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Landscaping And Clay Soil

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Landscaping your yard is made more difficult if your soil is less than ideal. Those with a high degree of clay in their soil often struggle to make their plant life thrive. If you are fighting this battle, you can employ certain strategies that will give you better results.


For soil to be considered "clay," it needs to have 50% clay particles. You may have your soil analyzed, but you can recognize clay by its characteristics. It is usually quite heavy and difficult to work. If you have clay soil, you will notice that it drains slowly, which can keep plants from thriving. Also, it tends to have a high PH level which many plants cannot tolerate. When you water clay soil, your sprinklers need to be set at a lower rate to avoid runoff. Although clay soil can hold much more water than sandy soil, it needs more time to absorb it.  If you have clay soil, you have your landscaping work cut out for you.

Native Plants

Fortunately, you can choose from a number of native plants that can handle the compact and sometimes wet soil. In addition to being hardy, many of these plants are truly beautiful and will bloom year after year. For instance, Black Chokeberry, Nodding Pink Onion, and Showy Milkweed will make a great background for your flowerbeds. Various aster varieties also thrive in clay, including the Big Leaf Aster, New England Aster, and Crooked Stem Aster. Consult with your landscaper for more ideas about native plants that will look great in your yard.


Finding annuals that will work in your soil may take more patience. However, certain plants can handle the challenge. For instance, you can try Spotted Jewelweed. This plant has beautiful, colorful flowers that can handle the wet soil. They are also supposed to help relieve the symptoms of poison ivy.  Another possibility is Tickseed. This yellow flower can also withstand dry soil as well as your clay. Another flower to consider is Mealycup Sage which works as an annual in areas with cold winters. As a bonus, butterflies and bees are attracted to it as well. You may have to do a bit of research to find the right annuals in your area, but it can be done.

You can have a beautifully landscaped lawn, even if your soil is full of clay. Although many flowers will find the soil too weight and heavy to tolerate, other varieties are strong enough to thrive. Consult with landscaping professionals and experiment with various plants. You can find the right combination to keep your yard blooming all summer long. Contact a business, such as Steeplechase, for more information.