amendments - Knowledgebase Question

Philadelphia, Pe
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Question by epbrice
July 9, 2010
What can I use to amend compacted clay-like soil?
It was suggested to me thst the reason my tomato plants were dying after two months was because I didn't amend deep enough to accomadate the deep roots of the tomatoes. HELP, Please.

Answer from NGA
July 9, 2010
You can use any organic matter to amend your clay soil. Compost, peat moss, aged manure, shredded leaves, etc. will help loosen your soil so roots can penetrate deeply. I clear the bed of plants, spread 3-4 inches of compost over the top and then dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. You can plant your veggies or perennials and then mulch over the bare soil between the plants with another 2-3 inches of organic matter. This mulch will help suppress weeds, slow water evaporation and help moderate soil temperatures. At the end of the growing season dig the mulch into the soil and spread a fresh layer. It will take a few years of repeating this process on an annual basis but eventually you'll have rich garden loam instead of clay soil. Best wishes with your garden.

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