The Q&A Archives: adobe soil

Question: My adobe soil is so hard that the dirt just cracks on top...when I water...only the top gets runs down my little hill. My fruit trees barely survive...can I dig around the roots and add something? How far should I dig??? This is not only a tree question...but since I had to pick one, I chose trees.

Answer: About the only way to improve clay soil is by digging in organic matter on an annual basis. Depending upon the age and size of your trees you may be able to amend the soil by renting an auger, drilling two inch by 24 inch deep holes beneath the canopy of the tree and filling the holes with builder's sand or compost. The holes will allow water to penetrate deeply and the sand or compost will allow the roots to grow in loosened soil. Hope this information helps.

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