The Q&A Archives: Amending Clay Soil

Question: We have very hard-pack clay soil. What is the best way to amend it for adequate drainage for a vegetable garden?

Answer: Add a 4-6 inch layer of compost and incorporate it (either by digging or tilling) about 12-18 inches deep. Each planting season, add more compost. Compost improves drainage in clay soils. Continue to add lots of organic matter each year, which over time will not only improve your soil's fertility and drainage. It also provides food for earthworms and microorganisms that do the soil-building process. You can never add too much compost! You can use ready-made compost, make your own, or use any mix of organic matter such as dried leaves, pine needles, straw, chipped matter, etc. Good luck!

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