soil - Knowledgebase Question

houston, Te
Question by geraswt
April 19, 2010
the soil in my yard is clay, what can I do to make my plants grow in it.

Answer from NGA
April 19, 2010


The best thing you can do for a clay soil is to add composted organic matter, which will improve the structure and internal drainage and aeration of the soil. Do this any time you plant or replant a garden bed. Add a couple of inches of compost and work it in deeply. You might also consider building raised planting beds which will not only make the soil easier to work but will also improve drainage. Choosing plants to grow in clay soil takes some discretion. Certainly, plants that need a well drained soil are not going to be happy growing in clay. Don't give up, though. There are plants that not only tolerate clay soil, many will also help break up and improve its texture. Rugged native prairie plants have the constitution to hold up in clay. Tap rooted plants can get deep enough so that their roots don't rot and they break up the texture of clay on their way down. Some plants that tolerate clay soils include the following: Amsonia (Blue Star), Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed), Aster, Coreopsis (Tickseed), Echinacea purpurea (Coneflower), Eryngium yuccifolium (Sea Holly), Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower), Helianthus x laetiflorus (False Sunflower), Heliopsis helianthoides (Ox Eye), Hemerocallis (Daylily), Liatris (Gayfeather), Monarda (Bee Balm), Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Solidago (Goldenrod) and Yucca filamentosa (Adam's Needle).

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