How to improve clay soil for a public garden?

  6 answers
  • Shoshana Shoshana on May 16, 2017
    Dig in and turn in some good hummus into the soil. If you start by planting a legume like alfalfa (a great nitrogen fixer with deep roots) that will help significantly increase the quality of your soil for the next season.
  • CK CK on May 16, 2017
    My first 'go to' fix is to find a cattle rancher, sheep rancher or chicken rancher who has old, old manure. It beats every thing else out there :-) My parents had a ranch for over 70 years. Whenever I needed to improve clay soil, I'd go there. My dad would say "How old of manure do you want....40 or 50 years ?" It has to be old or it'll be too strong for many plants and they'll not produce or even die.Sheep manure is really best if you can it.

    The thing to note is if it smells like manure, it's probably too 'new'. If it looks and smells like plain dirt then it's ready to go, although you might have to break up larger clumps or just mix it into your existing soil and till well.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 16, 2017
    The soil needs to be tilled.Apply Gypsum,Pelletized Lime,garden soil and peat moss.
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on May 16, 2017
    You could try removing some of the clay soil , till that soil to loosen it a bit, then follow Janet's recipe above and you will be able to more of the amendment. You will probably have to do this for a few years before the soil will be real workable because of the clay, but you should still be able to use it the first year.
  • Michele Pappagallo Michele Pappagallo on May 16, 2017
    Till the soil as much as possible and add in compost and possibly a bit of sand. Sand will help loosen and lighten the clay. Continue to add compost, peat, organic materials like leaves, pine needles, etc to break up the clay and add nutrients. Over time, your soil should be lighter and in better condition for planting.
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