The Q&A Archives: Amending Clay Soil

Question: I have recently moved here from Florida, and am at a loss as to what to do with the soil here. It is very full of clay and very difficult to cultivate, I have added top soil and humus and turned the soil, but still the soil is difficult at very best.I love flowers and love to help them grow, but don't know what else to do, especially with the seeds I have tried to start, any help would be greatly appreciated. Robin Breaux Albuquerque, NM

Answer: Clay or caliche soil isn't all bad. It can form the base for a decent growing soil, it just takes time and patience to achieve a decent soil. The best amendments are an annual application of at least 6" deep of compost, rotten manure, and other organic matter that will help to lighten and break up the clay. It may be easier for you to plant seedling into the ground than seeds. You can buy them or start them yourself. You can also form raised beds on top of the clay with better soil and plant inthose beds, or use containers for many vegetables. There's more than one way to grow a veggie!

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