If you live in an area filled with clay soil, planting trees or any other plant and getting them to thrive can be daunting and tricky. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. If you’re trying to figure out how to grow shrubs or trees in your compound, you may want to take some time to learn a few things about the soil and the planting concept to help make your planting project a success. This post will cover everything you need to know about planting trees and shrubs in clay soil. Let’s start by understanding why clay soil is difficult to work with.
Why Is Clay Soil Different?
Clay soil is often challenging to work with because it is heavy, messy and solid. One of its main features is that it does not allow water to pass through it quickly. For that reason, water will take longer to reach the most critical parts of the roots. The hardness makes it difficult to dig and less useful for reuse.
How To Plant Trees and Shrubs in Clay Soil
Plants can grow and thrive in clay soil, but you need to know how to do it correctly. Here are the steps you can utilize to plant trees, shrubs, flowers and any other plants in your outdoor space.
- Find dark, well-draining areas. The best way to know this is to check the areas that dry faster after significant rain. You can also dig several holes in different sections, fill them with water, and record their drainage rate.
- Dig a hole for the tree or shrub. It should be double the depth and the width of the ball or pot, then add sand and stone at least a foot deep underneath the ball. The stone should be bigger than nickel to allow proper drainage.
- Cut slices into the walls of the hole. This helps create room for the plant root ball to grow and receive water quickly. Cut the slices in crisscrossing patterns.
- Lightly release the roots from the root ball as you pull the plant from the container.
- Use your hand to break the soil and expose the roots. This gives your plant root a better chance to attach to the ground around it.
- Fill the hole with plant mix and add mulch to the area around the tree base and water generously, but avoid overwatering.
Tips on Planting in Clay Soil
Here are a few quick tips on planting in clay soil.
- Always assess the drainage level and work with well-draining areas.
- Start small. Planting is an exhausting exercise. You want to make sure you know what works for your soil before fully committing to a lengthy project.
- Make mulching your best friend. Mulching has many benefits that you may want to maximize.
- Choose the right plants. Identify the shrubs and trees that work best with your soil and plant those instead, as they can handle your soil better.
To learn more about planting in clay soil or guidance on the plants to grow in your clay-soiled space, feel free to contact Jones Nursery in Williamstown, NJ, and we will be happy to help.