Clay In Garden – How To Build Up Soil

Q: If the soil in my garden is mostly clay will it help to add sand in addition to organic matter in order to break up the clay?

A: If your soil is mostly clay, your plants will never prosper. Their roots won’t be able to penetrate the clay easily and the plants will suffer from drought and nutrient stress. Here is what I do to build the soil in my own beds.


2 parts existing soil

1 part coarse sand (such as the gritty paver leveling sand available from home improvement stores, not play sand)

2 parts soil conditioner (you can substitute 1 part composted cow manure or mushroom compost for 1 part of the soil conditioner)

Mix it all 10″ – 12″ deep and you’ll have soil any plant would be proud to call home.

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