way of applying gypsum. That’s especially true if you apply the runner system, where the “babies” grow between the first rows. To provide a more even application, mix gypsum with equal amounts of compost. Spade the mixture between the plants and also rake the piles smooth, or even put a 2-inch layer of the gypsum-compost mixture round the base of each plant. Again, aim for 20 to 30 pounds for each 100 square feet of strawberry patch.

Final Measures

Once you’ve broadcast or hand-spread the gypsum above your strawberry patch, water instantly to permit the calcium content of the amendment to start penetrating the dirt straight away. Additionally, quick irrigation prevents the powdery substance from blowing away, especially if it was not mixed with heavier compost. If it’s a new, unplanted bed, sprinklers are fine for this use. However, an existing strawberry patch can suffer from fungal disease as a result of overhead watering, therefore use a soaker hose or stage your garden hose to the soil beneath the plants, watering until the gypsum is no more dry.

Limestone Alternative

It is feasible for garden soil to be too acidic for strawberry plants, which prefer a pH of 5.5 to just under 7.0. If your soil’s pH is lower than 5.5, crushed stone is a better option than gypsum. Lime not only brings your soil’s pH level, but also adds calcium. **Using lime and gypsum in combination is not advised**, because an excessive amount of calcium can be as harmful to crops as too little.

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