The Q&A Archives: How to Improve a Hard Red Clay Soil

Question: Before planting our small garden we took a claw and did our best to till the soil. After a few weeks our soil (mostly GA red clay) is hard and lumpy. When we water it seems like it hardly breaks through the surface. What can we do?

Answer: Three words...compost, compost and compost! There is nothing like it to condition a soil like yours. It will stimulate the biological life of the soil starting in motions a long process that breaks up that red clay and turns it into a loose, friable soil ideal for plant growth.

Mix 4-6 inches of compost into the soil when this planting is done. You may need to water that clay a bit first and then give it a day or two to soak in good so that it will be easier to break up.

Every time you change out planting during the next few seasons, work 4 inches more into the soil. You won't believe the results!

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