Need to know how to amend clay soil? Don’t let tough clay soil get you down. Amending clay soil is easy. This Homesteader’s Guide will show you everything you need to know about clay soil, plants for clay soil, and how to amend clay soil.
How to Amend Clay Soil
What is Clay Soil?
As mentioned, in this article, Clay soil is more commonly know as heavy soil. In definition, it’s the kind of soil that has more clay minerals in it. Why does it pose a problem in gardening? It’s because since it’s very dense, water has a hard time passing through, it has poor oxygen content, the roots will have a hard time going through it and pretty much, it has some components that are just not good for plants. Good thing amending it is not impossible!…
How to Amend Clay Soil
If you’re willing to do a little work, you can still transform clay soil into a healthy, life-giving soil that will be great for all sorts of plants and even vegetables. It’s what we call soil amending. So grab your supplies and tools, and you can start working on this in the weekend.
What you’ll need to amend clay soil:
- Gypsum (25 lbs. per 5 sq. ft. of soil)
- Pickax or shovel
- Gardening Gloves
Determine if you do have clay soil. Here’s an easy test you can try. Check it out here.
Take your gypsum and put a pile on top of the soil. Once you’ve spread it, add the gromulch.
Time to break up your soil. Using your shovel or pickax start breaking your soil to combine everything together.
TIP: You’d want to get at least 12 inches deep when you dig.
Start mixing everything together. Break down any chunks of soil you may find in the process. Repeat this process until you’ve covered all the ground you’d like to use for your garden.
You should be able to see that the color darkens after the process. That’s a sign that it is now healthy and will be able to give life to any plant or vegetable you want. Another way to test it is to take a handful of the mixed soil and squeeze it. If it falls apart easily and doesn’t make a mold when you open your hand, you got it!
If you’d like to see how to amend clay soil, you can watch this easy video tutorial from essortment:
Now go on and check the soil you have. If you have clay, you know what to do now. Let us know in the comments section what your thoughts are on these gardening ideas. I hope you learned something from these ideas and put it into action as any homesteader would. I’d love to hear what plants you’ll be planting in your garden and how it turned out. Write about it in the comments section below!
What are Good Plants for Clay Soil?
This Homesteader’s Guide to Clay Soil will show you the healthiest plants for clay soil.
Emma @ Misfit Gardening says
Great article about amending clay soil. Adding straw, horse manure and turning the soil over before the frosts come can als help improve the structure of clay soils.
If you have any size of area at all, that isn’t practical, even in a small garden. What we do is compost leaves, grass clippings, and if there is somewhere near by sawdust. Some cities will give the leaves and chipped up wood just to have somewhere to put it. Rotted vegetables and fruits or canned foods gone bad are also added. We also use straw each year to keep weeds down and that too is tilled in the ground. None of that you have to buy but it is a little more work.
What about if I have an existing tree that has stopped growing and looks to be struggling? Do I dig up the hard soil all the way around it and add the gypsum to that?
Rosemary Avila says
I want to plant fruit trees and I have clay soil. How do I mend it.