Gray Henon wrote:Wood chips and lot of them! Build up instead of trying to "fix" the clay. The worms will do the tilling at their own pace.
John Weiland wrote:A good link here: https://renegadegardener.com/care/soil-the-way-with-clay/
Roy Long wrote:That material chipped up or allowed to sit and mulch over a few years could add quite a bit to your soil on a scale that might be useful to you.
J Grouwstra wrote:Making Hügelbeten could be ideal here, but for 5 acre, or even just a part of it, the manual approach often seen on this site is probably not practical.
Adam Dettman wrote: I'll follow up and see if the guy who was selling rice hulls in the Cities is still around. I'd consider experimenting with a few bales!
Adam Dettman wrote:... Instead, I've started by turning over a 70' by 70' plot with a one-bottom plow, tilling in composted horse manure, and then cover cropping that last year. This season, I'd like to more or less replicate that, maybe twice over
Adam Dettman wrote: Starting last year, I had pretty good luck with some cover cropping.. namely a mixture of oats, rye, and peas w/ tillage radish sown throughout. The radish seemed to make some progress in terms of breaking through the top of the clay. In the fall, I hand-crimped everything and my hope is that the radish will rot in place, leaving channels for air & water.
Additionally, I'll mention that I produce a substantial amount of compost here at my place in that I collect compost from the local food co-op. It's been advised that I spread that regularly. Also, I came into a year's worth of cow manure from a farm down the road and have intentions of spreading that over the next couple years. Above all, I intend to keep cover cropping with the hopes of green manure and/or bio-tillage.
Any additional thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated
Adam Dettman wrote:Hi folks. I live on Minnesota's North Shore. I bought an old homestead here where I have an approximately 5 acre pasture. My goal is to eventually put a portion of this field under mixed organic vegetables. That being said, we here in Northern MN aren't necessarily blessed with ideal soil conditions. Rather, we have mostly rocks & heavy clay. And this isn't to say that I have a "clay loam." Rather, beneath my approximately 6-10" of top soil I have an endless layer of pure clay before one hits bedrock. This is the sort of clay that is near impossible to penetrate with a spade shovel or digging fork. It's heavy and unforgiving.
Any additional thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time.. I love this site!