Planting in Clay: Planting on Clay

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Planting in Clay

By Dutchlady1
May 30, 2013

If you have heavy soil (clay, for instance), it is best to make a small mound of good top soil in which to plant your plants, so they don't get waterlogged and rot.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
May 29, 2013 6:25 PM CST
Very good idea! A raised mound of soil keeps the root zone above the water table. And as long as you only build UP, that's all you need. I think you might be smart to keep it all above ground level. The drainage is good up there!

But if you dig DOWN into soil that doesn't drain faster than it rains, you just create a mud bath, which may be good for facials, but not for plant roots!

I made some raised beds that not only went UP, but allowed roots to penetrate DOWN below grade into partially-amended clay ... which at first meant "underwater".

I had arranged for the low points in some beds on a slope to drain down to a nice, low point.

I had remembered that water would flow downhill, but I had forgotten that once it got there, it would stay there. So now I trench so that the floor of a bed always has somewhere lower to drain down TO ... then I also build up a mound of good soil as you do.

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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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lovemyhouse
May 29, 2013 7:11 PM CST
Guardian at the Gates Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 29, 2013 7:20 PM CST
That's Mr. Toby's Dignified Pose.

He's much too cool to admit that he knows me once he's outdoors and other cats can see him.

My sister used to teach Junior High School, and explained that he was "too cool for school".

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
May 29, 2013 7:49 PM CST
Planting on a mound isn't always a good idea if you live in a frozen tundra all winter. Roots freeze out more easily when elevated like that.

Karen
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 18, 2013 7:47 PM CST
>> Roots freeze out more easily when elevated like that.

True. The soil also dries ou faster, especially at the corners. I think that concrete "breathes" water out and air in. At least it does when there are gaps between the pavers.

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