clay - Knowledgebase Question

coraopolis, Pe
Question by kavitha21m
April 11, 2010
I have clay in the ground where i am planning to have some flowering plants n shrubs. can i dig it out till what i need and put potting soil and start my plants there?

Answer from NGA
April 11, 2010


You can, but it sounds extreme to try to remove the clay. It would be better to amend the entire planting bed with organic matter to loosen the clay and help the area drain well. You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add 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.

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