Return to the Cottage Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Well draining soil

Posted by contrary_grow 7b (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 3, 08 at 20:23

This is a dumb question, I'm sure, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Can clay on a hillside be considered well draining soil?

Thanks,
Mary


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Well draining soil

If you really want to know for your particular hillside you'll need to dig a hole at least a foot deep, fill it with water and time how long it takes to drain. Usually well draining soil will drain in about an hour or two on a hillside. When I had clay soil in my last garden it could take hours to drain. No hillside, though. Here I have plenty of hillsides, sandy/rocky soil and it can drain in 20 minutes if it's not amended.

And no, it's not a dumb question. : )

Diana


 o
RE: Well draining soil

No.

Here's what Walter Reeves said in his column on making well drained soil:

"I was explaining to someone recently that flowering cherry trees absolutely require well-drained soil to succeed. "Well, thats not a problem," they responded, "Im planting on a slope, so water drains right past it."

"Sloping soil is usually poorly drained," I replied. "Your cherry will be dead in a year if you plant it on that eroded clay bank."

It is important to distinguish between surface drainage and soil drainage.

Water inevitably flows down hill. That is surface drainage. Soil drainage, though, is what happens to moisture when it soaks through the earth around a plants roots."

He goes on to tell how to amend the soil, here's the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Walter on Soil Amending


 o
RE: Well draining soil

Hi, Nell. I read his article. Do you know what he means by "soil conditioner"? I can't remember seeing a product with that name.

ThinMan


 o
RE: Well draining soil

ThinMan,
Soil conditioner sometimes called Nature's Helper.


 o
RE: Well draining soil

Thanks, Nell. It appears to be sold in the south, but not in my neck of the woods.

ThinMan


 o
RE: Well draining soil

Mary, I have fairly heavy clay soil. For plants that like poor soil (achillea, lavender), I do a mix of half clay, half sand. For those that need good soil that is sharp draining I do 1/3 clay, 1/3 composted manure, 1/3 sand.


 o
RE: Well draining soil

Thank you for the good advice. I sort of thought that just planting in clay wouldn't be the best idea no matter where it was located. But I wasn't even thinking about surface drainage. I just thought that water wouldn't last in clay on a hillside like it does on a flat surface.

Mary


 o
RE: Well draining soil

I think the soil conditioner that Mr. Reeves mentioned might be something like gypsum. I never added anything to red clay in No. GA except compost of some kind. If you mix GA clay with sand, you frequently get cement.

Nell


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Cottage Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here