The Q&A Archives: Soil

Question: What is the best way to prepare a heavy clay soil for trees?

Answer: Hilton,

Spread compost about 4 inches thick in as wide an area as possible, hopefully at least 5-10 feet wide. Then spade it in as deeply as you can to blend it with the existing soil. A slightly raised planting mound will help drain away excess water during wet periods.

Dig your hole just deep enough to accommodate the tree's root system and to set it at the depth it was growing before. You can dig it wider than the root spread to avoid bending roots to fit it the planting hole. Firm the soil in around the roots to remove air pockets and give it a good soaking after it is planted.

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