Soil Amendments
Q.

What is the best way to amend clay soil?

Zone 60523 | cchrabot added on May 11, 2019 | Answered

No additional questions.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
MichiganDot
Answered on May 11, 2019

Clay soil has its benefits: it holds water well and it is fertile. But, it is hard to dig and forms a hard crust when it dries out. When dried, water tends to run off clay instead of penetrate. How and whether to amend it to make it more like loam depends on what you are growing. Generally speaking, improving clay soil is not a one-and-done affair. If you are trying to grow a plant that requires fast-draining or sandy soil, like lavender, add several inches of both perlite and compost worked 6-8 inches down. Pea gravel can also be used if perlite isn't practical. (or choose a plant that tolerates clay soil) For most plants, adding organic matter is crucial to improving heavy clay. Add several inches of sphagnum peat moss or coir plus several inches of plant-based compost and work it in the top 6-8 inches before planting. Thereafter, add compost or composted manure annually. You need not dig it in. Just tuck it under/around perennials and let the worms pull it into the soil. In doing this the worms help break up the clay. Several inches of wood or other organic mulch also helps to prevent the clay from drying out and servers as additional compost as it breaks down. Avoid walking on wet clay soil; by compacting the soil, you go back to square one. Use stepping stones as needed. There are other products on the shelf that claim to improve clay soil. Do some research before buying as they may sound good but not be appropriate for northern Illinois soils.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/how-to-improve-clay-soil.htm

00
Was this answer useful?

Log in or sign up to help answer this question.
Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

You must be logged into your account to answer a question.

If you don't have an account sign up for an account now.

Looking for more?
here are more questions about...
Soil Amendments
Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!

Do you know a lot about gardening?
Become a GKH Gardening Expert

Learn More