Daily Archives: April 11, 2013

Soil-utions: Improving Clay Soil

soil

We all know that clay soil is the type of soil that can identified from other soil types because of its ability to hold more water, making it stickier than other soil types. When water is dried up or removed from this type of soil, it becomes hard and fragile. There are gardens that have this soil type. So the questions is, is clay soil good or bad for gardening and how can you make clay soil work for your garden?

Most gardeners consider having clay type soil in their gardens as both a curse and a blessing. We can consider clay type soil as a blessing in the sense that this soil type holds on to more nutrients compared to other soil types and is very good for plants in order for them to grow healthy. Having more nutrients in the soil means that you don’t have to fertilize the soil more often, making it more cost-efficient and saves you time.

The problem with clay soil is it does not just hold on to nutrients – it also clings to water more and this is how it becomes a curse. The main problem with clay soil holding more water is drainage. When a garden has inadequate drainage, it can lead to various plant diseases and pest problems. It can also be damaging and harmful to plants and animals in the soil because clay particles are tightly bonded together that air is squeezed out from it, so it is inevitable that this soil type will suffocate these living organisms.

Turning Clay Soil into a Healthy Soil

Soil drainage, when done correctly, is one of the main keys to a successful gardening. The problem in having clay soil in your garden is inadequacy in water drainage. Here are a few tips on dealing with clay soil and how to make or turn it into a healthy soil type:

  • Organic Matter. Adding organic matter or compost on clay soil is considered as the best method or way of dealing with the problem. Organic matter, when added or mixed with clay soil, pushes apart the small particles of clay and opens or creates spaces in between them. It also improves soil fertility.
  • Plant Watering Needs. A gardener with clay soil type should study the water requirements of the plants in his garden. In this manner, you can schedule the watering in the garden. When we maximize the water removal of plants in the soil, it will not be able to hold too much water because they have already used it up. Just be careful and always check for signs of over-watering or drought on both the plants and the soil to make this technique more effective.

So there you have it, simple soil-utions to your clay soil needs. If you feel frustrated or hopeless having clay soil in your garden, don’t lose hope yet because these tips will surely help you have a healthy clay soil for your healthy garden.