Monday, April 24, 2017


Mind the gap!

Just a pic to illustrate the challenge of gardening on compacted Tennessee clay 'soil' (subsoil?)

It looks from this image like we hadn't had any rain in months.

But this is just what my soil looks like if we go a couple weeks with warm weather and not much rain.

(This pic was taken about a couple weeks ago. At the moment, much of the back yard looks like a shallow pond since we've had several days of hard rain with flood warnings across the area. But next time we have a couple weeks of dry weather, it will go right back to this cracked look.)

Could I amend the heck out of it? Sure, but it would be back-breaking, soul-crushing, expensive, time-consuming and ecologically-questionable.

Instead, I try to find ultra-tough plants - many of them natives - capable of surviving and even thriving in this pottery material.

Ultimately, where the plants thrive, I find that the soil does improve over time. Slowly. In a few hundred years of letting Nature work its magic, I might have some nice loam! 😉


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