The clay soil is a real problem for those who want to cultivate various plants and garden vegetables. Although most trees, shrubs, and roses feel extraordinary in a clay soil, most of the annual or perennial garden plants grow very hard in such soil. If the soil in your garden is firmly glued to gardening tools and shoes, it is hard to detach, and on warm days it dries quickly, forming cracks on the surface, well, you are the happy owner of a garden with clay soil, hard to cultivate. Let’s see what are the advantages and the disadvantages of this kind of soil and how we can improve it so that we can successfully grow vegetables and garden flowers.
The advantages of clay soil
Due to its density, this soil retains moisture very well. It has also been shown that this type of soil contains more nutrients than other types, the clay particles in its composition storing considerable amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is recommended to use a quantity of clay soil and to smolder the roots of trees and shrubs before planting.
The disadvantages of clay soil
Unlike other soil types that have PH acid, the earth with high clay content is alkaline. The clay soil is hard to digest, heats the spring harder, it keeps excess water and is so compact that it tightens, like a vise, the root of the plants, hindering their development.
Methods to improve clay soil
You need to know that improving the soil with high clay content requires a lot of effort and can take several years.
Many people believe that the simplest solution is the local improvement of the soil at each nest or root of the plant. This method, though simpler and cheaper, will work only partially, requiring us to repeat it every year for every culture. Moreover, when plants begin to grow, developing their roots, they will hit the clay soil and will not be able to advance. Therefore, you will get an underdeveloped plant and you will not be able to take full advantage of its fruit.
Therefore, it is best to try to improve the whole cultivated area. You will not get the job done in the rainy days because the digging of clay will become almost impossible. For starters, decide which area you want to allocate to the vegetable garden or flower beds. Then clean the area of roots and weeds. If you can and where you get it, it is best to cover the land lot with a generous organic fertilizer consisting of manure, leaves and dry grass.
The next step is the careful mixing of clay soil with organic fertilizer by means of a spade or a splinter. From this moment you can begin the proper planting of garden vegetables, but you must know that until the improvement and total transformation of the clay soil will take a few years of work. If you apply this method for several consecutive years in autumn and spring, you will turn the clay soil from the garden into a rich and nutritious soil where you can cultivate healthy, well-developed vegetables.
To ease the drainage you can mix the soil with sand, about 250 kg of sand / square meter of clay soil.
Another option to quickly obtain an area to be cultivated in a garden with clay soil is to build high layers that can be filled with easy soil to grow.