How To Make Clay Soil Drain Better







Sandy soil has very coarse. In order to avoid compacting the soil, never work the soil while it is wet. The humus helps to break it up, creating more space for air and allowing excess water to drain away, which makes better conditions for all those essential micro-organisms. Compacted soil results in problems with air circulation, water drainage, and nutrient absorption. If clay is nutrient rich, adding nutrients can become less of a priority. Spread an even layer of expanded shale over the soil, then till in the shale to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Permies Clay Soil - clip art bacon and eggs urban survival 4. Clay soil is known to drain slowly too. This fill material should be good clean soil (no debris or vegetation) and compacted with a mechanical tamper to minimize settling away from the bottom of the slab. If you want water to drain through the ground faster, add some coarse, sandy dirt, which can filter water quickly through its larger particles. The most critical element in infield drainage is the surface grade. If these drain tiles form a partial or continuous loop around the house, they may be used to pull radon from the surrounding soil and vent it away from the house. Potting soil lets water drain easily, so it dries out quickly. One, the soil drains better and the plants will thrive. Clays/Silts/Peats These types of soil deposits are often found near the mouths of rivers, along the perimeters of bays, and beneath swamps or lagoons. edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. You will often hear the terms acidic soil and alkaline soil when discussing or reading up on how to best care for your plants. Sandy soil: Sandy soil is definitely easier to work than clay soil--but it has the opposite problems: it often drains too quickly and is less able to retain nutrients. to/2InnD0w ----- How to Improve Drainage in Clay Soil. How can I add some drainage to my flower beds? My plants roots are drowning and rotting away because I have clay soil further down below the flower beds, i dug out about 15cms of the soil, removed the clay lumps and mixed the soil with compost through a garden seive to remove rocks. However, they are light to work with and are quick to warm up in spring. However we cannot all have the perfect soil right away. Fill it with water and allow the water to drain completely, then fill the hole again. How to Amend Clay Soil. For many gardeners, trying to establish a garden on clay soil is a difficult and costly exercise. Clay (smallest particles – less than 0. Make Garden Soil From ALMOST Any Dirt: This is a general guide to preparing dirt for gardening. Silt soil is made up of fine particles. Clay pebbles can also be mixed with other hydroponic growing media like Cellmax, Coco or Soil to give better aeration. Potting soil needs to drain well but still hold moisture Photo/Illustration: Melissa Lucas. 22e is shown in Fig. This soil is common to many parts of the world, limiting what homeowners, gardeners, and farmers can grow. Install an interior French drain. This is the soil blown away in dust storms and carried down stream in floods. So, yes, it can be done but there are better solutions. Begin to shape the ball into a pie. It contains nutrients for plant growth. Build raised beds. They may have a red orange, blue, or dirty gray tinge to them, depending upon the nutrient balances within the soil composition. Creating "Well Drained" Soil in Clay The essential element in well drained soil is oxygen. I use this brand. Lawrence, The advice from DMersh is sound advice. Unfortunately, concrete and grout are what we use to make larger sewer lines. However, make sure it's already well-rotted to a fine texture, as decomposition in a clay soil can be a slow process. That's what a potter does when he works a lump of clay to make a clay pot. They tend to pack together so tightly that there is hardly any pore space at all. It makes soil softer, more crumbly, and easier for roots to push through. Sandy soil is gritty, and if wet it doesn’t hold its shape. Fertilize the soil around the planting hole as well to promote root. Installing drainage tiles can be expensive. Soil texture is simply the proportion of sand, silt and clay in the soil, while soil structure is what results when the soil is manipulated by microbes, plants and animals. Before placing the plans in the container, make sure the mix is damp but not wet. So forget sand. A gritty texture means sand, while degrees of greasiness indicate greater or lesser amounts of silt and clay. If clay needs more porosity and better drainage then it would make more sense to amend it with larger particle matter. 1 - Put sand in one glass, clay in another, and mixed soil rich in humus in a third. They may have a red orange, blue, or dirty gray tinge to them, depending upon the nutrient balances within the soil composition. This is why golf greens and sports fields are ultimately designed with sand based soils. A clay soil has large water holding capacity, but because it holds onto water tightly, tension is relatively high for a given amount of water. The problem is that you must add a great deal of sand to make a difference–at least 4 inches of coarse sand to the top 6 inches of clay soil. Install a Footing Drain A footing drain (Figures 2, 3, 5, and 6) is one of the most essential features and is common to all types of foundations. At the pipe's outlet cover the drainage field with stones or with a moisture-loving groundcover, without blocking the pipe. This is the powdery, silky texture of silt. Most of the water in a clay soil is so tightly bound to the clay particles that plants can't get it loose. If you want water to drain through the ground faster, add some coarse, sandy dirt, which can filter water quickly through its larger particles. You probably need to add clay to use this soil. A variety of causes could lead to this phenomenon. Plant daikon radishes in the area affected these radishes are 3 feet deep/long. Sandy soil: Sandy soil is definitely easier to work than clay soil--but it has the opposite problems: it often drains too quickly and is less able to retain nutrients. If there is more than 30% clay in the loam, it is known as clay loam. However, they can be effective in large areas. Civil engineers can help define the plasticity index, or how well a soil type can compact. New builds should undergo an analysis by soil scientists to determine soil texture and the amount of sand, silt and clay present in the area where a home will be built. The rest can easily drain away. The catch is that it can drain badly. It is clean, pH neutral, pH stable and is used in hydroponic and aeroponic systems. To improve the drainage in your clay soil, improve the soil’s overall texture and density by amending it with organic matter. Introduction: Lawn grasses are no different than most shrubs and trees in that they all grow best in a fertile, well-drained loam that has a fair degree of moisture holding ability. A thin layer of impermeable soil, such as clay, may be what holds the water table where it is. When it gets wet, it can get sticky. Check the PH of the soil you have with an inexpensive soil test you can fingd in the seed section at home depot. Although loamy soil usually is already. Flexible PVC Coupling, Black is rated 4. Characteristically they drain well, yet retain moisture and are nutrient rich, making them ideal for cultivation. Best offers Hand Tools for Gardening & Lawn Care https://amzn. Clay soils have a tremendous capacity to hold moisture and tend to drain slowly. You would need to add gypsum and. The organic matter breaks down into nitrogen which is important for the plants, organism and microbial growth. A properly functioning sump pit includes a sump pump that will move weeping tile water outside the house, where it can drain from your yard into the storm sewer. It may take many years to truly improve the composition of clay soils. Often maligned but full of potential, growing fruit trees in clay may have its challenges but with a little care and know how, it's possible to grow a mass of delicious fruit even on thick heavy soils. Clay can be many different colors depending on what other minerals it is mixed with. If I was to cut off the clay pipe flush with the floor, could I use someting like this :-. Soils and Soil Drainage. • Gypsum can improve heavy clay soil structure and remove sodium from saline soils • Gypsum has no effect on soil fertility, structure, or pH of any other soil type • Most urban soils are not improved by additional gypsum • Before adding gypsum or any chemical to a landscape, have soil analysis performed to identify. Check the hole in an hour's time. Certain kinds of soil, such as clay, may expand and/or contract compared to others. Some tips we show are to use either a combination of sand. Using fine sand will only make the soil brick-like. In turning you are hoping that she gets a higher offer, since she has improved to make it better then the Comp's that may have the same issues or worse. I guess when its dryer, i can dig a 1x1x1 hole and see what the soil is like. Loam or topsoil typically has more stability, nutrients and organics (humus) than sand and better drainage and workability than silt or clay. Dig a hole once the soil and compost are completely combined that is 12 inches square Continue to amend your. Texture is broken up into several categories. If your soil isn't clay, but you still experience poor drainage, go a step further and turn the affected area into a rain garden. Often drainage issues are related to lack of drain holes in containers and clay or low spots if in the yard. Tips to break up clay soil to improve the structure and drainage If the clay is not causing water logging, but you want to improve the structure and break up hard soil to make digging and planting easier this article may help. What to you add to soil that is clay when planting a new tree so that the soil will drain and allow the tree - Answered by a verified Home Improvement Expert. Clay particles are the tiniest of all. Engineering professor offers tips for homeowners with clay soil problems LAWRENCE -- Many homeowners in northeastern Kansas have reported that their house foundations are sinking as a result of the drought the area is experiencing, says Robert L. Your soil could be improperly (or not at all) pitched away from your home, your downspouts may not point far enough away, or you need a French type. If you get lucky (don't count on it) you might get through the clay layer and have much better drainage - but in any case you will have a larger area to absorb water. Homemade mixes are often better. When they absorb water, they increase in volume. Soil amendments for your organic vegetable garden! Amendments make your foundation, good soil, better. With this, the beginner discounts the foresight, skill and work that went into developing that “wonderful” soil. It is very difficult to change a soil type, but organic matter is a secret weapon that gives. Basement water stains. Sandy soils drain too quickly, wash out nutrients, and make it hard for plants to obtain the water they need. There are a good number of reasons to use raised beds in your garden: You Can Choose Your Soil for a Raised Bed. Do not amend. Potting soil lets water drain easily, so it dries out quickly. Add about 3″ and work into the soil to 8-10″. Soakaways in clay soil. Make sure the clay is somewhat moist. Our small crew and truck fleet has grown substantially over the past years, all in order to serve you and our community better. I can't speak to the long-term condition of a french drain system, but in my experience the clay soil does limit the effectiveness of perforated corrugated pipe to drain away water. There are several common misconceptions about improving clay soil. Make it deep and wide enough for all of the surrounding runoff or standing water to collect in. As far as time goes sandy-gravel soil will drain in the manner of minutes. If you have a flat lawn and the water is coming from rain, as opposed to a hillside slope, then it is very difficult to drain because the water will not move very quickly through a clay soil into drain pipes even if they are installed. Clay soil has all those nooks and crannies to hold water and fertilizer, which is great. Since we’ve been learning about how to improve clay soil and improving sandy soil and specifically about water moves through the soil, I’d like to mention a couple of other important organic gardening implications of what we’ve learned about amending soil. How To Make Your Own Succulent Soil With Recipe GetHow To Make Your Own Potting Soil Pla NaturalHow To Make Your Own Succulent Soil With Recipe GetHow To Make Succulent Soil At Home Diy Well Draining PlantHow To Make Succulent Soil At Home Diy Well Draining PlantWell Draining Soil For Succulent Container GardensWell Draining Soil…. Fill it with water and allow the water to drain completely, then fill the hole again. Soil survey the proposed drainage area by auguring to at least a metre depth, noting soil type and its permeability. It is not simply a matter of improving drainage, but of improving the actual structure of the soil, (for example, so that it is better aereated, or to allow roots to penetrate more easly. Clay soil needs to have more organic matter added. Silty soil has much smaller particles than sandy soil and is therefore smooth to the touch. Our philosophy is simple, provide the best customer service possible along with the most affordable prices. We are a family owned company established in 2002. Adhering to these cultural practices in addition to adding soil amendments can be an effective way to improving drainage. In turning you are hoping that she gets a higher offer, since she has improved to make it better then the Comp's that may have the same issues or worse. Raised beds are nice and once in are alot less work. Septic system service companies may want to replace your septic drain field, but don’t dig up your backyard before trying our new eco-friendly and pleasant smelling product, Septic Perc. There are few things a gardener can do that will improve a garden more than creating well-draining soil. Small rootlets in a land drain can quickly expanded to a pipe. Remember, weeping tile water is just water that has made its way through the soil into the sump pit. Don't dig soil for the sake of it. This would require 250kg per sq m (460lbs per sq yd) of grit or gravel. Expanded shale is a much better remedy. Never walk on clay soil if you can avoid it. Most of the work is done up front, although some annual chores are necessary to prolong the soil improvement. Adjusting a low pH by adding lime helps make those nutrients more readily available for plants. Most of the work is done up front, although some annual chores are necessary to prolong the soil improvement. It holds sand particles together and helps form aggregates, so the soil holds water better. Native plants have adapted to clay's heavy density and lack of nutrients but if you want to plant a diverse garden, you'll need to address these pitfalls by adding amendments. Drain envelopes are not filters. 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. You'll only be creating a bathtub for the roots, without a drain. Spectroscopy: Simple solution for soil sample Clay, silt, sand measured quickly, efficiently How much of the soil is clay, silt, and sand defines the soil texture. Thoroughly compact this clay layer throughout the bucket, paying particular attention to the edge. In summer, try not to have any soil showing at all!. This change in. And in severely damaged drain fields use our Combo SHOCK Treatment to restore. This combination soil type is a mix of sand, wilt, and clay. Clay pebbles can also be mixed with other hydroponic growing media like Cellmax, Coco or Soil to give better aeration. When they absorb water, they increase in volume. Profasorb is a economical soil surfactant designed for fertigation and irrigation injection applications. Although loamy soil usually is already. TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Many people with rocky soil build raised beds for their garden where they can control the soil quality. Posts may contain affiliate links, which allow me to earn a commission at no extra cost to you. You can also treat your yard by aerating it with a lawn aerator, which breaks up hard vegetation that prevents water from entering the soil evenly. Clay soil is known to drain slowly too. In fact, clay retains moisture and nutrients better than any other soil type and is well suited to cultivation by vegan-organic methods. Clay soils typically tend to prevent water from draining away, but adding clay soil plants may have two major advantages: first, the plants will drink up some of the water present in the clay, second, the plants' roots will eventually make the soil more permeable and help some of the water drain away. Seasoned earth movers should be able to tell good soils from bad. If, for example, your soil sample has 50% sand, 20% silt and 30% clay, it would be described as a ‘sandy clay loam’. One is that adding sand to a clay soil will loosen it up and improve it. However, each type of soil has its own advantages as well as disadvantages and different varieties of plants are suited to different soils. Silty soil has much smaller particles than sandy soil and is therefore smooth to the touch. They dug out the soil in the trench to allow space for the bells so the pipe does not teeter totter and they get a proper joint. It's a gravel-size rock that's pumped full of air. One mistake people make with clay, and one temptation to avoid, is to dig a regulation hole, properly ammend the planting soil, and then place their lovely plant in this death hole. The garden does drain off, we had noticed that it has been wet in the past, but solid a few days later. In heavy or clay-based soils that drain poorly, dig hole shallower than root ball - so that root ball sits about 3-6" above grade. ) and waited a couple of months. In general, gravelly and sandy soil types are better than clay types of soil for pole buildings. When organic material is added to a clay soil, the clay particles clump together in much larger particles. General Guidelines for Amending your Native Soil in the Bay Area: For Moderate to Heavy Clay Soil. If your lawn or flower beds have pools of water, the lawn…. But with all the hard work, clay soil has its benefits. They may have a red orange, blue, or dirty gray tinge to them, depending upon the nutrient balances within the soil composition. Find out how to cope with clay soil. I have lots of clay in my landscape soil. Types of Soil. Soil mixes containing a significant amount of organic matter such as compost or black earth will compact more than top soil. Do you like playing in the dirt? So does restoration ecologist, Greg Eckert. Its narrow willow-like leaves turn yellow to peach-colored in fall. A variety of bagged mixes are available commercially, but you can easily make your own mix at home. Almost every gardening book and magazine article you read says you need well-drained soil. The downside is that clay soil could be very heavy to work with when it gets dry. Look for clay. Fill the can with water and let it drain completely. So of course you can make different textures by mixing things differently. Clay in soil is not terrible. TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Many people with rocky soil build raised beds for their garden where they can control the soil quality. This change in. You won't grow shit in clay. I want to make sure I have the right filter material and pipe combination for the soils and water conditions present in each of these sections: There are a total of 8 21' sections where the water carrying layer at the bottom of the trench varies: 1 Section is mostly clay interspersed with sand seams carrying water. Trees that are looking for more water underneath your home may also cause for soil disruption which will lead to settlement. Each hole should be several feet deep. To get proper drainage with sand you'll need to add tons if your soil has a lot of clay. If the percentages of sand, silt, and clay in your soil are less than ideal, you’ll also be able to feel differences in the soil. Study 71 Soils flashcards from Ali H. The microbes and plant roots need a balance of air and water in the soil to thrive, which is why proper soil water drainage is essential. Organic fertilisation also helps to produce better crops in acid soils. Some people think that adding sand to clay soil will open it up. A good planting mix is probab ly the most important element in container gardening. Anyone try those in soil? Anyway, looking to see what you guys use???. And just as a clay soil tightly binds to water, it can also keep nutrients out of reach of plants. Which rock is often used to make beautiful statues? Marble Which white rock makes up the White Cliffs of Dover? Chalk. Some people also mix sand with their clay, but I tend to avoid doing that whenever possible. And in severely damaged drain fields use our Combo SHOCK Treatment to restore. If there's a question, seek help. In many soils (especially clay soils), the air content is highest in the upper 24 inches. Clay in soil is not terrible. That soil may be dense, sticky clay or too sandy to hold water. The clay that is present in most soil is “composite” material, which means that it is made up of a great many different things. soils with high sand and gravel. If water drains from the hole in 10 minutes or less, you have fast drainage. soil pipe cutters can be used for soil pipe up to a maximum of 8" diameter. If you live in a sandy area, the soil will drain more quickly and dry out faster; clay-rich soil holds water for longer and takes longer to drain. 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. If you plan to dig a single drain channel, slope the stall floor no more than 1 inch every 5 feet toward the drain channel. How to Make Clay From Clay Soil. Pulverized top soil can be found in bulk or in bags, and is usually very inexpensive. Clay soils drain slowly and make digging difficult, but some plants do well in the soil. Amending your soil means that you are going to add things to that clay soil to make it more effective a growing medium. It's more than just dirt: it's actually a living, breathing organic component. Characteristics of different soil types The soil types determines how and what we can grow and are the basis for all farming. If you get lucky (don't count on it) you might get through the clay layer and have much better drainage - but in any case you will have a larger area to absorb water. Make sure there is a slope on the bed and a point to drain off rain or over-watering of nutrient. Improving clay soil with sand won’t help, but compost will. Other benefits of clay pipe are that it is more stable under pressure from soil weight mass from above and has a taste not enjoyed by the rodent society unlike plastic pipe! It can also withstand more modern methods of high pressure underground pipe cleaning, that plastic cannot. Soil survey the proposed drainage area by auguring to at least a metre depth, noting soil type and its permeability. It is the largest of the three size classes of soil particles. Sand may loosen soil for digging, and it might even open it up and allow more air into the soil, but it can't make good soil and it won't improve soil structure. The best soil is about half air space and half. For more serious lawn and garden drainage problems, there are several things you can try to improve soil drainage. Clay soils also hold a higher proportion of water due to the capillary attraction of the tiny spaces between the numerous clay particles. Plant daikon radishes in the area affected these radishes are 3 feet deep/long. Some crops might prefer a higher content of clay. Diversion ditches Dig a small ditch close to the upper edge of the property to slow water movement. And the great thing is that when clay soil plants start to populate a location with clay soil, their roots eventually make the soil more permeable to water and air. Clay, because of its density, retains moisture well. Most growers agree soil produces bud with better flavor and aroma. The type of structure in soil depends to a large extent on the texture and the amount. There are several common misconceptions about improving clay soil. How to Test Your Soil Drainage. It also makes the soil comfy for earthworms and other organisms that loosen the soil even more. If your soil is clay, you’ll need to water less frequently to avoid over-watering. Appears dark and rich; Loose texture; Drains well (doesn't make a pool on top of your soil for more than a couple of seconds and doesn't take forever to drain out the bottom) Holds water without getting muddy (you want wet soil, not dirt-batter). I've seen a couple comments about clay soil, so I thought a few tips might be helpful to some interested growers. This soil is common to many parts of the world, limiting what homeowners, gardeners, and farmers can grow. Fill and/or compacted soils (soil that has been man-handled and moved around loses its natural structure and drainage properties) Clay soils are made up of very small particles. Plus, you'll need a lot of sand to make a real difference (1 part sand to every 2 parts clay soil). However, if you want to fix soil that is slow-draining, then create raised garden beds with a lot of added. Clay soil is thus rich in plant food for better growth. VitaLink Clay Coir is ideally suited for used with flood and drain, drip irrigation and passive hydroponic systems, or it also can be used as a hand-watered growing media. Top Soil vs Potting Mix:. soil to make it drain better would take a while. No matter what type of soil you have, adding organic matter will improve it. They each have different properties and it is important to know these to make the best choices and get the most from your garden. In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shares tips for successfully growing flowers in stubborn clay soil. Clay soils have a tremendous capacity to hold water and nutrients, and soils rich in clay tend to suffer from poor air circulation and slow drainage. Profasorb is a economical soil surfactant designed for fertigation and irrigation injection applications. 0 m depth is 3. CIGAR TESTProcedure Make a smooth paste from the soil removing all gravels. Loam: This is an ideal garden soil. Tips to break up clay soil to improve the structure and drainage If the clay is not causing water logging, but you want to improve the structure and break up hard soil to make digging and planting easier this article may help. Minor yard drainage problems like this can usually be corrected by taking steps to improve clay soil. Posted by iamronen January 6, 2012 January 11, 2012 4 Comments on Is It Possible to Build an Earthship in Moist, Freezing, Expansive Clay Soil? We have beautiful, heavy, clay-rich soil. Need to know how to amend clay soil? Don’t let tough clay soil get you down. Soil texture is simply the proportion of sand, silt and clay in the soil, while soil structure is what results when the soil is manipulated by microbes, plants and animals. To get proper drainage with sand you'll need to add tons if your soil has a lot of clay. Your only permanent solutions are: drain off the uphill water source somewhere else - culvert etc. Tips for Beginners: Good Soil Promises Rhodie Success. Eroded topsoil transfers into streams and other waterways, causing potential surface water quality problems and hydrological damage that can be far-reaching. #2 is easier to solve via dry wells, drain tile, swales, etc combined with eliminating the negative grading. Section 2--Foundation Drainage. Seasoned earth movers should be able to tell good soils from bad. Plus it will hold nutrients better even providing some nutrients on its own. When you're sure clay soil is causing the drainage problem, you can improve the growing conditions. The other great way of draining soil is to create a. For example, soils with high clay content tend to have more drainage problems than sandy soils because they are more easily compacted. It can make heavy clay soil drain better, easier to dig and not so hard or sticky. Small rootlets in a land drain can quickly expanded to a pipe. Pure Blanket Method. Using a clean container, one size larger than the original, is important. Interpreting Your Soil Evaluation for Septic System Suitability. Apparently the land is very clay like in texture, and so holds the water. Clay soil feels lumpy and is sticky when wet and rock hard when dry. Clay soil is a very dense substance that can cause major drainage problems for your plants. French Drain (With Drainage Fabric) - US Fabrics. It's winter time in my part of the world. Adding the organic matter at the end. Chinese wisteria in full bloom - spring. Gardenguides. If using new clay pots, soak before planting so they will not rob moisture from the soil mix. You won’t need them all!. Our clay in Tennessee was hard, thick, and rocky. Plants for clay soil. Water drains more quickly through one type of soil compared to another. You can make it in a year if you are in a fairly damp climate, and if you collect the leaves from grassy areas by setting your mower blades to the highest cut. Help your child observe that some types of soil make better pies than other. The ideal loam will be nutrient rich, retain moisture well but still drain freely and be granular enough to facilitate tilling. The ratio of these sizes determines soil type: clay, loam, clay-loam, silt-loam, and so on. If you want water to drain through the ground faster, add some coarse, sandy dirt, which can filter water quickly through its larger particles. When you have clay, and work the soil, it lines those particles up so there is no space between them. Loam or topsoil typically has more stability, nutrients and organics (humus) than sand and better drainage and workability than silt or clay. nutrients but have poor drainage and aeration. They are potentially fertile as they hold nutrients bound to the clay minerals in the soil. Organic matter helps sandy soils stick together into aggregates that retain the proper amount of moisture and helps clay soils drain better. The tiny, pancake-shaped particles of clay soils pack tightly, leaving little pore space. Clay x 6 in. Clay soil drains slowly and saturates easily, especially during periods of heavy rain or snow. Install drains based on your foundation and soil types. This means that the soil moves a lot. I like clay soil much better then sand. Soil conditions - Water used by trees is stored in the soil. Hydrokorrels Clay is also a useful additive to Coco Medium and Soil when growing in Pot Culture and also anywhere where extra drainage is needed. 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. If plantings are intended, add 4 to 6" of loam on top of the clay cap. Put some small rocks at the bottom. Aerators remove plugs of dirt from the lawn and break up the soil, allowing grass roots to spread. In theory the polygon of forces for a c~4> soil will be as shown in Fig. The compost is very loose, compared with the original hard clay. It’s loaded with all-natural, organic ingredients that give your plants precisely what they need to grow bigger, stronger and produce better tomatoes. Don't make flat sides to the planting hole that wont let water drain. Install a Footing Drain A footing drain (Figures 2, 3, 5, and 6) is one of the most essential features and is common to all types of foundations. By strengthening this bond the clay structure changes from an impermeable mass to a bunch of small tightly bound particles. I have lots of good compost this year that I will use as tea and top amendments. Use a garden fork and rotary tiller to break up the clay soil within the planting bed. Clay soil is more dense than sandy or loamy soil, and therefore, is slower to allow rainwater to filter through it. ? In a heavy clay soil it will provide the drainage and in a sandy soil it will hold moisture. by John Dromgoole. But these issues are outweighed by the potential clay soil has to be the foundation for a wide range of plants. I have that nasty sticky clay in my veggie garden. Clay soil is notorious for having drainage problems, which -- over time -- can have serious consequences for plants you plan to grow.