Here is a trick to be able to garden in the worst clay soil. I've heard some people say to create a berm on hills to help collect the water. The best way to improve clay soil is to add several inches of organic matter such as aged compost to planting beds regularlyâat least twice a yearâand work it into the soil to a â¦ This can cause the clay particles to form clumps, improving the structure and drainage. A light weight mineral that will help with aeration and drainage. There are no short cuts. Think ahead to spring and start improving heavy, clay-based soil by digging roughly, so different levels are exposed to winter frosts, winds, rain and sun. Clay soils can be very rewarding and tend to grow excellent crops, given the right treatment. Hi Merrilyn, apply gypsum at a rate of 2-3 handfuls per square metre in spring and again in autumn. Gardening in clay soil is a great workout, but I have learned the hard way that some plants â like root vegetables â just wonât thrive without heavily amended soil. If applicable, sprinkle on Gypsum at 4lb per 1000 sqft of garden. To improve this, youâll need to add some water granules to your soil. Use a spade or hoe to clear the roots, stones, unwanted grass, clay clumps and weeds from your garden. Step 2. GYPSUM AS A NATURAL SOIL CONDITIONER Gypsum is a slow release source of sulphur and calcium which can be used to improve soil structure, aeration and water retention of clay soils. Previous Step Next Step. 3. In the first season or two after adding organic material to the soil, you will want to take care when watering. Clay soil will stick together easily and can be rubbed to a dull sheen. Also, follow along to see how the garden is doing in the end of April. Improving the Soil with Clay/BioChar. Both compost and gypsum will also help attract worms to your clay soil, which then helps even further as the worms will burrow through the clay soil. January 2017 â by Kay Baxter. Get information on how to improve clay soil from this article. The gypsum helps to push the clay soil particles apart, making room for proper drainage and water retention. In all my years of gardening I have never had such a satisfying or easy job. Clay soil is something you will find supporting the foundations of homes and commercial buildings in different areas. Work it right into the top of clay soil and it will improve infiltration and will probably improve the amount of air and water available to your plants. Get information on how to improve clay soil from this article. Gypsum is another thing you can add to clay soil to help improve it. Reduced crusting of the soil surface allows for better water penetration and the improved soil structure allows for better root penetration. The burrowing action of the worms will aerate your clay soil. What is the best and quickest and cheapest way of turning the soil into good plantable soil. Your aim in improving soil structure is to achieve a looser, more crumbly or granular structural aggregation. Add compost and manure. You can improve clay soil in sections too â no need to turn over the entire plot at once. Apply organic materials like humus and soil microbes (fungi and bacteria) to nourish clay soils. Clay. The granules will remove the waxiness of your soil and allow more water in. Gypsum breaks down the organic matter in clay soil. Lime for clay soils. Raw manure can be added to break down during winter. Some varieties, such as 'Heavy Metal' have bluish-green foliage; others turn shades of red and maroon in autumn. 6 inches of compost, composted manure, or composted leaf debris for nutrients, and water retention. To improve clay soil you will need to: Work 2 to 3 inches of organic matter into the top 4-6 inches of the soil. If the water just pools on top of the soil, your soil is repellent. Digging out and improving a small area or a planting hole doesn't work. So if you have clay soils, your best bet is to dig in plenty of organic matter, such as compost and aged manure, as well as calcium in the form of gypsum (calcium sulphate).