Forum home Problem solving

Major clay garden

we have quite a large garden but limited top soil. We know that the clay is at least 2m deep due to recent gas pipe renewal.  Have installed four little soak away s in back garden but still struggle with surface water.  Any ideas?

also,  it really sure what we can plant. Very sunny SW facing garden which can get very hot in summer, but will als9 flood if too much rain.

front garden is NW facing and full or Moss. No idea how to remove it and improve the lawn. Please any help would be great.



  • Jude348Jude348 Posts: 2
    Meant NE facing front garden. Very sunny first thing then into shade.
  • Jason-3Jason-3 Posts: 391
    Hi jude we moved into our house about 4 years back east/west garden ( garden is built up at such a height that little shade is cast) Very heavy clay but sitting on top of sandstone. Unfortunately with clay their is no quick or inexpensive way to resolve it. The best solution is to add lots of organic matter and gypsum. Leave this six months before planting. I also recommend bark chips used as a mulch as this does seem to help stop the clay baking hard in the summer

    Plants that do well in heavy clay Roses, hostas,  hellebore, mecanopsis, hydrangas, hardy geraniums, wallflowers and digitalis Plants that have done well for me but are not necessarily lovers of clay are delphinium, dahlias, nepeta, verbana, hollyhock and most bulbs. ( with grit added to the planting holes)The only plants that I've that cant grow are lavenders ( English and french) carnations, most herbs. So basicaly anything needs med type rocky sandy soil. 

    I have found that with work that fruit and vegetables do well in clay soil. But it does require you to add lots of organic material. If you haven' already think about somewhere yiu can make your own compost/mulch as this is invaluable with clay oh and don' walk on it 😀
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,987
    Plant everything in raised beds.  My parents have a similar situation, and it's been the only thing that's worked well.  If you plan to live there for the foreseeable future, make the raised beds from retaining wall concrete blocks.. probably about two rows tall would do you.  That way you don't need to deal with rotting wood after a few years.  Fill it with manure, compost, greenwaste, etc.  Whatever you can get your hands on.  Top it off with a few bags of quality compost, and you're set for planting.  Mulch around the plants to maintain moisture in your sunny location.  The roots from larger plants/shrubs will grow down into the clay, so make sure they enjoy a bit of clay.  
    Utah, USA.
Sign In or Register to comment.