poor heavy clay soil

Asked October 10, 2015, 8:01 PM EDT

what is the best way to improve this soil type for a vegetable garden??

Josephine County Oregon

1 Response

Clay soil is made of very fine particles and to improve the soil for growing vegetables it is helpful to add lots of organic matter in order to increase the available pore space for movement of air and water through the soil. Good organic amendments for garden soils include wood by-products such as sawdust and bark mulch, peat moss, rotted manure, grass or wheat straw and compost. Inorganic amendments include pumice, perlite, vermiculite and sand. Two or three inches of organic materials should be spread and rototilled, forked or dug into the top six or seven inches of your garden beds. An easy way to amend garden soils is to plant a green manure cover crop. An excellent winter cover crop for western Oregon is crimson clover. Plant 12 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet. Plant no later than Oct. 1 and water the bed so the crop is established before cold weather sets in. When rototilled under in late April, crimson clover will produce 3-4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

You can drop by the extension office at 215 Ringuette Street and pick up a variety of printed materials if you are interested.
Happy gardening!