Q&As/Hard Soil and Clay/Working with Hard Clay

Question

I am very determined to create a lovely vegetable garden but I have noticed is that the garden is predominantly comprised of hard yellow clay! Can vegetables grow well in this hard clay? How much clay can I dig up without disturbing the garden’s soil structure? And can I mix the clay with compost to make it more beneficial for my vegetables?

Answer

Do not be dismayed by the appearance of your clay. It’s a good basis for a veggie garden as it is high in minerals and water holding capacity. What you have to avoid is the clay becoming compacted and rock hard in summer, and wet and boggy in winter. You can achieve this by adding copious amounts of Daltons Compost into the clay soil, mixing it in to a depth of 20cm. Then add a final layer on top of pure compost, about 10-15cm deep, and leave for 1-2 weeks before planting. Into this upper layer you can plant your young veggie seedlings and/or seeds for vegetables like beans, cucumbers radishes etc. The rationale of deep digging and adding compost in is to enable the minerals of the clay to be accessible to the young vegetable plants. To ensure longevity of your veggie garden it is necessary to top up your garden with compost prior to planting out each new season. 
Always add a layer of Daltons Mulch & Grow on top and around your plants. This is particularly important over the summer months to retain moisture and suppress weeds. 

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