When we moved in I had dig deep then put some nature soil in the bottom and around the plants before closing them up. You can aerate the lawn by either spiking the lawn with a garden fork or aerator shoes, or by using a hollow tine aerator. Use gritty sand to top-dress clay soil or ground that waterlogs badly, as this improves surface drainage, but use bags of bought topsoil or ready … Else do like I am doing, and make your own. Aerate your lawn when the soil is moist. The soakaway should be at least 6 feet deep and filled with rubble to collect the water. Amending your soil properly can overcome heavy, compacted clay and get it back on track for healthy lawn and garden growth. Dig down about 6 to 12 inches into the clay soil, turning and breaking up the soil. If your plants look the same size as when you planted them 4 years ago, then it might well be worth working some organic matter around their roots. Don’t add sand to clay soil. Pinpointing the Problem Identify where water collects. Install a Drainage System. Adding compost and other organic materials tend to neutralize the soil, so you'll have trouble growing plants that love either acidic soil or alkaline soil. This is a discussion on our five-step strategy for improving clay soil. Thank you for these useful tips Lizzy. I hope. Now I know that information on this topic is controversial. Another way to improve soil drainage is to build up the soil where you are having the drainage issue or create a berm to redirect the water flow. Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on December 08, 2011: This is an excellent article! Well Sue you are just down the road from me, and I built raised beds this summer - it finally got to me!! It … Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on December 09, 2011: When I dig around in my garden, sometimes I forget how awful it was when we moved in. IzzyM (author) from UK on December 07, 2011: Apart from the whole clay soil aspect, I like the idea of isolating and growing plants that would normally struggle in this climate, like potatoes. Use special drainage piping with drainage holes across the top to collect the water. The soakaway should be at least 6 feet deep and filled with rubble to collect the water. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. We would love to show how it’s done. We have clay soil here in Texas and with the severe drought we're under, the yard has turned into giant bricks. Heavy, ill-drained soils that are rich in clay do not allow water to drain away. The best way to handle improvement of clay soil is to begin amending soil by actually digging organic matter into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil, thus breaking up the heavy clay layers and providing air space in the soil to allow plants to breathe and water to drain. What do you think? Alternatively, spread a mulch of wood chips, sawdust or bark chippings on the soil surface, and they will eventually disappear into the soil naturally. Keep poking holes, every 4 inches if poss and then brush in some sharp sand to aid drainage. Where there is somewhere for water to go (a ditch, drain or soakaway, for example), drainage systems can be installed. Cover your soakaway with thick plastic sheeting. Build a soakaway—a deep circular hole with sloping sides—at the end of the main pipe. High-density soils such as clay soil and compacted soil have low percolation, which means they drain water slowly. All of the water should drain out within eight hours. Boggy lawns are a pretty common problem for homeowners in Auckland, where many areas have clay soils. I have not actually heard of a connection between eucalyptus trees and veggies? Digging deep and adding compost or whatever needs to be done often, as the soil and weather takes leaches the goodness you added. 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