All You Need To Know About Clay Soil

All you need to know about clay soil

All You Need To Know About Clay Soil and how it is important for your garden. Clay is a form of fine-grain natural soil matter containing clays, shale, and other mineral particles. Clay soils develop plasticity after wetting, because of the molecular structure of the clay particles, however, become very hard, non-plastic, and brittle upon dryness or firing.

Clay is primarily composed of iron, aluminum, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium with trace amounts of zinc, tin, sulfur, and copper. It is water-soluble and has high electrical and physical conductivity traits. Clay can be tilled, sprayed, or painted to transform its look or used for construction purposes such as foundation footings, road salt mixes, fill dirt, mulch, sludge, and more.

1. Used For Intensive Plant Growth

Clay soils are highly desirable for intensive plant growing, because clay soils hold much more moisture than sandy soils, so plant root growth is enhanced. This means that you can have dense, heavy clay soils that stay moist even during droughts.

In light to medium shade climates, clay soils can actually help to conserve soil moisture, thus reducing the need to water often or to apply irrigation often. Clay also holds more water in the soil for a period of time, so you can actually have water on hand should the need arise. And, in heavy clay soils, if the turf is removed, it does not compact.

2. It Is Water-Resistant

One of the benefits of clay soil is that it is water-resistant. Often clay soil is used for irrigation where there is a risk of standing water. If you are in an area with flooding or a lot of rain you can still plant lush gardens with this type of soil. It can be used as a mulch around the base of trees and shrubs or as a wash when sprinkling a garden.

3. Grow Different Kind Of Plants

With clay soil you can use any type of plant, even if it grows best in a different size pot. Even if you have a narrow garden bed or are working in a small yard, you can grow all your plants in a 2-inch bed if you have enough room.

A 2-inch bed holds approximately three square feet of soil, so the benefits of this are three times greater than in a smaller garden bed. You will need to have at least two inches of gravel in your raised bed to make sure your plants have plenty of room to grow.

4. Improve Soil Structure

Clay soils are becoming very popular as they can provide years of successful gardening. One of the most important factors affecting your soil texture is the amount of water that is absorbed by the soil. Most gardeners prefer clay soils that retain more water, this is usually referred to as “soil-attention” or “soil-conservation” action. Improving soil structure is achieved by adding organic matter to the soil, whether it is compost or soil that has already been formed by the gardener.

5. Few Tips If You Use Clay Soil Or Any Other Soil

  • It is very important to keep the soil moist because that is how plants can absorb all the nutrients in the soil.
  • When you make your own compost, you can add plenty of organic matter to the soil to help it maintain its properties.
  • Many gardeners also choose to add manure, dead leaves and compost to their clay soils.
  • The benefits of this are twofold as the manure not only adds good, valuable material for the soil but it contains methane, which is one of the best and easiest to control pests.
  • Dead leaves on the other hand contain chlorophyll, which is another useful fertilizer for your plants.

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