Gardening in Clay Soil Hints and Tips to Help You

“Anyone can have different types of soil. Therefore, we cannot just assume that just because your neighbors have clay soil, you will too. Clay soil is sticky but smooth, and can be rolled into a tight ball. So before you do anything on your garden, you need to confirm first if your soil is really clay.”


What is Clay Soil?

gardening in clay soil - cracked clay soil


Have you got clay soil?

Clay soil is:

    • solid and sticky when wet
    • it will easily roll into a ball when wet
    • when dry, it is solid and lumpy – may crack
    • it drains poorly, and may often get waterlogged
    • difficult to dig
    • often neutral pH, or alkaline


How to Improve Clay Soil

Gardening in clay soil can be really hard work – it’s tough going getting a spade in…

…but, digging your soil will really help to improve it’s condition, by:

    • breaking it up
    • getting some air into it
    • Never dig down through the yellow, white or blue subsoil, or mix it with the topsoil
    • Dig the topsoil only, and mix it with lots of organic matter, such as:
      • compost
      • composted bark
      • leaf mold
    • Also add some horticultural grit
    • Autumn is a good time to do this – so winter frosts can help break up the soil structure even more, and open it up more too.
    • Try not to tread too much on the soil, as this compacts it back down again.




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