Serpentine soil additives
I recently moved to Brink Rd in Montgomery County, between Wightman and Goshen Roads. The soil in the yard is very thin with lots of shiny slivers of schist. should I spread something like gypsum on the lawn and work it into any garden soil? Chris Bull
Montgomery County Maryland
Have you had your soil tested? In your question, you mention both lawn and garden, so it sounds like you have two different areas you want to amend. We encourage you to start with a soil test -- one for each area/different crop you want to grow. We have a list of recommended soil testing labs on our website, along with all of the information you need in order to submit soil samples for testing. A basic soil test will tell you your pH, nutrient content, and organic matter levels. If you are planning a vegetable garden, we also recommend testing for lead. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing
Gypsum is an amendment that can be used to adjust calcium and sulfur levels in the soil. We would not recommend using any until you have your soil test results. We are happy to assist with interpretation of soil test results.