• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

clay in raised beds..??

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok ..i had this small raised bed that I built..I first put in some chop and drop and some apple wood, (hugel style) and then asked my hubby to help fill it with some soil..

I had been putting in some sandy loam mix..with a wheelborrow..but he filled it heaping full with clay..!!

not my best choice

it is somewhat breaking down from being dug out of the pond bottom over a year ago and going through our winters here..and it has some roots of cattails in it rotting.

my ?? is ....any ideas on what to do with it until it breaks down enough to plant??

I have put on some composted grape leaves/vines/sunflower hulls that were under my grape arbor..and some weedy chop and drops..but would like some suggestions..eventually it will have mostly annual vegetables in it with maybe some dwarf fruit trees??

suggestions welcome
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
there is a photo of the little raised bed in this link
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2011/07/walking-around-yard-having-our-yearly.html
starting to throw a few things on top of the clay to add mulch..some  chop and drop horseradish leave went on yesterday...after photo was taken
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Clay is rich in minerals and a good start for a garden. You can get it dark black in one or two years indicating a high humus content with good water holding capacity. Clay with low humus content is water repelling when dried out. Not the ideal choice for a raised bed which needs lots of watering even with a good soil mixture anyway.

Work in compost, use compost teas and dilluted urine to water the bed. That will speed up the decomposition and the formation of stable humus-clay-complexes. Seed cover crops that doesn't compete with your water thirsty annuals, eg. clover, beans, peas, malva, vicia, phacelia.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the plan this week is to incorporate some composted manure and some tiny wood chips into the clay, with a fork, and then top it with some more chips and sheet compost with that..

we finally got a little rain, hope to put a soaker system in there when I can get more parts

think when I get a stable mix in there I'll plant a fall crop of lettuces and greens to cover the soil..at least for this fall
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!