If you love nature then you may also have an affection for gardening. Gardening is a hobby more than practice. Growing plants and taking care of the it feels like something beyond of this world, if you ever not tried even to plant a tree then you should go for it at least for once. By planting trees and watching it to grow and taking care of it feels really very special. But some times gardener are cursed as well as blessed with clay soil. Cursed because it is quite difficult to cultivate in clay soil and blessed because clay soil have water holding capacity and they are highly rich in nutrients.
So, if you are facing problem with clay soil and you want to do gardening there then this article is for you. Let’s start with some of my experiences to amend clay soil for gardening. If you go through this article and follow it I can ensure you that you are going to have your dream garden.
If the type of soil in your garden is havy clay type then it could be little bit challenging on doing plantation on that. Clay soil are alkaline by nature and it get drain slowly therefore it creates some problem after rain or irrigation, the water not get drain from the soil properly and when sun comes out the soil start to dries and it form a hard cracked on the surface of the soil and make difficult on cultivating. There are some positive side also of using clay soil for gardening. This soil are normally rich in nutrients than other type of soil and it can hold water very well which create another advantage for your.
Now I am going to share some points from my experience to make your soil ready for gardening and manageable to work:
1. Test Soil pH Level
Before starting gardening first you should test the pH level of your soil. pH means power of hydrogen of your soil. By testing pH you can easily find whether your soil is too acid or too alkaline by nature. If pH is less then 7 it means that the soil is acidic by nature and if it is between 7 to 14 it means the soil is alkaline by nature. For most of the garden plants pH of 6.3 to 6.8 is consider to be ideal. Check your soil pH level by using soil testing kits available in the markets or else you can send sample of your soil in a lab for the test. Check in internet for lab near by you and contact with them.
2. Improving the Quality of Soil
Though clay soil is rich in nutrients then also you should add organic matter into your soil. Clay soil is heavy by nature and by adding organic matter it will help you to lighten up your soil. And it is also very beneficial for soil nutrients. By adding organic matter in soil microorganisms will get feed and the will provide nitrogen to the soil and improve the soil quality. In spring season before plantation you should add compost and aged manure on the soil. One of the most profit of using organic matter is that it don’ have any side affect it is fully safe to use and every home there are organic matter so, it will fit in every one’s budget.
3. Some Sorce of Organic Matter
Plant roots, stubble, leaves, animal manure. Earthworms and microorganisms decompose these materials and convert it in to humus which in turn provide nutrients to the soil and hold soil moisture and improve the quality of the soil.
4. Using Raise Bed
In this form of gardening soil is put into a wide containment unit (beds) which are basically made of wood, rock and it could be of any length or of any shape. As clay soil holds water raise bed can improve drainage by allowing water to run off. It will make the cultivation easy on clay soil and the maintenance will also be easy.
5. Mulch Bed
It is a soil covering. It is basically use to retain moisture in the soil keep the soil cool, suppress the weeds and make the garden look attractive. In winter season it will help to hold the moisture of your soil. A layer of straw must have to be there so that the soil don’t get compact and it will also reduce soil erosion. It will minimize the weed growth and will make your garden look attractive.
6. Some Tips and Tricks for Gardening
- It is going to take time to improve your soil so, keep patience what ever you do it is not going to give you result with in one night. If you go through the above points, you will see improvement of your soil slowly and after all your hard work you will have a good and rich nutrient soil for your plants.
- Add organic manure in your soil and try to use less chemical fertilizers for your cultivation because chemical fertilizers decrease soil fertility.
- If you are using organic matter such as leaves, straw, cover corp then wait for few weeks let matter get break down into your soil.
- Clay soil are suitable for crops like brussels, sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, pea, potato, daikon radish, kale, bean.