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It is not easy to grow plants in clay soil, especially when you are a gardener. Green hand or not, it must be recognized that the clay soil is to be reserved for certain plants capable of thriving properly under very special conditions of existence. To find out which plants to choose for clay soil, we went back to Charly de Jardiland for advice because he has everything.
What are the characteristics of clay soil?
Considered ungrateful by many amateur gardeners, it must be admitted that the clay soil is not the easiest to cultivate. It does not work well, weighed down by the many rock particles of which it is composed. When wet it becomes very compact, which prevents air from circulating properly: suddenly the roots suffocate, the plants are asphyxiated. The clay soil hardly heats up in spring, in summer when the rain is scarce, it becomes hard and cracks. When it rains a lot, it is sticky and water can hardly penetrate it. This is why it is essential to drain it in order to limit puddles. It is not recommended for frostbite plants because the gel penetrates into the clay soil.
Besides these uninviting peculiarities, does clay soil have advantages?
The clay soil does not have only faults! It is an extremely fertile soil: which is an undeniable advantage. Fortunately, moreover, because in France clay soil is widely present in all regions.
What do you advise me to create a shady garden with clay soil?
You will have no difficulty in landscaping a shaded garden on clay soil. The trees because of their large size have equally imposing roots, capable of going to draw nutrients in depth. You can opt for beech which comes in different varieties. Do not hesitate to mix the essences by planting a birch, a red oak, a Scots pine, a purple maple and a willow for example. Bring a little indulgence to your natural space thanks to the apple and cherry trees. White cherry, bay laurel and St. John's wort are among the many shrubs that don't shy away from clay soils.
Which flowering plants to choose for clay soil?
Emphasize the scents with a few roses, Madonna lily, violet, iris. Create borders, beds by playing at the same time on the different heights of the plants, the color of their flowers and the time of their flowering. Snowdrops, delphinium, lupine, hollyhock, borage, columbine, narcissus, anemone, pope's money are just a few examples of plants adapted to clay soils.
Is clay soil recommended for potted plants?
This type of substrate is never recommended for potted plants if used as is. You can lighten the clay soil by mixing it with potting soil and why not add a little river sand. The pots must absolutely be drilled at the bottom so that the water does not drown the roots. Place a drainage bed at the bottom of the pot - such as gravel or clay balls for example - and cover it with the substrate that you have prepared.