Soil and Compost forum: what is below clay in my area

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Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Apr 8, 2016 7:01 PM CST
I can't find an area specific layout in which I can relate to. I got about 4 ft down so far. My goal is China by the way.. just kidding
I've hit gray clay like stuff.
Thumb of 2016-04-09/bhart90/db1642

Brenden
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Apr 9, 2016 7:41 AM CST
A hugelkultur bed does not have to be humped up into the air. It can fill a trench just as well.
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Apr 9, 2016 4:40 PM CST
Nono, I was wondering geographically... what comes after below this
Brenden
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 10, 2016 8:32 AM CST
You can find soil surveys online for your area. I had found one for IN which was really interesting. I think it was through Purdue but can't remember exactly.
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
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bhart90
Apr 10, 2016 9:35 AM CST
Yeah MSU has one but it is too complicated to understand
Brenden
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Apr 10, 2016 9:58 AM CST
That gray stuff is about 2.5-3 feet down in my garden. Clay.
And if you go lower..it stinks. Impossible to dig through. China will just have to come to me.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 10, 2016 10:50 AM CST
Brenden - I did manage to partially wade through the soil survey for my section of IN - reading it online and googling terms, etc that I didn't understand. Of course, it will depend on how much backfill the builder used around your house. Clay is preferred for backfill around house foundations because it helps stabilize it.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Apr 11, 2016 6:25 AM CST
Brenden, you could ask your local extension office, they should have more idea. The soil horizons can very from place to place even in close proximity, so I don't think anyone here can tell you what's underneath the clay. You were able to dig down far further than you would have been able to where I am, you'd have hit rock by now in many cases.

Just out of curiosity, why are you digging down that far?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Apr 11, 2016 3:41 PM CST
>> Brenden, you could ask your local extension office, they should have more idea.

I agree

Here's MI extension contact info by county:
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/county


I think you would need a finer map than just "county" to find what the deeper soil horizons are, right where you live.

But if that gray layer is clay, it doesn't matter very much to gardeners what's underneath it. Since water won't penetrate it very fast, rain water will run off according to the slope of the permeable layers above the clay.

Since oxygen can't penetrate it very well, it will have little soil life and no roots growing down through it. So it could be bedrock, sand or green cheese, as far as your plants are concerned.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 11, 2016 3:49 PM CST
Maybe just check with neighbors, maybe they have had cause to did down deeper and know how deep the clay is.
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Apr 11, 2016 3:50 PM CST
When the reservoir for our pondless streamwas dug...that grey stuff seemed to go on forever...it was useful to create the bank/ side wall for the stream...in it were huge rocks...abundant enough to make me wonder about radon in the area. i checked that out and looks like we would have to go further west to encounter that issue.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

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