Fix Clay soil

Discussion in 'Grapes and Grape Vines' started by Louie Bones, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. Louie Bones

    Louie Bones New Member

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    Hello everyone I have a question. I live in Ohio Zone 6 and my soil has alot of clay in it and I really want to grow Concord Grapes.
    Does anyone have an idea how to fix the soil.
    It is also a wet area.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Install drain lines or buy topsoil and dump it on top of the damp area, plant in the mound of topsoil without mixing it with the existing material beneath
     
  3. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily New Member

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    I have been reading Steve Solomon. He says drainage in clay soil can be much improved by reducing the amount of magnesium in it. Avoid dolomite lime, quicklime, hydrated lime, and burnt lime. Use agricultural lime. I live in BC, Canada, and when I went to buy lime, it was all dolomite, which according to him, may be quite wrong for clay soil in our area. For me, I can use 10 pounds of the Ag lime, After first two years use half that amount. He definitely says that trying to fix clay soil by adding organic matter is wrong, wrong, wrong. I haven't really absorbed the info in the book yet, so you need to read him yourself, in case I am misquoting or misinterpreting something, and totally misleading you. Pulling out info about one particular mineral without looking at the whole picture (as I have done here) could lead to disaster. This info was out of his book Growing Food West of the Cascades, which obviously you are not. He has another book that tells you how to determine exactly what your particular soil needs and the amounts you should use. I think that one is called The Intelligent Gardener: Growing Nutrient Dense Food. You might want to read both of them (I got digital copies through my library), as I know that he comments that he has changed the formula of his overall Organic Compost Recipe over the years, so I think the old recipe might be in this Nutrient Dense book, and perhaps the updated one is in the West of the Cascades book. But the Nutrient Dense book has important info in it that The Cascades book does not, and helps you adjust your soil no matter where you are in the world. You can also get them through Amazon, etc. Sorry I can only point you toward research. I have read each book once, but didn't make notes. I did think what he said made a lot of sense though. Now I have to go back and makes notes and really get my mind around it. Good luck! I just now listened to a podcast - Donna Balzer interviewing Steve Solomon, if you are interested.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2022
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    Clay soil can be improved by mixing in horse manure / cow dung, 15...20 t/ha.
     
  5. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily New Member

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    Sorry, above wasn't very clear. The Ag lime (which he pairs with Ag gypsum) promotes the movement of excess magnesium down through the soil by groundwater, so that it is below the root grow zone. That is the mechanism for reducing mg excess, paired with making sure the ammendments you are using aren't themselves adding more mg.
     

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