Amendments for Clay Soil Improvement

clay soilThe curse of clay soil is one of challenges and frustration to grow your flowers and plants. It is well established that clay soils are abundantly rich in minerals, but the soil is difficult for roots to penetrate deeply without adding some amendments for clay soil improvement.

Adding to Clay Soils

The good news is that clay soils can be treated to make them more porous and accommodating for root establishment.

  • The most popular method for amending clay soil is by adding organic compost. Mixing compost help aerate the soil and improve root growth.
  • Mixing in a combination loam, as well as sand to the clay soil does break down the fine particles of clay. This methods does take some time to complete.  Would need to amend the soils twice yearly for deeper applications.
  • Adding gypsum will add calcium to your garden or lawn. A single application each year is sufficient, thus it can be spread at any time of the year. Water it in right away, in order to get it working in the soil. Gypsum is neutral, non-toxic to humans and animals and does not burn.
  • Using organic mulch, like wood chips, saw dust, or tree bark will slowly break down into the soils.
  • Planting ground covers like clover or hairy vetch. The roots grow shallow enough to allow the soils to breath below.

Additional Tips

Amending clay soil isn’t a quick remedy. It may take several years before your garden’s soil has been amended to allow for easier plant growth. If you don’t have the time nor the patience to invest in improving your soil. Another option is to create a raised garden bed. By building raised bed on top of the soil and filling them with new, high quality soil, you will have a quick solution to your clay problem. Of course over time, the soil in the raised beds will work its way into the soils below.

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