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 Post subject: Soil or your soil mix
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:14 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:53 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Earth
The soil in my yard is some type of clay. Sort of red and hard as cement. When it is dry you cannot dig in it. You must first wet it good and let it soak in. I would like to make my own soil to use in raised beds. What do you recommend? How do you mix up your own potting soil or raised bed soil.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:21 pm
Posts: 770
Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
Location: Perth's North eastern hills
It can be done, the main fix to help break down heavy clay soil is to add natural gypsum, which helps water drain more freely, the next thing to do is to add organic matter to the broken down clay soil such as compost and manure, and I would also add a bit of sand too. Say 50% of your clay soil mixed with gypsum 30% organic matter and 20% sand.

The problem with clay soil as I see it is that the particles are so fine that the compact together really well to make a super dense growing medium that both water and plant roots have trouble penetrating. By adding gypsum the hard compact clay becomes more loose and powdery so you can mix it with the other parts of your soil, the sand adds particles of a different size making compaction harder and together with the organic mater create little gaps and holes in the soil which allow water to penetrate and encourages your soil biology to grow and the organic matter also adds nutrient to the soil.

Why did the chicken cross the road? ... To have her motives questioned.

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