What are the Benefits Of Clay Soil For Your Garden? It is well known that clay soils are among the strongest and most durable on earth. This is why it is one of the first choices when people decide to plant a garden. It has its own peculiar properties that make it ideal for cultivation. Clay soils also make for an ideal garden because of their ability to resist heat and moisture.
1. Hold More Water
Clay beds naturally hold more water than other types of soil. Sandy soils don’t hold enough water; clay soils don’t allow enough air into the soil to retain moisture. Vegetables require a deep, well draining soil with sufficient organic matter for good root development. Good garden soil with proper amount of moisture will form a soft ball instead of a hard or compact mass if squeezed vigorously in the hand.
2. Ideal Soil For Vegetable Garden
A well-drained garden holds moisture well, enabling it to be used as an alternate growing medium for plants. It is resistant to heat and repels weeds. Due to these properties clay soils are the ideal soil for vegetable gardens. The clay soils can be either used directly on the plant roots or mixed into the soil for bedding.
3. Holds Moisture Well
When clay soil is directly applied to the plant, it holds moisture well, which is important for planting vegetable seeds. With consistent moisture, seedlings grow healthy and normally stay alive for a long time. As the plant grows and matures, it stops producing new leaves but keeps the same moisture level within the soil. In this way, the nutrients Leach out gradually and the soil develops excellent drainage for water absorption.
4. High Quality Nutrients
The soil that retains moisture also offers high-quality mineral nutrients and trace elements. It is an excellent source of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. However, due to its inability to retain moisture it is inappropriate for crop fields. Clay clays, as its name suggests, are rich in clay particles, as clay soils are naturally clayy. Clay particles attract water-loving microorganisms that rapidly increase the fertility of the soil.
5. Plant For Long Periods
You cannot install a vegetable garden on clay soils without mixing some sand. But you can plant vegetables in clay soils for long periods by keeping in mind some important factors. Clay soil is usually moist enough during hot weather; therefore, you don’t have to water as much or frequently. However, it can get too wet during wintertime or droughts. In such situations you can water regularly, just make sure you dig up all the sand before planting.
6. Helps In Controlling Use Of Water
One of the most important advantages of growing vegetables in clay soil is that it helps in controlling the amount of water used. This is because most plants don’t like being overwatered. Moreover, if the roots are well-watered they will be healthy and the result will be better quality vegetables. However, vegetables grown in this type of soil need to be watered only on an as-needed basis. Transplants and root crops are also recommended for this type of vegetables.
7. Plant Garden In The Holes
First of all, in order to improve the texture of the soil, you should plant the garden in holes made with a layer of gravel. The depth should be less than one foot to allow the incorporation of microorganisms. This should be followed by removal of the topsoil and replacement it with new dirt. Fertilizing the garden with compost or potting soil will improve the texture of the soil considerably. However, this should be done only after the garden is well established and the planting has been done properly.
8. Make It More Alkaline
Clay soils are usually very acidic and require amendments to be added to them to make them more alkaline. The most suitable amendment for such a type of soil is limestone. It is available from a garden store. Another type of good soil for clay soil is perlite. It is available from a garden store also.
The types of plant you have will influence the type of fertilizer you use and how much you need to apply. For example, most plants like the sunflower and sugar beet will do well on clay soils. Also, most plants will do well if you add alfalfa, clover, vetch, fennel and other legumes to the garden. Also, corn and squash will grow well in clay soils. So, if you have these crops in your garden, you should try to develop a clay soil so that they can grow well.