Improve clay soil. Gardeners share their top tips

Clay soil is found in many American gardens, but it is not home to all the plants. If you make your own garden: for summer or you want to grow flowers or vegetables, you can fight.

However, there are ways to make it a more conducive environment for beautiful flowering or delicious produce. The following two experienced gardeners share their secrets to transforming clay soil into just one working day with lots of organic matter.

What? It is clay soil.

Clay soil is made of small minerals, not too much organic matter. It is a heavier country that tends to stick together because there is no space between the particles and the soil does not dry out.

“If you’ve noticed that water tends to float on the ground rather than soak in, then most likely your soil is clay,” said Donald Loggins, the last original gardener in Liz Christie’s New York City Community Park. .

The soil, which is made up of more than 50 percent clay particles, is called “heavy clay,” Logins said. Newsweek. You can recognize it because it sticks to your shoes, garden tools such as glue, forms large drums that are not easy to separate, and in dry weather crack and crack.

The ideal soil for gardening is clay, a mixture of sand, clay, intermediate minerals and organic matter. It will shed well ի retain nutrients well.

Advantages and disadvantages of clay soil

New York-based garden designer Amber Scott Freda told Newsweek: Because clay soil retains moisture longer, it can prevent plants from drying out.

Plants such as evergreens tend to thrive in this type of soil, he said, while drier climates such as succulents, rosemary and lavender are accustomed to growing in lighter soils and do not like to be wet for so long.

“Vegetables և Annuals do not like clay soil because it is difficult for their small roots to grow in such dense soil,” he added.

“Clay soil is common in many parts of the United States. It can be very problematic if you are trying to grow a flower or vegetable garden.” In clay soil, the roots of vegetables are difficult to pass, and the bulbs of spring flowers rot in winter.

Soil with sprouted seeds. Vegetables struggle to grow in clay soil, as their roots can not break through the dense material, while spring flower bulbs tend to rot in wet winters.
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How to improve clay soil

Improving your land will take some work, Logins warned. Most work needs to be done only once, but requires annual maintenance.

You need to add a good amount of organic matter to the soil and let nature do its work. According to Freda, clay soil can be mixed with gypsum, fertilizer or pine bark to make it more easily ventilated.

You can also put a few centimeters of mulch on the clay soil, leave it to gradually crumble, improve the soil. “The owners are the best mulch in nature, so if you can resist removing the owners from your garden beds every year, they will gradually decay, naturally improving the soil,” he added.

It is best to fix an entire bed at once, not just individual planting holes as needed, Logins said.

“If you dig a planting hole in clay soil, then you drop the plant, fixing only the soil you use for stuffing, your plant will be a little happier. But you have done nothing but create built-in land. ground vase.

“Eventually, the plant will start sending roots, which will stop when they reach the clay walls of the planting hole. “You will have a root plant that does not grow as big or as healthy as it should.”

Loggins recommend adding 6 to 8 inches of organic matter to the entire bed. These can be grass clippings (as long as they are not chemically treated), crushed leaves, rotten manure or fertilizer.

After spreading your organic matter, mix it into the top 6-12 inches of soil using a shovel or trowel, “if digging is very difficult on your back.” Your garden will look a few inches taller than it once was. but the beds will fit as the organic matter decomposes.

How to quickly break clay soil

Dig 5 to 6 inches into the ground with a fork or fork. You can use a tiller if absolutely necessary, but be aware that these types of power tools can kill worms and other organisms that are vital to the soil.

If the clay is particularly hard, it may help to spread a small layer of sand on it before adding organic matter.

How to improve clay soil drainage

Adding compost will improve drainage. Loggins said you should do this when the soil dries out, as working on wet clay is a mess, it will make the bed thicker.

Compost “not only helps the soil structure,” he explained, but also the glomalin compound created by mycorrhizal fungi in the compost “binds small particles of clay into wax-covered aggregates, creating more space between them for air and water.” flow”:

Preparation of clay soil for vegetable gardening

If you want to grow vegetables, it is better to cultivate organic matter in the soil, as the roots will appear there, անել do it before planting.

“You can go as deep as the farmer can reach, or dig sections of the bed one foot deep, work in the compost, then replace the soil and do the next section. In the years to come, just cultivate the surface, as the organic material you have worked on deeply will decompose quickly when it comes to the surface, ”Logins said.

You can also add organic matter to clay soils by planting coverings. “These are crops that are planted during the making of the beds, one season or a year ago, or between the annual crops, such as flowers and vegetables. “They consist of small grains, grasses such as buckwheat, rye and oats,” he said..

Beans, such as clover, can be useful to the soil by “fixing” nitrogen from the air for its use.

How to take good care of the soil?

Freda believes that the key to a beautiful, healthy garden is to fertilize your soil. “This is what nature has been doing since the beginning of time. Mother nature always knows best.”

His simple advice is to “add a few inches of compost to the clay soil every year, mix it well with the existing soil until the soil is moderately improved.”

A person who deals with land
A person who deals with land. The best way to improve sticky, dense clay soils is to mix organic matter with it to allow nature to do its job.
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