Thanks and it appears that if Synthetic Gypsum is safe to spread on crops, it would stand to reason it must be safe for ginseng I guess. But we all know ginseng is a unique plant for sure. What do you think? Would you put it on your ginseng beds, or would you put it on a test bed to see how the ginseng does?
I am still not sure (like you) on that synthetic gypsum.
It may be approved for ag use but it does not \"feel\" like a good thing to me.
The gypsum that I bought at a local farmers supply store was Sof'n-Soil - Lawn and Garden Gypsum.
I looked on the bag and it did not say if it was from natural mined gypsum or synthetic. It did have the manufacturer listed as USG (United States Gypsum) and I checked their website usg.com
There are articles listed there talking about synthetic gypsum and that they use it in wall board but I could not find anywhere that they stated that they only used natural mined gypsum in the ag product that I bought.
It does say on the bag \"a natural soil conditioner\" so I suppose it may be natural mined gypsum - but who knows for sure.
A lot of folks may be buying bagged ag gypsum at Farmers Co-Ops, garden supply stores, and it very well could be synthetic. May be very hard to find out for sure.
I drilled down from the usg.com site to the one below where they give lots of details on the product that I bought - but I could not see anywhere that they said for sure it was natural or synthetic.
I did some more research on the synthetic gypsum issue this morning and found something interesting.
Today I looked at it from a \"Certified Organic\" point of view. I am a organic gardner myself (in my veggie garden) and have been for 20+ years.
I would not want to grow my ginseng at a lower standard than I do the veggies me and my family eat. If I was buying ginseng from anyone I would want to know it was grown organically too.
I found a website OMRI - Organic Materials Research Institution and you can get a list of several gypsum products that are on their approved list. If you check each of them they all show the source as \"mined gypsum\".
Good point to bring up, as to whether we are using natural gypsum or synthetic gypsum. So just had to go out to the shed and see what my gypsum bag said it contained. The brand is Garden Pearls. It says it is organic and meets National Organic Program (NOP) Standards. It also states it is Derived from mined gypsum. Here is a site with the info.
I think what I have is natural and organic. But I never gave it much thought to check whether it was natural or synthetic when I bought it. I guess I just thought that all gypsum was natural. It sounds like it's popular to use the synthetic in the making of wallboard. It would probably be best to not apply wallboard strips to the soil since there is no way to tell if it is natural or synthetic.
I made a trip over to another county today (Maury County) and checked at the Farmers Co-Op there and they had that same brand of Gypsum that I had purchased previously (Sof'n-Soil Lawn and Garden Gypsum).
I asked if they knew if it was natural mined or synthetic and they had no idea - they had never heard of synthetic gypsum.
They did have several bags in stock ( looked like at least 50 bags in the pile ) and I got 2 more bags.
40 lb bags at $6.25 which I think is a good price - was happy with that. Still have no idea if it is natural or synthetic.
Since that is still unknown I did not buy a lot.
Think I will contact USG and see if they will tell me that before I buy any more.
Also got me a nice new 30\" leaf rake (no clog type) and a new pair of leather gloves - ready to get back to scratching around in the woods now.
Looks like we may get a snow here in the next few days, perhaps after that goes and it warms back up I can get some more seed planted.
That's probably about as handy and cheap as it will get I would think. Back in the fall I paid $35 per 50lb bag of sulphur and that was as cheap as I could find it without driving a good piece. The TN Farmer's Cooperatives generally have about as good a deal on whatever you need for agriculture as you will find. I bought three bags for the 1/3 acre I planted because I felt I needed to get the ph down a bit.
You are right about that 6.25 per 40 lb price - that is real nice. I will not be shopping around as long as I can get it for that.
I did turn up some good news on the USG gypsum products this morning after spending more time on their website looking at detailed documents on their gypsum products.
USG supplies gypsum to several producers that ends up making different brands for resale.
One of the other brands is Ben Franklin.
I found the statements below on that product...
BEN FRANKLIN? Agricultural Gypsum
Better Soil. healthier root systems, deeper water infiltration and higher yield and profits. That's what you have when USG is your high purity supplier. Our selective quarrying assures consistent quality-all natural, environmentally safe agri gypsum.
A natural supplement, BEN FRANKLIN Agricultural Gypsum
is made from quarried anhydrite and gypsum rock, which is
crushed to convenient sizes for agricultural use.
I also did more looking around on the Sof'n-Soil Gypsum page and documents and found the info below stated on them...
I am glad to see on the product that I have been using (and have now found a good source for at a very decent price) that they are describing Gypsum as a natural mineral that is mined or quarried.
In a couple of places they also call it a \"natural\" soil conditioner.
Think I will stop the research at this point and just use the Sof'n-Soil product. I think it has checked out well enough.
Apparently peanut farmers have the same issue we do in that they need to raise Ca without increasing pH. I'm not sure the article adds a whole lot to what's already been discussed, but it does mention that they often use the synthetic gypsum, and that there's basically no difference between all the various sources. They also mention a sprayable gypsum product that is applied to the peanut plant leaves I think. I'd never heard of that before, although I guess it wouldn't be any more useful for us than the dry form.
Nice article on the peanuts and similar need for a calcium as ginseng. Looks like they can get by with minimum of 1000 lbs per acre, where seng needs a minimum of 2000 and 3000-5000 would be even better.
There is a wild peanut that grows out in the woods around here (and I am sure other States too) called the American Hog Peanut.
Below is a youtube vid where I show some maidenhair fern, hog peanut and then a 4 prong I found.
I have noticed over the years that the hog peanut will grow sort of thin and spindly in areas where it looks sort of seng'y but you don't find any, but then when you start seeing maidenhair fern showing up (you know calcium levels are getting right when that fern shows up) well the hog peanut will start looking nice and lush and healthy and may be knee deep at times, well that is when you start finding seng too.
Seeing that tame peanuts require high calcium levels to do well = well that just confirms what I was saying in that youtube vid that I thought that the american hog peanut did as well.