The Q&A Archives: Adding Manure to Clay Soil

Question: We have just planted 2 new flower beds and now have reservations about our soil preparations. We've added lots of peat moss and in one bed we added 2 kg of gypsum. Can we now add some sheep manure around plants to help improve drainage. Our soil is a very heavy clay.

Answer: Plenty of organic matter is excellent for all soil types, including clay, in which it will improve drainage. It is better to work it into the soil; try to at least scratch it in some to the side of the plants. Manure is a good source of organic matter, but make sure it is well-aged, 3-6 months, before putting it around plants. Fresh manure is high in nitrogen, which can easily burn plants.

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