Many of us have the craving to cultivate a beautiful garden with the best of plant varieties and we do arrange for the best equipment and plant nutrients one can ever give to their plants. But all this goes in vain when we have to face the unpleasant truth of ‘heavy’ clay soil in our garden. Probably it is one of the major challenges in plant care.
Everything in nature has its significance and clay soil is nature’s part. You cannot get rid of it wholly but with few tips and skills, you can turn your clay soil garden worthy to grow good, selective vegetation.
To begin, it is essential to determine whether you really have clay soil in your plot. If you encounter prolonged periods of wetness even many days after heavy rains or your garden ground cracks after extended dry weather, you may have an issue with clay soil.
What next? Once you’re confirmed about the clay content, gear to fix it up! One basic thing to remember is that more we till the clay soil, more it gets compressed, especially if it is wet! So avoid over-working or walking on the soil else it will lead to poor drainage. Remember, amending clay soil is neither short-term, easy task nor it is cost-effective. So if you are willing to loosen your pockets, end result would be definitely worth waiting for.
Adding plenty of organic nutrients or well-rotted manure, leaf mold and green plants is always advised for improving the clay soil. But take care while watering during the first two seasons else water could build up in the bed making it a hub of disease causing microbes. Covering soil areas with slower decomposing organic materials can help keeping in mind that you should never work them up. Let them remain as they are and gradually and naturally they’ll degrade. Never ever put a layer of gravel in the bottom of planting holes which can turn out be an ideal place for water to drain into with catastrophic aftermaths for any plants.
One more option and probably the best one is to make ‘raised beds’ of 30 cm depth on top of the soil and filling them with new and high quality soil which eventually works its way into soil below. At the end, no matter which techniques you choose, just don’t let clay soil ruin your gardening experience and affect your plant care. So go ahead and try your gardening creativity to create something unique, stunning and wonderful!