Return to the Southwestern Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Dealing with clay soil in San Diego

Posted by aztec CA (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 10, 10 at 18:00

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dealing with clay soil in San Diego

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 15, 10 at 0:09

Suggest you phone your county's UC Extension Service office to determine what plants are appropriate for your soil & climate.

RE: Dealing with clay soil in San Diego

gypsum is excellent to recondition clay. it will hold the particles together, creating air pockets in the soil, which plants need. my soil is on heavy, sticky, gumbo clay in the south, and gypsum did wonders. it became a crumbly clay. i can pretty much grow anything i want now. of course you also want to add lots of organics, but gypsum first to get the correct structure

RE: Dealing with clay soil in San Diego

you can get a very basic soil test kit from Lowes or your local nursery, etc. If your soil is heavily alkaline you should probably avoid Gardenias unless you want to keep having to treat/amend the soil.

you can also go to your local GOOD nursery and ask them how various plants do in your area.

 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 Southwestern Gardening 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.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • 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