How to Improve a Hard Red Clay Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Kennesaw, GA
Avatar for mbmorris
Question by mbmorris
April 18, 1999
Before planting our small garden we took a claw and did our best to till the soil. After a few weeks our soil (mostly GA red clay) is hard and lumpy. When we water it seems like it hardly breaks through the surface. What can we do?

Answer from NGA
April 18, 1999
Three words...compost, compost and compost! There is nothing like it to condition a soil like yours. It will stimulate the biological life of the soil starting in motions a long process that breaks up that red clay and turns it into a loose, friable soil ideal for plant growth.

Mix 4-6 inches of compost into the soil when this planting is done. You may need to water that clay a bit first and then give it a day or two to soak in good so that it will be easier to break up.

Every time you change out planting during the next few seasons, work 4 inches more into the soil. You won't believe the results!

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