For a gardener, clay soil on the backyard can be one of the biggest challenges. A clay soil garden presents a serious hurdle for your gardening and landscaping ideas because of the soil’s poor drainage. if you are just moving in on your new house, it it important to treat it as early as possible and to improve soil condition.
What are the signs that you have a clay soil on your yard? The most obvious sign is the bog or the pool of water that forms on the surface after a heavy or even light rain. Instead of the rain water seeping through the soil, the rain water is trapped on the top of the soil. If you have lawn grass and a sprinkler system, you would notice this pool also after water sprinkling.
If you want to feel the soil and check out its texture, you would find that it is doughy, yes just like a kid’s play dough. The soil is also a bit moist and lumpy, and as you would suspect, this heavy soil is not ideal for long term gardening.
Poke the ground
Naturally, the water will be absorbed by the soil after you fork it. You also want to aerate the ground. This first step is to allow the soil to be loosen and let the air and nutrients mixed in the soil.
On extreme cases of hard clay soil, it may help to turn over the soil completely so the whole ground can breathe. You can either use a tiller or a rotovator depending on the compactness of your soil condition
Add sand and organic matter
Because of the thickness and tightness of the soil, many of the soil’s nutrients had been lost. A traditional effective way to break this compactnesss is to mix sand and organic matter like compost on the turned or poked clay soil and then allow it to settle. Using compost on lawn enrich not just the top layer but also
Some spread top soil on the surface after the ground had been poked. The holes are then filled and the top soil is raked and left to settle and integrate with the clay soil.
The two processes mentioned above go hand in hand with each other and takes time to bear results but can offer lasting solution. If you want to seed your lawn or put a turf on it or garden plants for clay soil, these two are a must do for stress-free gardening.
Grass, plants and water absorbing trees
Some plants thirst for more water than others. There are some grass varieties and water-loving rooted trees that can fix this problem. Ask your local nurseries for recommendations on plants that grow best on clay soil in your area or check the plants on your neighborhood and see what plants are thriving on this clay soil condition.
Thanks for reading.
*This blog post is both my research and also my personal opinion and may contain affiliate/referral links.