Gypsum can be added to heavy clay soil to make it easier to dig in organic material.
garden and bed soil preparation
Ideally, soil preparation for the planting of perennial plants will be done in the fall. If this is not possible, however, organic material, such as compost or manure, should be worked into the soil in the spring. This will help the soil retain moisture, improve drainage, add oxygen and improve root growth.
Fall Soil Preparation
- Remove all garden debris from planting site, add to composter for future use.
- Spread layer of organic material several inches thick over area. Compost or manure is ideal for this.
- Turn organic material into existing soil using gardening fork.
Note: Large lumps should be left in the soil at this point. Frost helps to break soil into a less dense soil structure, ideal for plant growth and moisture retention.
- Turn again in the spring, shortly before planting. Break down large lumps of soil with a garden fork.
Note: Slow release fertilizer can be turned into the garden at this point, if desired.
Spring Soil Preparation
- Remove all garden debris from planting site a few weeks before planting.
- Turn existing soil using gardening fork, breaking up lumps.
- Add 4-6" of organic material and turn over again.
Note: Gypsum can be added to heavy clay soil to make it easier to dig in organic material.