How to Turn Clay Soil into Good Soil

While clay might be ideal for pottery making; it gives plants a hard time for survival. Clay drains slowly and also compacts readily which resists plant growth. Growing plants in a soil with high clay content is a very difficult job.  If your soil resists being crumpled and becomes a lump when you press it, it has  high clay content. You will have to work on the ground to turn it into soil which encourages plant growth. Fortunately, you can improve the soil quality using a variety of methods. It is going to take time but is worth the effort when you witness the plants blooming.

Things Required:

– Shovel
– Gypsum
– Compost  and manure in bulk
– Wood mulch in bulk
– Tiller


  • 1

    Examine area:

    Select the area you want to improve. If it is wet, let it dry completely before you start working on it. If you take the measurements of the area, it will help you calculate the amount of compost and mulch you are going to need.

  • 2

    Till the soil:

    Start by tilling the soil. It will break up the clay. Till to a depth of 12 inches at least to make a difference. Break up all the large clumps into smaller ones because clay soil compacts easily. Till until the soil is loose.

  • 3

    Additions to the soil:

    After the soil is loose, it is time to make amendments to it. Add to it the horse, chicken, cow or sheep manure. Till the manure into the soil. Add wood mulch to the soil. You can also add things like grass clippings, dry leaves and fruit and vegetable scraps. Now cover the soil with at least three inches of compost. The compost improves the water retention properties of the soil. Mix in the compost with the soil using the tiller.

  • 4

    Add Gypsum:

    After making improvements to soil content, spread a layer of gypsum over the area and then mix it in the soil with the tiller. Look for packet instructions to add gypsum properly to the soil. Gypsum does wonders with soil. It adds in calcium and prevents it from developing a hard crust that makes germination hard for seeds.

    After all these additions, make sure that the area is protected from traffic so that the soil does not get compacted from walking over. Placing walking boards along can help people move around without trampling the soil.

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