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Does anyone know how to sort out boggy clay soil


By Pugwash

Devon, United Kingdom Gb

We have recently moved and have encountered to problems with our new garden. Firstly the whole garden, which is just barron heavy clay soil and secondly we several natural springs which render large areas of the garden useless. Please help



Hi Pugwash welcome to goy on New years Eve - sounds like the New Year going to be very busy for you.

Difficult to provide a full answer as there are several options available which really depend on budget , how much you can do or want to do and what you hope to acheive.

The simplest would be I have natural springs the garden is often wet sometimes underwater , might as well have a bog garden even a pool.

At the other end of the scale are efforts to drain water away
via drainage pipes and soakaways , effective but hard work
So perhaps if you could detail what you hope to acheive in your garden myself and others could be more specific .

31 Dec, 2008


To add to what BB has said you could try some soil improvement. It is hard digging and you need loads of grit and sharp sand, which isn't really expensive but in large quantities does need delivery. Digging loads of these two in will help drainage (I know, I went through it) and you should also dig in loads of compost and/or well rotted manure which can be quite expensive if you don't make your own, but even if you drain really is necessary. It's a pig of a job but the good news is that after a year or two of doing this (the first year is the worst) you do end up with brilliant soil.

The natural springs - I agree with BB. Make a bog garden. I love mine.

Enjoy your new garden and don't try to rush it.


31 Dec, 2008


well i would do the above realy as in dig pools and wear you get the high spots from digging should be a lot dryer the other thing you can do depending on the size of your garden is dress the clay soil with some imported soil and mix it together.any deep shrubs and trees will need good soil for planting.personaly id love your garden as i like fish.i always think its just best to go with what you got.there are some lovley bog plants.thats the beauty of gardening.the other thing is see perhaps when you settle in how the nieghbers have managed theres and planted theres.i hope ive helped happy new year

31 Dec, 2008


You say your soil is barren? Have you done any soil tests to ascertain this as heavy clay is very good at holding on to nutrients. I agree with all of the above about digging in grit and sharp sand to increase drainage. Our last garden had a natural spring running through it and we dug a soakaway which the water drained into then my husband used a pipe to attach to the drain and the water drained into that. We had a lot of water and a normal soakaway without a drain pipe wouldn't have coped with the constant flow from the spring. Bog plants are great!! Huge leaves of different colours and shapes and beautiful flowers, you have an endless choice of plants, plus pots. all the natural water will attract some frogs and toads who will eat your slugs and snails, I wish I had a boggy bit in my new garden, no natural springs though! Best of luck and Happy New Year

31 Dec, 2008


Hi Pugwash, welcome to GOY! One thing you haven't told us is how big is your garden - are we talking postage-stamp or Nevada, here?? Loads of good ideas above, but what you can actually/practically do may be limited by how much space you have to do it in!

31 Dec, 2008


If your garden has others around it, you may be draining away their water too. Sounds daft, but very often you need to dig a ditch at the highest side of your garden to interrupt the flow from there. Water flows downhill!

31 Dec, 2008


i hope this helped pugwash

3 Jan, 2009

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