Prepping garden - Knowledgebase Question

millbury, Oh
Question by michaeldebbi
February 25, 2010
I'm planting a garden in a large area of mainly clay.Should I dig up the clay several inches down and replace it with topsoil?

Answer from NGA
February 25, 2010


Sounds drastic, but you can replace the clay with topsoil. Or, you can improve your clay soil by adding organic matter. Start this spring by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant, and then mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular garden. Best wishes with your garden!

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