Garden soilgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
On a gardening thread, I saw someone suggest adding sand to clay soil to make it more loose. Before garden season gets underway, I would like to offer this comment regarding that advice (respectfully, of course).....DON'T DO IT!!! This is no recipe that you want to whip up:
Clay + Sand + Water = BRICK
To improve make clay soil more civilized, add organic matter (compost, manure, peat moss, pulverized leaves, etc.) but no sand.
Your Queen of Clay Soil
-- Daisy Jane (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 17, 2000
Soetimes organic matter isn't enough, although it always helps. Some clays either need gypsum, or are at least helped by gypsum, to make them workable, and stop them setting into a solid block. The following link helps you know which ones. Identifying gypsum-responsive soils
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), February 17, 2000.
Daisy, I've seen that advice before, but it always left me a little confused. First, there is the following ditty (that supports your position)...
Add clay to sand, money in the hand. Add sand to clay, throw money away.
However, a good loam is a mixture of clay, silt, sand, and about 5% organic matter. I think one of the problems with sand is that it tends to make the soil much heavier and to sink down. And the sand should be a coarse sand, not beach sand I believe. So, I don't see why it isn't possible to improve a clay soil by adding sand, so long as there is also lots of organic material to keep the particles separated. At least sand wouldn't have to be added every year or so the way organic matter must be.
-- Brooks (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 17, 2000.
I have a question about putting fireplce ash into the garden and tilling it up ? Right now I have about 4 inches of 3-4 yr old manure resting on this hard North Carolina Clay. With all the rain we have had it should be ready to till soon. So anyone heard of adding ash to the garden ?
-- Furie (email@example.com), February 18, 2000.