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Clay soil

hi there regarding clay soil. I need help and advice if you can help. My plants are drowning when it’s heavy rain but when it stops the flood disappears. I have dug the soil around and put clay breaker but seems not to work? Do you think I should go really deep dig all the clay out and then add new top soil?


  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Does the garden slope down towards the fence? Is that a concrete base to the fence? Is water ponding against the base of the fence?
  • I’m not sure about the slope bit, the concrete base is my neighbors side. Before i made this side flower bed it was grass and didn’t have this type of flooding. But I will have puddle of water if it has rain bad. But ever since I made this flower bed it floods in the rain? Maybe it’s abit low? Or I need to dig out the clay
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,136
    I wouldn't try and dig out the clay as it's a back breaking job but you could improve drainage by forking in a lot of fine grit to break it up.  Remove the plants to pots for safety while you do this and then make a raised bed to just below the level of the concrete and fill with a mix of well-rotted compost, manure and loamy soil.   Leave to settle a couple of weeks and then re-plant.

    Either that or dig out a pond.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Have you thought of planting mixed shrubs or even trees? Evergreen shrubs are also very useful when you have heavy compacted soil that gets waterlogged. Dense planting of the umbrella affect usually distributes the surface water further, but most of all, the plants' roots will slowly start to suck up the water there.

    Evergreen shrubs slows down the trickle of water into the ground. This can slowly condition the soil over the years as leaves and odd branches break off and rot into the soil. It's very normal to see flat grass areas flooded in pools of water in the winter months, but this can be rectified if you start dense planting.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,427
    Unfortunately, I think a lot of us have suffered this problem from recent downpours, we are on clay, drainage isnt an option, so we work with it, it does drain away eventually then plant with marginals, bog loving plants, our roses are quite happy with their feet in water.
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