Black land soil - Knowledgebase Question

Plantersville, Te
Question by robertnixon
April 12, 2010
I have the very black clay soil and it appears that the growth comparison to that of a sandy loam soil is very much slower. I have been told the blackland soil is very good in nutrients but my trees and roses sure do grow slow. What can I do to increase the growth rate for my plants and shrubs ?

Answer from NGA
April 12, 2010


The soil in many areas of Texas is the heavy black clay variety. While these clay soils retain moisture and are nutrient rich, clay also drains slowly and compacts, making it difficult for most plants to thrive. Some trees and shrubs thrive in clay soil, but most annuals, perennials and vegetables struggle to establish their root system in this soil. There's not much you can do to improve the soil once your trees and shrubs are planted but you can certainly amend the soil prior to planting annuals and perennials. Start by digging the soil to a depth of about 8 inches and then spreading 3-4 inches of compost or other organic matter over the top. Dig this in to a depth of about 8 inches. A garden tiller makes this job easier but it can be also be done with a shovel. Once you've incorporated the compost, level the soil and plant. Best wishes with your garden!

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