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Clay Soil & Stones


By Murdo

Strathclyde, United Kingdom Gb

The soil in our garden is very clay based. I notice there are a lot of stones also.
Is there a reason for the stones? I.e do they help moisture get through the clay soil?
I've started de-soneing the first bed which has roses in it and then had that 'wait a minute' thought...



Much the same as my garden. I intended to sift the stones out but it,s very hard with the clay soil so only did a raised bed. I just remove the larger stones as I come across them but theres loads of small ones and i,ve not had any problems with any type of plants growing in it.
I don't think they help with drainage as I had to pick down very deep and break it up and added sand, leafmold and compost and the drainage improved a lot.

14 Jun, 2009


Usernut's right, they don't help with drainage unless they're tiny, in fact, they have a tendency to clump together and form impenetrable barriers, I've found. And to add to what usernut's said again, what will also help with drainage is sharp grit - if you're lucky, you'll find this at the garden centre in largish bags.

14 Jun, 2009


Each time I plant something new I end up with a potful of stones. I clear out as much as I can each time and replace with compost. Leaving them in will not help the plants.

14 Jun, 2009


Thanks all. That's reassuring. I've a full compost bin that I intend to add to the soil which will hopefully improve the quality.

14 Jun, 2009


Need To Dig In Plenty Of Grit And Rough Compost To Break It Up..:-)

14 Jun, 2009


I have to say de-stoning is an endless task. Large stones will drain better than small ones, dug into clay soil, if you want grit or smaller stones, break up the large stones together with old bricks and very old plaster. In the New Forest area with a small layer of soil, we used larger stones as a mulch on top. There is moisture under every stone.

14 Jun, 2009

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