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Our existing garden bed was clogged with clay and rock and we intend preparing for vegi's. Do we replace this clay with all compost or treat clay with gypysum and combine with compost?

My partner and I removed clay 30cm deep and filled mostly with landscape supplier compost. What advice do you give to improve the soil, do you recommend liquid fertilizer, a green manure technique (before trying vegi's), or anything else perhaps?

Submitted: 12:48PM, 25 Nov 2009
Answer: Hi Jason, best not to dig down into a clay soil and replace with a lighter soil as you can create a well-hole that fills with water and cannot drain out. Clay is a good basis for a healthy soil as it holds nutrients and water quite well. better to build up rather than dig down. Physically break up into large clods 6-10cm and remove the rocks as you go(dont over-cultivate or it will set like cement when wet and re-dried). Incorporate gypsum, some sandy loam and lots of organic matter, such as compost and well-rotted manures, to about a spade’s depth and the worms will do the rest – with all these goodies added the clay cannot stick back together. green manure crops are always a great idea, especially legumes.
Category: Vegetables & Herbs
Tags: soil
Answered: 01:05PM, 25 Nov 2009


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