Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Clay  is it possible to separate the clay out of soil that is very heavy have a section of garden that is hard to cultivate  did place excavated soil from under the house there years ago that was clay  they have the products to stop the clay from being so heavy  and sticky but cost money  was thinking of trying to wash the clay out of the soil in small amounts and use in a potting mix potting mix  the sand and rocks could probably be strained out in a paint strainer bag  and they could be used.

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Good luck, Jeff.

You could also just mulch on top and allow breakdown to mix the carbon with the clay. For instance: LINK.

To plant out a crop, you could just scoop into the clay and add lighter soils to the hole and plant into that --so long as the plot is mulched thick. 

I've 'gathered' clay from gardens for sculpture work -- and separating it isn't an easy call at all. The best way is to soak  the soil, bucket by bucket, for a few days, and let the clay separate out into one layer then remove it. A soup ladle works.

Yes looked at a couple of sites  getting clay  for craft  have planted potatoes and topped up with soil and mulch  but seems to revert back to heavy soil  the other problem is nut grass that seems impossible to eradicate  if did not have the nut grass could transfer and bring back some better soil the nut grass came from lawn clipping  for composting from other yards.

Recalling as a much younger person, hunched onto a milk crate digging up nut grass. I did eliminate it from my yard and it took *years*. This was before glyphosate which was considered benign in those days but even it only killed the current plant and had to be re-applied to each crop of nuts as they emerged.

Gypsum is the cheap alternate to heavy work with clay. It enables the sticky lumps to be separated and allows better drainage. Needs to be reapplied but ultimately will deliver more useable soil.

Meanwhile, use pots or just plant on top. Restricting your plantings to shallow-rooted ones you can still grow a heap of food on clay soils. Just not IN clay soils ;-)

Was looking at the fertilizer i purchased from Aldi and it has a small amount of calcium sulphate and have some  Canna  Vega A+B  the fertilizer seems to make the soil more workable  and must be affecting the clay  the liquid gypsum and other clay breaking products seem to be an expensive way to improve the soil  and have used compost but that seems to not last .


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