In the spring I grew mustard as a cover crop to improve a small portion of my yard. I've bought green sand just now and was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions about improving soil quality. Thanks all :)
Clay soil is a beast to dig but it contains lots of nutrients, especially the black clay. When I gardened in black gumbo, I used a lot of soil conditioner/landscaper mix on top of the clay and kept it mulched and fairly moist. To my surprise, a few years later, I could easily dig with a hand trowel in the beds that I improved like that.
Are you trying to overcome the PH with greensand?
Another useful tip when excavating for a shrub or tree is to spray the area with soapy water a day before digging. I'm not a chemist, so cannot state why this works but something happens to release the clay particles and it's easier to dig and doesn't stick to the shovel.
Compost compost compost!
Ã¢ÂÂ¢Posted by bjb817 8 TX (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 10:54
Compost compost compost!
Then add some more compost.
I'm not in Dallas but I found my best results were to mix both a lot of organic material and a lot of coarse sand. I did kind of an equal ratio of sand, existing clay and organic. When I just added organic, the texture was still a problem. The addition of coarse sand along with organic made a dramatic difference. Water soaks in faster and the drainage is much improved.
Might check out a product called Medina. Also might look at this link.
Here is a link that might be useful: improving clay soils
I found this article on the Web several years ago, 2011 to be exact, I followed it as well as I could, due to availability. I love the Soil mender products, the pecan mulch I dug in really helped to loosen the clay soil. I also add a bag of fine gravel and gypsum.. My raised beds and other beds are getting better every year, and I have thousands of earthworms that feed off of the compost ect, they in turn feed and aerate my soil. I can't tell you how much this has improved my soil.
Here is a link that might be useful: Arlington Organic Garden Club
You have gotten excellent advice from all posters but do keep in mind that the amendments will not fix your soil overnight. It takes time for the microbial activity in the compost to do its thing. Yes you can plant right away but that ability to "practically dig w/ your hands" will take a few years.
To repeat---compost, compost, compost, compost, compost and did I say compost??!
I agree compost is the most important thing you can add whither it is from a bag or homemade, but many other things need to be added as well. I think the green sand is very important, and any other organic matter. Some that breaks down fast and some that break down slow.