Asked on May 6, 2017

A Yard of Clay



Under an inch or so of top soil, our whole yard is clay!!!! I am putting down a product that is basically compost and getting some things to grow. I dig up the clay and fill the holes with it, but I can't do the entire yard. I am throwing the clay over the fence in a play yard. What so I do with all the clay??? HELP ME.
7 answers
  • Elizabeth Dion
    on May 6, 2017

    Don't laugh, but I dig mine up and put it out with the trash! Seriously!
  • Carol
    on May 7, 2017

    If you have the money you could call in a landscaper for an estimate ours is clay also and we had someone remove and save the top soils and dig down and remove many inches of clay and then had more top soil put down.
  • Michael Oglesby
    on May 7, 2017

    I do not like lawn work so I avoid it as much as I can. I am also not too interested in dumping a lot of money on my lawn, So I would go for a less laborious approach. First get a soil test to determine the pH and nutrient levels. Adjust the soil according to the test results. I would add gypsum. Gypsum improves high pH. it helps prevent clay particles from adhering to the grass roots limiting growth, it allows more air into the soil which allows for aerobic bacteria to flourish and break up the clay, it assists in allowing salt to leach out, and it disrupts the clay particle to clay particle bonding that makes the clay so impenetrable. That allows the roots to slowly break up the clay. It also improves drainage which is important since clay forms an impermeable layer not allowing proper drainage. I would add a liquid organic to the soil and I would top it periodically with a spreader of something like old manure. I would not catch lawn clippings. Use a liquid biologic to add beneficial bacteria to the soil. I like worms too, they break up the soil and aerate it to improve the beneficial bacteria growth and break up organic matter. Then the most important part is to wait. Not wait days, but wait for slow improvement year after year. Finally, to "save-face" while worms and bacteria do my work, I would tell neighbors what a wonderful environmental solution I was using to help the Earth using natural components in place rather than stealing topsoil from other parts of the earth to satiate my own desires for a certain aesthetic on my little piece of land.

  • Lin
    on May 7, 2017

    I now remember that my father once told me about gypsum and it worked beautifully several homes ago. Thank you. I will follow all of your advice. I don't love using chemicals on the lawn so this sounds SOOOOOO good! Thank you fro the bottom of my not so soon to be be garden (and heart!!)
  • Lin
    on May 7, 2017

    I'm just plain too cheap for that!!!!!
  • C.B.
    on May 8, 2017

    Adding sand to the basic 'mix' also helps to break up the 'clay' feature of your soil. Consider this also, IF you have the desire...create a yard have the PERFECT ingredient for it..."CLAY' which holds water in 'pools.' You might contact your local group that handles environmental issues & see if they are in need of 'clay soil' for a project they are working on. Remember: the more vegetative type material you add to the clay will help to balance out it's chemistry & it will grow a larger variety of plants.
  • Colimbia1
    on May 8, 2017

    I also live where we have clay soil. It is a difficult and takes lots of work and patience. I have followed some of the recommendations on this website.
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