Table of Contents. These techniques done consistently will improve your lawn soil over time. Organic matter will make clay soil healthier. Compost helps separate those tiny clay particles so water can drain more freely, and plant roots can get needed oxygen. Year by year soil needs to conditioned and improved to accommodate the demands of cultivation and the weather. Add compost and manure. One way of improving the texture of a clay soil is to add lime. Loam or loamy soil is a mixture of sand, some mineral particles, clay, and lots of organic material. Identifying Clay Soil; Is Clay Soil Good or Bad For Gardening? To improve this, you’ll need to add some water granules to your soil. (Organic matter is rich in bacteria and other microorganisms that contribute to the process of decomposition which helps enrich the soil.) 1. They play a key role in the recycling of soil nutrients and greatly improve their availability to plants. Improving the soil with plenty of organic matter in the form of compost helps drainage and aeration on heavy soils and conserves essential moisture on light ones. The roots rot in the soil, improving soil structure. Enhancing and improving the soil to optimally meet the needs of our plants and ourselves. If the water just pools on top of the soil, your soil is repellent. The result is a sparse lawn with poor drainage. Compost, peat moss, or aged manure will improve the texture of clay soil aiding drainage and aeration. As a component of soil, clay is inert; it is a mineral rather than the product of decayed organic material. Clay Soil Is Fertile; Clay Holds Water; Working Clay Soil Can Be Hard; Improving Clay Soil. You should know: What type of soil you have. Among the macro organisms, earthworms are particularly important as they feed on dead and decaying materials. This binds the particles together, improves the soil structure and allows water and oxygen to move through the soil more easily. You’re going to find clay soil in many spots around the United States. If you discover you already have loam, there's no need to alter your soil. You need to know that improving the soil with high clay content requires a lot of effort and can take several years. Plant marigolds, zinnias, or other annuals in new gardens, cutting them off at ground level at the end of the season. Then you're missing an opportunity to greatly improve the water holding capacity of your soil. The best way to improve clay soils is to add organic matter such as well-rotted manures, mulch and compost. Many people believe that the simplest solution is the local improvement of the soil at each nest or root of the plant. An easy way to boost soil organic matter is to apply compost - this will ‘feed’ your soil with a diversity of nutrients and microorganisms. To improve clay soil for lawns and create a good bed for your yard add topsoil or mix in some organic matter such as leaves, rotted manure, or grass clippings. This may be either a temporary process to permit the construction of a facility or may be a permanent measure to improve the performance of the completed facility. What Is Clay Soil? Here are the top ways to keep improving your soil … Improving hard clay soil will pay off in multiple ways when you’re able to pick that fresh produce straight out of the garden and place it on your dinner plate. The granules will remove the waxiness of your soil and allow more water in. Year by year soil needs to conditioned and improved to accommodate the demands of cultivation and the weather. Previous Step Next Step. Lighten up your heavy clay soil by using organic matter, sand and other soil conditioners. Manure. Soil is the foundation of any vegetable garden, if it is treated well it will reward you. In part 18 of our Drought Solutions video series, you'll see why many green industry professionals are moving from sand to Turface, a calcined clay product that allows you to hold more water in the root zone. Apply top-down soil amendments in layers only 2 or 3 inches deep to allow rain to percolate through. Aerate your lawn to help improve drainage and improve the soil structure. I am working on amending my clay soil in Kansas. As a result, soil organic matter is higher on organic farms. Dealing with clay soil can be a simple process, needing only to double dig a layer of soil up and working a good amount (5-10cm) of organic matter into the soil. Compacted clay inhibits healthy growth for grass and other plants. Soil micro- and macro-organisms are responsible for the decomposition of organic matter and formation of humus and thus essential for a healthy soil. On the veg patch or areas of bare soil, consider growing green manures – these are seedling crops that are dug back in to enrich the soil. In fact clay is one of the most fertile soils. But like any good thing, too much clay causes problems. Spread the appropriate top dressing mulch over your lawn and let it lay. Your test results and recommendations can include ways to improve your clay soil, along with helpful information about your soil's organic matter, pH and nutrients. The more you add organic matter to your soil the most you can improve your garden soil over time. Believe me, I’ve tried a lot of things! Author: Linda Holliday Soil consists of three main parts – clay, sand and silt – and about a billion microorganisms per tablespoon that secrete enzymes or acids that dissolve organic matter. Even if you make the wrong pick, you’ll be glad to know that there are many ways of improving clay soil. Gardeners in certain regions frequently ask about how to improve clay soil. Once you’ve done the hard work of improving your clay soil, it might be tempting to just sit back and enjoy it. How to Improve Clay Soil. Improving clay soils. Here are some supplements that will boost the health of your garden. Use about a handful per square metre and spread the granules across the top of your soil. Soil ribbons can range in length from about 5mm – 75mm, with sandy soils being shortest, loamy soils in the middle and clay soils the longest. Andrew - March 3, 2016 April 6, 2018. One important thing to mention is that before we can take care of and improve the soil in our gardens, we have to know it. Other natural additions such as dry …