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Silty clayey soil.

I have silty clayey soil in my property and I'm considering starting a vegetable bed. I was wondering if this soil type is suitable for growing and if so what veg is better suited to this type of soil?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,071

    Yes, a clay-based soil is possibly the best there is as far a fertility is concerned.  However, you will need to improve the structure by adding as much organic matter as possible, with horse manure or farm yard manure being ideal.  Any kind of compost would also be good.  As a rough guide, you want to add about a 4 inch layer of manure/compost over the area and dig it in.  Do that every year and you will end up with a plot in which anything will grow.  Brassicas do particularly well in clay soils but are difficult to grow in light soils, so you already have an advantage.  Many folk including me recommend potatoes as your first crop as this helps to break up the clay (even if it's only because you have to dig the area twice - once to plant them and again to harvest!)

    If nothing has been grown there before, or the area is compacted (eg after being used a lawn) an initial "double digging" may be worth the effort:


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Brilliant Bob that's very helpful. I have grown b4 but that was in a different property with a raised bed and very different soil. But that's very helpful great stuff you've given me a lot to think about and start planning.

    One more thing. It is a lawn at present I don't intend on doing this until next year, but would it be worth my while preparing the area now and just maintaining it, enriching the soil and the likes? 

  • Never mind Bob just read the link. Many thanks. image

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