Kristin
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 9:53 pm
Location: Tilbury, Ontario, Canada

Trouble with a new flower bed. Help please.

I just moved into my new house last August and there was nothing in my backyard. Nothing. No trees, no shrubs, no flowers. The only thing that was back there was a 8 foot by 3 foot section of "decorative" stones that lined the area behind my garage. They are not decorative in my opinion and I do no like them and I thought the area would make a wonderful flower bed or place for some shrubs etc.

So I spent the entire day digging up these stones with a shovel, and as I was in the final stretch I began to turn up the soil I found underneath. Only to find it's not soil at all. It's clay. A foot and a half deep at least of solid clay. The only thing that isn't clay back there is a 4 foot by 1 foot section of gravel.

So I'm here to ask, now what? Can I try and remove some of the clay and put down some soil on top of it? or will water not drain properly and drown anything i try and plant there? I can't come up with anything other than that as a solution, but then I not only have to find a way to dispose of all these rocks but at least 10 -15 bages full of clay. Oh, and silly me, I thought I was almost done :)

GardenLisa
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:20 pm
Location: Victoria BC

Myself, I am lazy. I would not go through all the work of getting rid of the clay as some people may suggest. Raised beds would be what I suggest. They're easier for weeding as you don't have to bend down as far, and you can start with lovely soil and just keep amending it with compost or manure over the years to keep the soil productive. I also find it easier to make specific beds for different kinds of plants... like for succulents, or vegetables...

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

considerations for planting in clay

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15180&highlight=

This is a link to a thread with the same title I just put in the subject line above. We've just been having a discussion of this.

Kristin
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 9:53 pm
Location: Tilbury, Ontario, Canada

Thanks so much :)

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freedhardwoods
Senior Member
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 1:32 am
Location: Southwest IN

I am curious. In your original post you said there was no soil, only clay. Do you mean that it is subsoil? Clay is a type of soil. The ground where I live is clay soil and I can grow very good crops on it. In the thread that rainbowgardener refers to, I have a link to where I describe how I turned worthless subsoil into rich productive topsoil. If you are not sure exactly what you are dealing with, maybe a neighbor could tell you what it is.

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