rain water harvesting and clay soil
Hi - this is my first of what is sure to be many messages as I prepare to find a job, purchase a house, and move to Decatur. I've only been able to have a small garden that I stuff with roses, perennials, and bulbs, so I'm very much looking forward to a large yard for gardening.
I've been reading the past threads about gardening, and there two issues about which I have questions:
1. I've read here and online about the red clay soil. When you deal with this, do you just amend like crazy until you can plant, or do you more often have raised and container gardens? In raised beds do you install french drains or another method of ensuring you keep soil instead of making soup?
2. There are numerous posts about the heat and drought. I'm looking at the cost feasibility of installing a rain water harvesting system for the garden and maybe parts of the house. Have any of you installed one or looked into it? Is belowground cost prohibitive? Where do you put your tanks for an above ground installation?
I know I'm going to have a learning curve when I move from zone 10 to zone 7b, but I'm very much looking forward to it.