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How to create 'well drained' soil?


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  • How to create 'well drained' soil?

    If I have plants that need 'well drained soil' but my soil is kind of clayey and not well drained is there anything I can do to 'convert' it?

    maybe adding a gravel layer? digging a deep hole and filling it with compost or something?

  • #2
    Not sure about a 'quick fix' to the soil, but ovre winter I think the idea is to dig in organic matter to break up the clods a bit...?

    "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children; one of these is roots, the other wings" - Hodding Carter


    • #3
      Try digging in course sharp sand to brake up the soil. Horticultural sand is a bout £3 from B&Q. Builders sand is no good as it has salt residues as well as being too smooth. This will convert your soil to becoming well drained.


      • #4
        Hello JXM, if you have plants that need well drained soil but you are gadening on cloggy clay you can try putting some gravel, or gravel and sand under them at planting time. This way you create little pockets of well drained soil. I do this with Gladiolli and they come up year after year. If you can't do your whole garden just make little pockets for the plants that need it. Hope this helps.

        From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.


        • #5
          Geoff Hamilton had this problem at barnsdale. He used 50:50 sharp grit & compost in the plsnting holes & made the hole a good bit larger as well.

          Just dig in loads of compost/manure each year will help eventually. If you can, rough dig in the autumn & let the frosts break it up for you as well.

          No quick fix I'm afraid
          Last edited by nick the grief; 30-06-2006, 10:34 PM.
          Never be afraid to try something new.
          Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
          A large group of professionals built the Titanic



          • #6
            I have just bought a packet of greenmanure seeds to help my bed along the way, it is set like concrete at the moment where the clay has dried after the rains.

            I also used mushroom compost which has made a difference but alot more to go..............

            I have just found a good product called 'strultch' which is a fibre type substance that you can mulch with and then did in later on. Not too pricey either compared to other products.


            • #7
              In this baking weather you're lucky with clay soil - at least it will retain moisture better than other types. One trick to getting clay soil in condition, and keeping it that way, is to mulch heavily - and often -with any organic matter you can lay your hands on. In summer, try not to have any soil showing at all! The upside is that you won't have to hoe!

              More here:
              not every situation requires a big onion


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