The Q&A Archives: Lanscaping

Question: We have a new home with red clay. What can we plant there?

Answer: The good news is that most vegetables and flowers will be perfectly happy in clay soil. But you can improve your soil prior to planting by incorporating some organic matter which will loosen the soil and help it drain better. Start by spreading 4-5 inches of compost, aged manure or shredded leaves over the entire garden bed and digging it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Level the soil and plant your veggies or flowers, then add another 2-3 inches of organic matter over the bare soil, around the plants. This mulch will help suppress weeds, slow water evaporation and moderate soil temperatures. At the end of the season dig the mulch into the soil and add a fresh layer. After a few years of incorporating organic mulch into the garden your soil will change from clay to nice garden loam. Best wishes with your garden!

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