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Surrey, United Kingdom Gb

how would you go about turning a solid clay piece of garden into a free draining place to grow more tender type grasses and eremurus .............i went to wisley on sunday and they have a newish planted area with lots of bearded iris,eremurus, grasses ect it appears that the first 3-4 inches is just grey gravel but what is underneath i dont know also the eremrus are growing between the iris totally congested!! and doing ok


On plant Eremurus robustus


Answers

 

Add grit and good garden compost over many years and even then be prepared for alot of hard work and rock hard soil when it is dry and no rain. Good Luck withit!!

16 May, 2011

 

I agree Pam after years of adding grit compost and soil conditioner it still like concrete in this drought.

16 May, 2011

 

Just start doing the above and it will improve. I am on thick wealden clay but application of leaf mould, manure, grit and home-made compost as and when any of these have been available has resulted in workable soil which supports a very full flower garden and some veg as well. I also add bonemeal every time I plant a new shrub or perennial plant. I think someone on here explained that this helps to open up the clay. Good luck with your garden!

16 May, 2011

 

I to use bonemeal for new plants and add fish and blood every year PF

17 May, 2011

 

lots of sand and fibre will break the clay down

but if your fit enough dig out at least a spades depth and get rid of and simply apply the sand and fibre , i found shavings from my local saw mill enhanced the break down much quicker

17 May, 2011

 

It might be worth checking with an expert at a local garden centre. I was advised not to use sand but your area might be different.

17 May, 2011

 

yes pennyfarthing i think its true if you use some materials like grit or pea shingle what tends to happen is these get mixed together with the clay to form concrete in the summer its like mixing ballast with cement!! i know that only organic material should be used but what i really wanted to find out really was how far will i have to dig down so that my grasses ect will not have their roots sitting in water in wintertime as i have a clay basin where ever else ive dug down after about the first foot!

17 May, 2011

 

I understood a soft sand can bind the clay together and make it like concrete so I have never used it. Grit and sand will not improve fertility I grow plants such as roses that dont mind clay and add lots of Humus. Sorry posted at the same time.

17 May, 2011

 

I find its not so much digging down? When planting I dig a large enough hole so the plant can have plenty of humas added when you put it back. I water till its established then I leave it to find its own way.

17 May, 2011

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