Farm, Garden and The Land > Gardening and Agriculture

Sheet Rock Scrapes and Raised Beds

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First I have acidic soil. It tests in the 5.5 to 6 ph range, average rainfall 42".  4 rural acres, lots of hardwoods, oaks, hickories, a wild berry from the blueberry family, muscadines, etc.  We already have planted blueberries and thornless blackberries which are happily growing. 

At the top of the property we are putting in some raised beds. (Ground there is hard and gravely, thinking much of the top soil eroded off years back, not too much grows there although rest of the property is determined to grow all kinds of stuff, good news is that area has sun) We were given a bunch of landscape timbers and are putting in raised beds this winter to use next spring/summer. 

We also have scrapes of sheetrock from when we turned half of a metal shop building into living quarters.  My husband wants me to use those as weed barriers under the raised beds instead of cardboard. The raised beds are about 3-4 landscape timbers high. That may or may not be a good idea.

Searching online I read where some places it may not be allowed to bury sheetrock. That it will make the soil less acidic (I am ok with that but not around my happy blueberry plants. I saw some using broken bits in areas with lots of clay (not my problem here), to dry out a muddy spot.  Someone else burned the sheet rock and spread the gypsum and ashes around to make their soil less acidic.  (I sprinkle wood ashes around my fruit trees in hopes it will help them) 

Has anyone had any experience with any of this?  Or we could just haul it off, just making sure we aren't hauling off something useful. 

T Kehl:
I've used sheet rock scraps to add calcium and raise pH.  Broke it into chunks, let it get rain and snow on it overwinter to soften, tilled it in the spring.  Did not measure before and after though...

I think it would be a good weed barrier. 

Only caution is if it has paint on it, I'd peel that off.  Yes there's probably some glue in there as well, but if you would use cardboard as mulch, it would be about the same.

Thanks, that helps. 

Tried burning, that doesn't work well.  I think rain would do a better job. 

That acidic soil sounds good to me... we had very alkaline soil in our last place (still working on the new one), which made it impossible to grow blueberries. I don't know anything about trying to make the soil more alkaline... please let us know how it works out for you...

I've thought of using it for raised bed walls; the paper will eventually come off in the rain and the gypsum will stick to the sole of your foot if it collects on the pathway. I didn't use it for that but I do use it around an out building to keep weeds down. There might be a problem with drywall made in China.


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