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Clay soil full of stones and rocks


I have moved into a new build home and am currently trying to prepare the garden for plants. Having dug up the grass I have found the soils to be predominantly clay but also packed full of stones and rocks. 

This has made digging extremely difficult as every fork/spade full hits stones.

Should I try to remove as many stones as I can or are they advantageous to a clay soil?


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  • Agreed with scroggin. 

    Digging through clay is hard. If it's rock-hard or wet, digging is hard enough without stones or rubble making things more difficult. It will be a real pain but removing the debris, digging over, removing debris... and rinse and repeat the cylce until the larger stuf has been removed.

    When the soil is mostly soil, adding horticultural sand or sharp sand (not builders/fine sand as it will create soil that dries like concrete.

    Digging in lots of organic material such as compost or well-rotted manure will make the soil conditions improve drastically once the rubble is out.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    Another tip, don't try to fight this type of soil. If it's at this time of year and there has not been rain for for ages, you must soak areas and wait a bit before you try to use a fork. Even after initially working in lots of bulking agent, it's best not to turn the soil at all. Plant densely so that soil is not allowed to dry out completely in the summer months. 

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