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How to Use Gypsum

By Kimberly Alston

Gypsum is effective as a soil conditioner. It is not an instant fix, but can eventually improve the condition of clay soil or hardpan (compacted) soil. These types of soils make it difficult to grow plants and trees or lawns. Gypsum is easy to apply, all you really need is a spreader. It can improve existing yards or prepare soil for a new lawn. Gypsum applications can be done any time of the year and should show marked improvement in your lawn within three years.

Aerate your lawn. If you do not have grass till the top soil. Be sure to break up any large clumps.

Load your spreader with gypsum pellets. Do this on a surface that will allow easy clean-up of any spills.

Using the handle lever, open the spreader holes to light distribution which is about a quarter of an inch. Your gypsum product may suggest other coverage amounts. Adjust your spreader to comply with label directions if necessary.

Keeping the holes open for light distribution, walk around the perimeter of your lawn. Use an even pace to ensure the pellets are evenly spread.

Walk back and forth through the interior of the lawn using the same pace. Overlap each back and forth pass to avoid missing any areas. Reload spreader when the gypsum gets low.

Use a rake to spread or work in the gypsum. Water your lawn. Follow gypsum label instructions for continued lawn maintenance.

Repeat annually.


Things You Will Need

  • Lawn aerator Lawn spreader Pelletized gypsum Rake


  • If you have a smaller yard, you can use a hand spreader.


  • Pulverized (powder) gypsum cannot be applied with a spreader because it clumps in the spreader holes.


About the Author


Kimberly Alston is a teacher certified in kindergarten through eighth grades, which she uses to inspire her writing. She received her undergraduate degree from Norfolk State University and her master's degree from Old Dominion University.