Choose Plants Wisely: Seek out plants that are well-suited to your native soil. Often, the advice for amending clay soil is to “add sand.” Yet if you have a relatively small 100 square foot garden area that is thick with clay soil, you’ll need many yards of sand to amend it. Remember that container gardening and raised beds are both gardening options that may make your life easier – and your good-soil dreams come true. Decomposed pine bark, manure, organic compost, bagged garden soil, peat moss, even grass clipping and leaves from your trees in the fall can be added to improve your soil. Avoiding Sand as a Soil Amendment for Clay Soils. This helps open up the soil. Once the mound is flatted down, you can add more soil … The best time to thoroughly amend the soil for a garden plant is at the time of planting, which is why it pays to work hard to enrich clay garden soils from the start. With our clay soil, roots grow within the top 12-18 inches of the soil, in order to get enough oxygen. For our plants to perform at their very best, it is our job to give them the best soil we can, but clay soils can make this a challenge. Over-amending soil can do more harm than good, as can using the wrong amendment. Add about 3″ and work into the soil to 8-10″. Pennington is here to help you overcome lawn and garden challenges and grow the best lawn and garden possible , in heavy clay and every other soil type. For example, if your soil is clay, don’t try growing coastal plants that are suited for sandy soil. By taking steps to improve and maintain your heavy clay soil, you can enjoy all the benefits clay offers and reap the rewards of healthy soil and plants. Also, planting on a mound and a bitter higher ground can improve draining of the soil. You can buy a compost bin , make your own, or just pile up organic materials and … Clay soil is great for retaining water, but it isn't ideal for drainage because the density of clay makes it heavy and sticky when wet. Amending Clay Soil. They would possibly hit the bottom of the tree ring, then have to circle down to go around it. We would love to show how it’s done. I encourage gardeners to make their own compost. As a soil amendment compost is excellent, improving both clay and sandy soils, increasing water holding capacity, and enhancing plant growth. The buried pipe is in no way going to help the plants . Research shows that soil should be amended with 5% organic matter (compost). You need to ammend the soil I use peat moss, sand and steer manure in equal parts for each hole I dig for planting make the hole at lease twice as big as the container the plant comes in and 3 x is even better make sure that the hole with ammendments is 2x deep than needed This has always worked for me in clay soil. by John Dromgoole. As you can see, even though heavy clay soil can be frustrating, there are a lot of ways to improve it so you can garden with ease and grow crops that thrive. That’s expensive and does nothing to boost the nutrient value of the soil along the way. Amending your soil is an easy process, but isn’t going to happen overnight, or even with a single act. Pea gravel: Add about 3″ to the top of the soil and work it in to about 8-10″. This simple shift will make gardening much easier and ensure that your plants are healthy long after those soil … It’s going to take time, and the time that it takes to improve clay soil will vary among all lawns and gardens—but, there is a specific soil treatment path that works very well when followed. How can you improve clay soil for better drainage and plant health? And if it turns out your soil is going to be very difficult, expensive or time-consuming to amend, don’t lose heart! Decomposed granite: You can screen this if you like. This kind of soil drains water faster and will prevent plants to suffer from overwatering. This approach works best on trees, but you can apply it to every other plant. Native plants have adapted to clay's heavy density and lack of nutrients but if you want to plant a diverse garden, you'll need to address these pitfalls by adding amendments. Ask us about it. To suffer from overwatering the soil along the way, don ’ t growing! 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