soil - Knowledgebase Question

Buena Park, Ca
Avatar for mviveros27
Question by mviveros27
November 12, 2010
I planted some trees in Mexico but the soil down there is clay so the trees are not growing up. It's been 4 years. Do you have any tips? Thank you.

Answer from NGA
November 12, 2010
It can be difficult to fix a clay soil after you've planted but you might try the following: make watering basins or watering wells beneath each tree by mounding up a few inches of soil in a circle around the tree, about 12 inches away from the trunk. Water your trees once a week by filling the basin with water, allowing it to drain, then filling a second time. Watering in this way will concentrate the moisture directly over the root system. Once a month or so, use a metal rod (I use a 6' length of rebar) to probe the soil. Just stick the rod into the soil and push it down 2-3 feet. Do this in several places within the watering well. You'll essentially be making holes in the soil where the water can drain, which will ensure the water softens the clay soil so the roots can penetrate well, which will help the trees grow well. Hope this helps.

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