Posts Tagged ‘clay soil’

Clay Achin’ Gardening*

21 April 2010

I swear that my flower bed is a potter’s dream – I don’t know that anything would have to be done to purify the lumps of clay which are in my garden!

Clay soil is great for some things – like making bricks, but for other things, it’s not so great – like gardening. Sure, there are things which grow well in clay soil – but it sure is HARD to prepare for planting. I spentĀ  2 hours in the garden yesterday trying to clean it up and prepare it to plant a few potatoes and cloves of garlic and today my hands and back are really achy and bruised! If you saw the tiny little patch I did manage to till, you’d laugh that it caused so much distress! (image)

I can have the patience of a saint, but when it comes to me being able to do things, I have to be able to do it NOW! I have no patience for myself at all! I’ve never been a gardener nor particularly green of thumb – and one glance at my flower beds will prove it beyond a doubt!

We bought our house in July 2003 – in the middle of a heat wave and drought. Our house had been vacant for a while, and by the time we bought it, the garden was a right mess – which is not ideal for a beginning gardener. Almost 7 years later, the garden is green, but overall not much better than it was when I inherited it. šŸ˜¦

Inhabitants of Good Soil

Though our garden is laden heavily with clay, it is teeming with multi-legged and no-legged creatures, which I read is a sign of good soil – so there is a silver lining! What to do about the clay-iness of the soil though? Unfortunately, it’s not a process which results in immediate gratification – but it is possible to reduce the overall clay-iness of the soil through soil improvement.

A quick Google search of “improving clay soil” brought me to a number of helpful sites:

Fine Gardening

Gardening Know How

University of Missouri Extension


I think my garden is pretty much hopeless for the current season, but I am adding these to my Gardening Reading List and plan to do a complete overhaul on our garden when I winterize and prepare it for spring 2011.

Good thing I’m easily overwhelmed by things like this, huh? o_O

(*post title inspired by Peter Johnson, a classmate of mine from Lincoln Prep)