As most north Texans are aware, the landscape in this region mostly consists of clay soil. Of the three main types of soil, clay can be the most challenging to work with in the garden.
Clay Soil Soil Components
Clay has very fine particles that get tightly compacted, making it difficult for roots to grow and spread out. Clay soil also has poor drainage and can result in overwatering of plants. During dry weather clay bakes into a hard, cracked surface, making plant growth difficult.
The best soil for growing is a healthy mixture of sand, silt, clay, and organic material. Although we don't have this mix naturally occurring in the landscape, soil can be conditioned to improve plant growth.
To fix up your flower beds to optimize plant growth, consider some of the many options available at your local gardening or home improvement store. Some of the materials that can be added to the soil are coarse sand, pre-mixed garden soil, and compost.
If amending soil is a project you don't care to tackle, there is an easier route you can take. Many plants, shrubs and trees are especially suited to grow in clay. Browse the internet for extensive information on these plants.
A free option is to add home-made compost to your landscape. You can start a compost pile at home from yard clippings and food waste. See our page on composting for more information.