The Q&A Archives: Bad Soil - Like Clay

Question: What can I do to help my flowers and plants grow in really bad soil. My soil/dirt in my yard is like wet clay and my plants and flowers are not doing so well.

Answer: You can improve your clay soil, but it will take several seasons. It's worth the work, though, because your plants will thrive. Begin by amending the soil with compost or other organic matter. I spread 3"-4" of aged-compost over the entire bed and dig it in to a depth of 6"-8". Then plant and cover the bare soil with another inch or two of organic matter to help hold moisture and suppress weeds. At the end of the season dig the mulch material into the soil. The following spring, prior to planting, spread another few inches of aged-compost over the bed and dig it in. Plant your flowers or veggies and add another inch or two of organic mulch. Dig this in at the end of the season. Following the same procedure for 3-4 years will result in healthy, loose, moisture retentive yet well-draining soil.

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