Improving Clay Soil

Published on
April 12, 2020 11:04:00 AM PDT April 12, 2020 11:04:00 AM PDTth, April 12, 2020 11:04:00 AM PDT

If you're reading this you’re probably like most of us - plant lovers who appreciate healthy, beautiful plants wherever they grow. But you also know the secret to a heathy plant involves more than the sunny or shady spot where it grows. The soil around the plant impacts its healthiness, and Earl May Structure and other soil amendments can help.


Unfortunately not every yard or garden supplies rich, black topsoil. In a lot of cases, the soil beneath our feet contains a lot of clay. Good for making pots, but not the best for healthy plants. While some plants tolerate clay soil, others do not. To help, we must amend it to create a better environment for the plants thrive.

Quick pointers on clay soil amendments:

  • Go Deep - Roots will reach well below the soil surface. By digging deep and amending the soil, you will allow for better drainage and oxygen exchange. Yes, roots need oxygen to grow!

  • Add Compost - Compost not only improves the physical quality of the soil, it adds beneficial microbes and bacteria needed for extensive root growth and uptake of nutrients through the roots.

  • Mix in Structure - Professionals have been using Earl May Structure soil amendment for years to address clay soil conditions in landscapes. By mixing the structure in the soil when planting, the structure will act like tiny reservoirs storing moisture, oxygen and nutrients, also releasing them to the roots when needed. It helps eliminate poor drainage and plant loss, and it promotes better, more productive plant growth.

  • Mix it Up - A good rule of thumb is to mix 1/3 Structure , 1/3 compost and 1/3 existing soil. Experts agree that keeping some of the native soil behind makes a better long term transition for the plant.

  • Spray It - Another way to improve clay soil is to use Earth Right Ready to Spray Soil Conditioner. Lawns treated in the spring and fall with Earth Right will be thicker, have better soil drainage. The Earth Right contains thousands of beneficial microbes required for proper plant growth and disease resistance. The Earth Right is ready to spray and requires no mixing. Simply hook to the end of a hose and spray. First-time users should apply product at a double rate.

Don’t forget about the garden! All of the guidelines above can be applied to your vegetable garden as well.