Fine grained mineral component of soil. Lots of clay can cause a soil to be heavy and sticky.

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344 views

What is the advantage of a raised bed over clay soil vs just amending the clay soil?

Assuming: There are no tree roots or moles around to worry about. I am young and don't mind bending over the extra 6-12 inches. What is the advantage of building a raised bed vs just heavily ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Should I do a soil test before or after amending soil?

I want to plant blackberries, raspberries, and a vegetable garden in the heavy clay soil in my backyard. So, I plan to heavily amend it by spreading 3" expanded shale and 6" of compost and working ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

Can I fix clayey soil with hugel beds?

I heard about hugel kultur beds, study a bit about it and I think it might help me fix my backyard. It is about 13x11 m that I want to be fertile (so far only weed grows in it). It is heavily packed ...
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votes
2answers
623 views

How to grow Trailing Rosemary as a ground cover in very heavy clay?

I want to cover a large area that is on a steep slope with ground cover. There is absolutely no soil at all, it's all pure clay: hard rock when dry and soft when wet. I was thinking of putting a ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is mulch or topsoil better for new lawn in clay soil?

We just built a new home and the back yard has quite a bit of clay in it. We are planning on seeding the yard in the next month (September). I'm trying to decide between topsoil (4-6 inches) or ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

What should I do with Hostas planted in heavy clay soil?

My landscaper (I use this term very loosely) planted some hostas in my front yard. The soil there is very heavy clay and also covered with mulch. Some of the bulbs seem to be doing alright, others ...
5
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1answer
85 views

Drought-tolerant grass for sunny, wet Texas clay

I live in Texas, and my back yard is on the bottom of a hill; thus it gets lots of run-off from other houses in the subdivision. The run-off causes problems you'd normally expect: Soft, boggy lawn ...
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2answers
122 views

Weeds, Grass, Soil: What to fix first?

My backyard is pretty much a weed garden. I have the following concurrent problems: Poor soil (mostly hard clay) Lots of weeds (mostly bull thistle and some dandelions) Dead grass (around 30-50% of ...
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5answers
892 views

How can I amend clay soil with soil, without digging?

I live in a USDA hardiness zone 5 temperate area. Our soil is definitely heavy clay. I have bags and bags of dirt that I can use to amend it, but I'm stuck as to how. See, the clay is very heavy, and ...
3
votes
2answers
329 views

Adding clay soil to compost

I just started composting (again). I added a bunch of greens to a big bin, and then I added some soil. In the meanwhile, I was uprooting a bunch of grass for a vegetable bed, and without thinking, I ...
15
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2answers
9k views

How can we grow grass in our heavy clay yard?

My wife and I have been living in a new subdivision for the past two years and have been struggling with getting grass to fully take in our backyard. Our front yard is sod and has been doing fine, but ...
6
votes
3answers
496 views

How much compost should I add to a clay soil for roses?

A few months ago I removed a lot of over grown shrubs; the soil is clay based topsoil on top of solid clay. The top soil is about one spade deep. I don’t think the garden has had any compost for ...
6
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2answers
285 views

Is the “Paris Market” carrot a good variety for clay-rich soil?

I have tried growing carrots now and then, but they were always twisting around all of the rocks and squeezing through the clay, and I basically got a bad crop of strong flavored, tough carrots that ...
10
votes
3answers
906 views

Why is there concrete buried across my entire backyard?

As I was planting a few fruit trees last weekend, I discovered an odd and very annoying phenomenon. About 6" down from ground level, I ran across a 2" layer of really crumbly concrete/gravel mixture. ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I improve drainage vertically through clayey soil?

I live on a hill where the soil has lots of clay. My back garden has been terraced with small (1m) retaining walls. The net result is that we have several lawns / gardens with the following ...
9
votes
3answers
326 views

How should I improve my extremely clayey soil?

I live in North Carolina and the soil here has an extremely high clay content. I have used soil conditioner that consists of composted pine fines to amend the soil. It does an excellent job of ...
10
votes
2answers
213 views

What plants take easily to clay soils?

I live in central Scotland, which is a bit damp, and the soil in my garden, despite years of aerating, adding sand etc is still quite a thick clay soil. When it is sunny I get sun all day long, so ...
14
votes
3answers
793 views

How should I till topsoil into thick clay in small garden beds?

My house is in an area where the native earth is basically solid clay. This means that wet or dry, you can't dig with a shovel and get crumbling dirt — it always clumps together, unless you ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I work with soil that has a high clay content?

The clay content in my garden soil is rather high. Tilling it is a royal pain, especially if there is even the slightest hint of moisture in the soil. It just turns into big sticky clumps instead of ...