Kids’ Valley Garden


Clay soil is made of very fine dirt particles that stick together well when they are wet. This blocks the air from plant roots and causes them to "starve" even though the soil is actually rich in nutrients. The dirt stays heavy and cold when it's waterlogged and will rot the roots. Once it dries out, the particles glue themselves tightly together, and the soil becomes hard and crusty.

  • If your garden has a lot of clay in the soil, there are many ways to help it unlock its nutrients and make it healthier for your plants.
  • Don't till wet clay soil in the spring, or it will become as hard as a rock! Let it dry out first.
  • Once it's dry, it needs to be roughed up with a rake or hoe so that it doesn't form a hard, crusty layer on the top.
  • This will also help it to warm up and dry out faster.
  • Mix at least 6 inches (15 cm) of composted or organic matter or 12 inches (30 cm) of leaves into clay soil. You could also add sand, straw, peat moss, or compost. This will create air and water pockets and release the soil's nutrients to your plants' roots.
  • Don't rake clay soil smooth.
  • Put mulch on the soil to keep it from drying into a hard crust.
  • This will also encourage worms to dig tunnels and leave their nutrient-rich manure behind.
  • If you intend to plant tiny seeds, use one of the tiny seed methods, which will help them sprout through this type of soil.
  • Ideally, autumn is the best time to condition clay soil. Fall frosts will help to break up large clumps of clay soil, as will winter freezing and spring thawing.
  • It will also warm up and dry up quicker in the spring.

soil caring


flowersveggiesshrubsherbsplantingcaringshowingglossary contactlinkshome