Can I use scraps of drywall gypsum in my garden?
Yes you can. But before you try to drop off your truckload of drywall, or use it in your garden, here are a few important considerations:
It’s best to peel away the paper covering, break up the scraps into small chunks and add them to your compost pile first. When it’s time to work the compost into your garden, all the pieces of gypsum will have crumbled and can be mixed in the soil with the compost.
It needs to be clear of any foreign objects such as screws, nails, joint tape, and wires.
Be sure that the drywall is not covered in lead paint, some houses were painted with lead paint up until 1979.
Check to make sure the drywall does not contain asbestos. While this is not in use anymore, a handful of manufacturers used it in the past.
Boron is a natural element that is added to drywall as a fire retardant. Although too much boron can be toxic to plants, it is a plant nutrient, and its addition may be beneficial where the boron content in the soil is low.
These are a few checks that are vital to your health and well being.
Gypsum is technically known as calcium sulfate and adds both calcium and sulfur to the garden. It can help lower a high pH or help raise a low one. In other words, it’s a pH neutralizer.
Gypsum also helps improve soil texture by allowing air and water to move between the clay soil particles easier. Gypsum helps leach, or flush out, harmful salts from the soil. Gypsum also helps release nutrients already in the soil so that plants can utilize them easily.