As we explained in our blog post about the different types of soil, clay soils are made up of very small particles that are prone to clumping together.
Clay soil has a number of benefits and drawbacks, so let's take a look at both the good and the bad, then we'll explain how you can improve the quality of the soil in your garden.
SEE ALSO: Pros & Cons of Sandy Soil
Advantages of clay soil
High drought tolerance
- Clay soils retain a lot of moisture. This can cause problems (more on that in a moment), but it does mean that clay soil is far more drought-resistant than sandy soil. Good news if you live in an area that doesn't see much rain!
Lots of plant nutrients
- Clay soil also tends to hold on to nutrients very well, making it more nutrient-rich than thinner soil types.
Disadvantages of clay soil
Poor drainage, especially when compacted
- As mentioned above, clay soils retain a lot of water - this can become a problem when rain falls, because the heavy soil makes it difficult for water to drain away. This may result in a flooded garden.
Difficult to dig
- Digging and cultivating heavy clay soil takes a lot more effort than digging sandy or silty soil.
Warms up slowly
- Unlike sandy soil, clay soil takes quite a long time to warm up after a cold winter. These slow temperature changes can delay growth.
Clay soil tips from Lawn & Weed Expert
If you have heavy clay soil in your garden, there are several things you can do to combat the drawbacks listed above:
- Keep off the soil when it's wet. Walking around on wet soil will cause the clay particles to become compacted (squashed together), making it even harder for water to drain away.
- Aerate your soil to improve drainage. This is a service that we can provide - click here for details.
- Top dressing is a great way to gradually change the quality of your soil over time. Again, this is a service we offer.
If you need help improving the quality of your soil, contact Lawn & Weed Expert today - we specialise in making gardens healthier!
How to check what type of soil you have
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