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Clay Soils

Heavy clay soils are difficult to work they are compacted and sticky leading to poor drainage, they also bake hard during dry spells and are slow to warm up in spring, this means the roots of plants have difficulty growing in these conditions taking a while to get established. Waiting until later in spring to plant when the soil has warmed will help plants get established or plant trees, shrubs and roses in autumn when the soil is still warm. Planting on slight mounds or adding grit to the planting hole will help with drainage.

This type of soil can be improved over time with work sometimes taking years to amend this type of soil. Digging rough in autumn and leaving over winter to let the frost break down the soil naturally, incorporating plenty of organic matter and compost, corse grit or sand will help to open up the soil helping immensely, given time with work this type of soil does retain nutrients and will accommodate a wide range of plants. To stop the soil drying out during summer apply a mulch around the plants to retain moisture.

Larger shrubs
Aucuba
Corylus
Forsythia
Humulus
Magnolia
Mahonia
Pyracantha
Rose
Sambucus
Salic
Syringa
Viburnum


Medium to low growing shrubs
Berberis
Chaenomeles
Choysia
Cornus
Cotinus
Cotoneaster
Deutzia
Escalonia
Hypericum
Kerria
Osmanthus
Potentilla
Philadelphus
Ribes
Skimmia
Spirea
Vinca

Perennials
Achillia
Aconitum
Ajuga
Aquilegia
Arabis
Aruncus
Aster
Astilbe
Astrantia
Brunnera
Campanula
Canna
Centaurea
Digitalis
Echinacea
Eupatorium
Fern
Filipendula
Geranium
Hellebores
Helenium
Heliopsis
Hemerocallis
Hosta
Houttuynia
Lamium
Lobelia
Leucanthemum
Monarda
Myosotis
Peony
Perovskia
Persicaria
Polemonium
Pulmonaria
Rodgersia
Rudbeckia
Sanguisorba
Silphium
Solidago
Verbascum
Veronica
Viola

Grasses
Carex
Deschampsia
Miscanthus Sinensis
Ophiopogon
Pennisetum
Stipa

Bulbs
Allium
Arum
Bluebell
Chianodoxa
Cyclamen
Galanthus ( snowdrop)
Fritillaria
Liatris
Muscari

Annuals
Coreopsis
Cosmos
Cyclamen
Impatiens
Pansy
Petunia
Viola

Herbs
Angelica
Oregano

Alpines
Arabis
Sedum

Climbers
Hedera
Vitis Coignetiae

Trees
Aesculus (Horse Chestnut)
Betula
Hornbeam
Laburnum
Malus ( Crab Apple)
Populus
Quercus (Oak)
Sorbus
Taxodium Distichum (Bald Cypress)


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"Clay soil is heavy, wet and sticky during winter and bakes hard during summer find out what to grow in this often difficult to work soil. "