whether or not our soggy soil can be used for a garden.
We are planning to create an 80 foot by 80 foot garden space in our lawn, an area that gets full sun. The clay soil in the southwest corner of this projected area is low and remains soggy until mid-July. (The sprinklers systems hits all areas, but the water pools in that SW corner.) This soggy area is about 15 feet x 15 feet. We thought before we build our deer fence around the perimeter we should correct the soggy corner. Could bringing in clean fill dirt be a solution? Does this area need to be excluded from the garden? What do you suggest? Our 2.5 acre property has a small creek running through it, is at the bottom of a hillside, with an occasional small artesian spring here and there (mostly there) depending on the water table during a given season.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You have indicated that it is a low area that is collecting water, so I think your idea of bringing clean fill soil is a good one.
Starting a new garden is a good time to do soil testing and follow recommendations for mineral and biological amendments. Drainage can be affected by soil mineral balance. Soil fertility also improves nutrient density in the food you grow, and resistance to plant pests and diseases.
A low soggy area will not be changed by bringing in different soil. On the other hand, there are plants that grow well in those conditions. Some of these are flowers and attracting pollinators is good for any type of garden. Here is an article on how to conduct a soil percolation test: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Williamson/Horticulture/Consumer%20Horticulture/DIY%20Soil%20Drainage%20Perk%20Test%20for%20Your%20Yard%20(2016).pdf
If subsoil doesn't allow drainage, changing the topsoil won't help. For more information, check out your state extension service. They have good info online and you can contact your county's extension office. http://gardening.wsu.edu