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  • Oct 6th, 2017 10:41 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 20, 2007
114 posts
93 upvotes
Thornhill, ON

garden question

I am currently creating a section of my front yard for planting next year (either vegetables or maybe just flowers). My soil is mostly clay. Should I dig down and remove the clay soil, and put some sort of triple mix or mel's mix in it's place? or maybe add a border (a foot high or so) and then add some "good" soil on top of my existing soil?
If I need to remove the clay-soil, then how far down to go? Anything else I should know?...will it be ok left as is until after the winter?

And...I'm doing it now, because I have access to a large bin for disposing of soil....and access to some young men to do the work for me for free now...
6 replies
Newbie
User avatar
May 31, 2012
39 posts
20 upvotes
Clayey soil is good for vegetables and flowers. Just buy compost and work it into the clay and it makes it looser. I've been doing that for about 3 years. I just dig and mix up the both to 1-1.5 foot deep. Every year i add in more compost and have beds that have healthy beautiful flowers. You could do that now and again add compost in spring or even leave it now and add in spring.
Last edited by RFD2entertain on Oct 4th, 2017 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jr. Member
User avatar
May 13, 2007
173 posts
78 upvotes
Lake of the Woods, N…
Clay soils are typically high in nutrients, so what I've done is add other soil types. If you can afford to have an increase in elevation in the space I would add over time. I would remove weeds and grasses - especially quack grass, as it is sooooo aggressive and dominating. Roto-tilling will cut the runners into numerous pieces and make matters worse. We don't till any more as it is supposedly a bad idea, (google roto-tilling bad - lots to read on that ..). I've added sand, leaves, manure, and bought top soil; and hand dug it in over many years. Strawberries don't mind clay and carrots struggle in clay. Sunlight and moisture are also keys to success.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 20, 2007
114 posts
93 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
I did not know that clay soil was good for some plants/veggies! thanks RFD I learned something new!

So here's another question:
If I do add more soil on top of my existing clay-soil, will the new soil eventually turn into clay-soil as well? and if so, how long does it take?
And should I add top soil to make it look nice? the clay soil gets rocky and gray and not curb-side appealing, but I like the black look of top soil...and how long does that nice blackness last?

Thanks :)
Deal Addict
Nov 4, 2007
1604 posts
796 upvotes
GTA
Build or buy a planter's box 10-18" off the ground. Search youtube for "Raised bed Gardening"
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2007
1201 posts
638 upvotes
GTA
top soil is a scam and is nutritionally dead.
start a compost pile
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 30, 2005
3540 posts
664 upvotes
Hamilton
I'm in the same situation as you. Concrete - like clay everywhere. About 4 years ago, built 2 raised garden beds with concrete stones. Dug down (don't remember how far) and filled it with triple mix. Garden has been thriving ever since.

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