Backyard hard clay and rain water lays on top?

  10 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 27, 2021

    Do you want to amend the soil or divert the excess water away from you or are you asking for a list of plants that grow in clay soil?

    You could go with container planting for a lot of your plants. You could also do a search for plants that will thrive in clay soil. Another thought would be your local extension agent who knows the local soil conditions and would know what would grow in your area and what you need for them to thrive.

  • Janice Janice on Jun 27, 2021

    Hi Sandy, here's an article that may be of some help to you. Also, I agree with Mogie's advice aout contacting your County Extension Agent. They are very knowledgeable about local soil conditions and might offer you good advice about amending your clay soil if you are planning to live in the area long term. Their information is free.

  • I agree, you need to amend the soil. Aerify it or till it and it. Here is a good article that can explain the process and solutions better than I.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jun 27, 2021

    Hi Sandy: Yeah, that's a bummer. I have the same problem. You need to do something to loosen up the soil. What I did was to dig up my clay and mixed in some sand, garden soil, grass clippings, leaves whatever I had to make it not all clay. It's pretty good now, but it was a real mess. If you are trying to make a garden, one area on my yard is not amended, but what I did was to get some coffee cans, cut the bottoms off and made some large holes in the side, about 4 holes, dug a hole in the ground, loosened up the clay, put the can into the hole, filled the can 1/2 way with garden soil, put in my tomato plant and filled the can the rest of the way with garden soil, leaving about 2" from the top without dirt to allow for watering. This way the plant can have nice soil, and, when I water the plant, the water stays in the can and seeps down so I don't have to water or fertilize as much and the fertilizer stays with the plant and the roots can migrate into the loose clay. Anyway, you need to amend your soil to make it loose.

    Good luck

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 27, 2021

    Hello. Your soil might need attention to build up more favorable conditions. This product might be considered

    Additionally -For the best local professional advice I would highly suggest contacting your cooperative extension. These offices are manned by volunteer master gardeners on site there waiting to answer the communities questions that know your local situation quite well.

    Master gardeners are required to volunteer back designated hours ( plus continuing education) each year to maintain MG certification -this community outreach and education is their goal.

    Most plants success depend on their hardness to geographic planting zones, presenting weather conditions and local soil and sunlight exposure.

    Your local experts should have the ideal suggestions for improvement in your soils condition.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 29, 2021

    Hi! There's usually an agricultural extension in every county. They will often assess your soil and offer suggestions. Any universities nearby? My daughter is a geologist and when she was in both her bachelors and her masters program, they were always looking at soil samples and could quickly tell you about it. A local landscaper might be of help, especially if you buy your remediation materials from them. Good luck!

  • You probably need to amend the soil and/or recontour the yard so the water moves away.

  • I feel that pain. While our soil here in Chicago isn't all entirely clay, we've got a lot of it. In our case, we dug a French drain which you can see here:

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 03, 2021

    Our soil is clay and when we moved in rented a back hoe and dug a french drain. I knew the previous owners and how the front yard turned into a lake every winter. :(