The Q&A Archives: Soil

Question: How can I improve clay soil for planting?

Answer: Clayey soils can be improved with organic material. Amend the planting bed with lots of compost, aged manure, and/or peatmoss. Begin by spreading a 3-4" layer over the top of the soil and digging it in to a depth of 6-8". Plant your shrubs or perennials, then topdress the soil with an inch or two of organic matter. This organic mulch will help slow water evaporation, suppress weeds, and provide nutrients to plant roots as the mulch material decomposes. Dig it in at the end of the growing season and topdress with additional organic matter. It will take a few years, but eventually your soil will improve. Best wishes with your garden!

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