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cherry tree in clay soil

I have  large soft fruit cage and plan to plant two cherry trees in it.

The soil is clay and so prone to be wet (although on a slope so drainage not as bad as you might imagine).

Any suggestions for planting...slit planting? Plant on a mound? raised bed?

I have plenty of manure and compost but worry if I plant them in that it'll become a bit of a a marsh, so should I just pile throne top instead?

Many thanks for any advice,



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    As there is a slope, I wouldn't worry too much.  I would dig a square hole, plant and firm-in with the original soil, water then mulch.  It is tempting to add manure to the planting hole but current thinking is to avoid that so the roots spread out to find food (and there are plenty of nutrients in clay soil.)  The other reason not to add organic matter into planting holes in clay soils is to prevent the formation of a sump, where water from the surrounding soil will drain into the more absorbant compost in the hole.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • That's fantastic (and reassuring) advice. Also learned a new word "sump' that's what I meant by marsh! Also just saw typo in my post... 'throne'. whoops.

    many thanks,J 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,201
    I would dig a test hole, perhaps 18" - 2ft and leave it overnight. If there is water in it in the morning, you have a problem. If there isn't, tip in a couple of gallons and see how quickly it drains. If the drainage is poor you can plant on a small mound. My garden is on a slope but the drainage is very poor and I have found this method of planting very successful.
  • That’s great.  I’ll do a test now thanks. J
  • Test was a great tip. I dug hole out and it didn't fill up. Then did a gallon of water test and it didn't drain, so small mound planting it is. Such a huge help getting advice on this forum.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,201
    Good luck, I hope it goes well.
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