Here are a few tips to remember when planting on clay soil.
Don’t expect water to infiltrate well in heavy clay soils.
If you are unable to amend the soil, consider making the garden wider and shallower than recommended to increase the surface area for water infiltration.
Follow the soil amendments guide at right to remove clay soil and improve infiltration.
Dig the site and add compost to the soil. This will allow plants a habitat rich in nutrients and maximum capacity to soak up the rain and snow melt.
Adding Fresh Soil
When adding fresh soil, consider the following mixture:
50- 60% sand and gravel,
20-30% topsoil (no clay) and
10-20% compost and mulch
The clay-based rain garden at Superior Middle School (pictured above) was a swimming pool until we back-filled it with rocks, sand, peat, mulch, and compost. It still drains slowly, but doesn't fill up with rainwater as quickly as it did when it was first dug.