Dealing with clay soil in San Diego
I am landscaping a 1.5 acre lot in Olivenhain (inland San Diego, next to Rancho Santa Fe). The lot is half cut, half fill (from the cut). In the winter, it's clay muck. In the summer, it's dusty light brown stuff. Haven't had it tested.
We want to plant things like olives, canary palms (on a slope), and other more typical large green/screen trees that we need to grow FAST. For a huge hedge, we're thinking privets. And then for decoration, everything from bouganvilla to camelia and gardenias, etc.
But I've noticed that trees don't seem to do to well there. Some are great, but very few. Peppers seems to be hit/miss. And there's a section where literally nothing grows (also a slope).
How can we get our soil tested? And are we headed for $100K of heartache when everything we like dies off from the soil?
Thanks for your thoughts.