I was digging to see what kind of soil I have and I found this gray rust brown layer. It's like clay when compressed but kind of crumbles in chunks. It's around 6" from the top.

I'm curious how this affects planting as I want to grow some veggies and a mini fruit orchard.

Also is this the reason for the slow drainage in my yard. enter image description here

  • That looks like your basic subsoil. As far as your drainage is concerned, you should research the Soil Pyramid, the Ribbon Test, and the Sedimentation Test (which also may have other names). You could also try a Perk Test. The pyramids will tell you the different types of soil that you might run into and the different tests will allow you to roughly determine whether the subsoil is clay, sand, or silt. If I had to guess, I'd say it may be a type of clay, but this is just SWAG on my part. – Jurp Mar 16 '19 at 0:08
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    That's some heavy clay, the grey stuff, with maybe six inches (150mm) top soil over it. You can make nice little figurines with the clay, but if I had a choice, I'd put my garden elsewhere. Amendment will be a huge task. – Wayfaring Stranger Mar 16 '19 at 15:39
  • You should dig deeper. Top surface is often "disturbed". Black: organic. Grey: clay. The red: it seems much more clay with iron, then volcanic soil, because it is compact. If it is clay, you should have a gummy soil (if it is humid). In any case: dig deeper and give us other photos (maybe with indication on when you had last rain [and how strong it was]). Look also deeper to see if water will accumulate. If you smell something, you should also write in the question. Tell us also if you found rocks (and if you have photo of rocks). – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 18 '19 at 9:20
  • Yes,lots of smooth rounded rocks in light brown that's when I stopped digging because I started hitting to many of those rocks. I'll dig deeper and post pictures when I get a chance this week – Joseph Wit Mar 18 '19 at 11:12

You have clay soil thats also filled with rocks which sort of leaves you with 2 options.

1) dig down untill you find no more rocks/stones and then backfill with the same soil by first sifting it using a soil screen or replace it all together with new soil and then amend the soil using compost. I had worked on a similar project and the dept i had to go down to was 2 feet. Digging was tremendously hard because the showel kept on hitting rocks everytime i tried to push through and required removal by hand but once done, you'll get that well drained  soil that every gardener desires.

2) create raised beds using soil that is well drained and rock free.

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