How to improve clay soil

Asked May 4, 2020, 1:00 PM EDT

My backyard has a drainage easement (going left from pic to 3rd fence on picture) and the soil has a lot of clay in it. To the left of the standing water by the fence (by the blue flag) is the drain. Actually, all of the soil has a lot of clay in it. The tree you see is. maple. I also have White Pines. The yard was hydro seeded in December. Is there a way to improve the soil?

Kent County Michigan

1 Response

Hello. Yes, there are ways to improve the soil but it is a project of years, not one season. The first thing to think about is compaction in moist clay soil. When at all possible avoid walking on or using equipment such as lawn mowers when the soil is wet. Compaction eliminates air from the soil which then inhibits root growth. Once your turf is established aeration is helpful - especially if organic matter is spread on top. Some handy organic matter is letting your mowing clippings remain on the lawn and also in the fall shredding leaves and letting them remain. If you run over leaves a few times with your mower the pieces should be small enough. These methods do not cause thatch. When you aerate the organic matter works into the soil to build good soil. I hope these suggestions help!