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Wet Clunky Soil

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Wet Clunky Soil

Post  aspiegardner on 5/3/2010, 10:35 pm

In 90% of my yard the ground is hard and unless you water a long time deeply it seems to just get wet not clunky and super heavy soil.

Right now most of that area has punctervines all over that I am trying to kill, we'll see.

However on the side yard where I dug out all the weeds its pretty good soil.

Except the area where I put down fresh topsoil, mulched it in the winter and planted bulbs. The center area which is not the fresh dirt is rock hard til you water it than it because nice soil but still really heavy.

Just a tiny bit of water and you can dig it up and make dirt balls.

The area where I put the fresh stuff has the landscape edging around it. This side of the house is shady most of the day.

What can I do to get this area to have nice workable soil so the plants and bulbs will grow?

For the rest of the yard that's rock hard til its watered how long should I water every day to fix this issue or can it be fixed? The punctervines have no trouble growing in it, but nothing else does.

big thanks


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Re: Wet Clunky Soil

Post  1chichi on 5/4/2010, 7:39 am

I am very impressed w/ the results I got from adding vermiculite & compost to my existing soil.
I had top soil delivered by truck for a few beds, but that soil got clumpy.
Now w/ the a large amount of vermiculite in some areas of the bed, the soil drains faster is loose and no clumps.
The bag of fine vermiculite I bought is very large, about 4ft high. It was about $16 at a nearby nursery. I guess the coarse would be better, but it's not sold in my area.

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Re: Wet Clunky Soil

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/4/2010, 8:34 am

I have the same kind of clayey soil as well and only "poor soil" weeds would grow. When slightly wet it works OK, but clumps when it dries, and if too wet I could mould sculptures from it. What I've done is tilled in lots of sawdust and homemade compost into the top couple of inches to give grass a place to sprout. I needed to add a nitrogen fertilizer to help the sawdust break down, but since it's grass I would have anyway. For my ornamental garden, I used raised beds where I tilled as deep as I could and added lots of humus -- sawdust, compost, purchased bagged topsoil -- and the garden is doing wonderfully. I will do the same thing in another area for bulbs this fall. I'm resigned to making raised beds here for anything I want to grow other than grass.

Here's a pic of the ornamental garden notice the natural soil on the left -- it's rock hard when dry:

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Re: Wet Clunky Soil

Post  aspiegardner on 5/4/2010, 9:19 am

Yes that would be my ground outside of this area.

The area that I'm trying to do the flowers in had new compost, new top soil and than mulched in the winter.

I am desperately trying to find vermiculite for the sfg and if I can find it will put into this area as well.

I put up pictures in the gallery if anyone wants to try to figure this out.

Its barely wet and I could definitely make sculptures with it and the poor bulbs are trying to grow.


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Re: Wet Clunky Soil

Post  aspiegardner on 5/4/2010, 9:21 am

the pictures are called racetrack.

The inner area now has rocks. The part between the edging is what is getting clunky and heavy.


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Re: Wet Clunky Soil

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