How to improve clay soil in your backyard garden?
If you have a backyard garden filled with heavy clay soil, it can pose some serious challenges to plants crops just as fruit and vegetables.
Having too much clay soil cause problem because when it’s wet, it gets heavy and drains slowly. This means that it stays saturated longer after rainfall or irrigation watering.
Nevertheless, when the sunshine comes out and the soil dries, it forms a hard, cracked surface.
If your garden is full of clay soils, it is not inheritable a bad thing. Clay soils are usually richer in nutrients than sandy soils. Also, clay soil tends to hold water tightly and that can be an advantage.
How To Deal With Clay Soil The Garden?
The best way to deal with clay soil is to add compost, topsoil, and a little fertilizer. Mix in well and over time it will have more organic matter and drain better along with valuable rich nutrients. It is not ideal to add sand with clay soil, it will cause the soil to become harder or like concrete if you add sand.
What is Clay Soil?
Clay soil is made up of tiny particles that love to stick to one another that is great for pottery plants, however not for other types of vegetable plants such as carrots and reddish that rely on loose soil.
So as mentioned before, clay soil is very mineral-rich with nutrients, and it is actually a superb medium for a garden, compared to sand.
Another way of improving clay soil type is to give the clay particles something else to stick on.
Ways in which you can do that is to add plenty of organic matter such as, compost, and manure plant peelings, and animal waste. By doing this method regularly will sure step in the right direction to achieving a more loamy clay.
How Long Clay Soil Take To Improve?
If your garden soil is mostly clay, improving the soil will take time, so don’t expect overnight results.
However, if you follow the above steps mentioned earlier, you should notice some improvement each year. Yes, it sometimes takes years to convert or improve garden clay soil to suitable loose rich soil.
So, depending on how much time you spend tilling soil and adding organic materials, within a few years, you’ll have rich, plant-friendly soil.
Here are some helpful tips for making clay soil more suitable
Tools and Materials need to improve clay soil in your garden.
- A soil test kit
- Organic matter: You need organic matter such as Compost and Aged Manure along with Straw.
- Wheelbarrow: You will need a wheelbarrow to transport materials to improve your garden soil.
- Shovel: This is a need to mix a scoop-up manure other mixtures.
- Rake: This tool is needed to even out and sometimes till the soil.
- Always test the soil pH, and adjust as necessary.
- Add organic matter every week.
- If you need to grow your crops urgently build raised beds and wait until your garden soil is suitable.
- Continuing mulching your raised beds over the winter along with your garden soil on the ground.
Remember you can apply compost any time at your own pace.
However, if you are tilling the soil with fresh or uncomposted organic matter, such as leaves, cover crops, and straws/grass, you should wait at least a few weeks before sowing or planting crops to allow the material to break down.
I use to have a lot of clay soil in one section of my back garden and over time by just adding vegetable and plant peelings along with other organic material there I now have super loose soil. Thanks for stopping by, I hope this post has been helpful.