Clay dirt

Asked October 17, 2019, 10:55 PM EDT

My garden has clay soil. I heard that doing a winter cover, Austrian peas or wheat over the winter would help. I can’t seem to find any of these items. Where could I find these items? And will it really help? Is it worth doing? Live near Detroit Michigan.

Macomb County Michigan

1 Response

Winter cover crops do help add both organic matter and nutrients to the garden. It would great benefit to clay soil helping to loosen the soil and provide better aeration. Never over till the clay just enough to add the organic matter. They do have to be turned back into the soil in the spring and that can be a big task. I do not know where to buy the Austrian peas, it may have to be online. The problem now is that many cover crops are planted as soon as the garden is done earlier in the fall to give the plants time to grow before cold weather sets in. I believe it would be too late at this time. Please see the following article from Penn State on cover crops for the garden: https://extension.psu.edu/cover-crops-in-home-gardens-improve-soil-and-reduce-erosion