The Q&A Archives: red mud

Question: built a new home in Katrina land and now have to deal with red mud. I know to dig twice the dia and depth..what grows best in these conditions? I am trying to use basically perennials. HELP

Answer: When you are digging into your clay soil, be sure to add lots of organic matter to help loosen it so it drains as well as possible. (An alternative is to garden in raised beds.) The following plants will not only grow well in clay soils, they will actually improve the soil!

Echinacea Purple Coneflowers-These plants literally will break up the soil as they grow. They are drought tolerant, sun loving, vibrant and provide food for the Goldfinches. There are many cultivars with different petals, colors, or other characteristics.

Painted Daisies-These plants are similar to the Purple Coneflower, but come in different colors.

Leucantheum maximum Shasta Daisies-These white daisies came from the mum family and provide cheery blooms similar to, but usually larger than, daisy flowers.

Blue Cornflowers-These brilliant blue flowers cover the plant above beautiful, gray, strappy leaves. This plant is also drought tolerant.

Daylilies-The daylilies that have naturalized huge sweeps of neglected land are an example of exactly how tough these plants are. Daylilies come in many colors and bloom variations.

Lirope-This green, grass-like plant is amazingly tough and does quite well in clay.

Coreopsis or Tickseed-This plant is very drought hardy and also very tolerant of clay. It is covered with a mass of small, daisy-like flowers during the summer months, and has delicate, ferny foliage.

Rudbeckia or Black Eyed Susans-These cheery perennials look striking massed in front of Purple Coneflowers. Bright yellow petals surround their black centers.

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