Question about Town House Gardening

Hi Everyone,
My family and I live in a townhouse, and as you can imagine, we don't have a lot of gardening space. What we do have is 4'x5' plots, about 3 of them, on either side of our patio, and at our front door. There's a mulch on top, and underneath is a clay base of some sort. I'm wanting to rip out the mulch and replace it with soil - will that work with the clay base beneath? You'd have to dig about 1.5 feet in order to hit the clay base. Anyone have any ideas?
All the best, Earl
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-------------------------------------------------------------- Hello Earl - 18 inches is not a bad depth of soil and will sustain annuals, perennials and most vege but your best judge is whether water stands on the surface for a long time after heavy rain. If it does then I would suggest excavating, breaking up the clay and incorporating organic matter in the from of farmyard manure and garden compost plus large size grit. If it is not solid blue or yellow clay and you want to plant shrubs or a small tree I would think you have sufficient depth of soil to sustain it while it roots into the subsoil - a clay soil is potentially a rich one. What you must avoid at all cost is to plant into a hole that is in effect a basin that will fill up with water that can't drain away.
http://p214.ezboard.com/bjustgardening56566
Peter Yorkshire UK
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We don't get any standing water after a solid rain, so I think we're safe. Thanks much! Earl
On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 14:48:59 +0100, "PETER DAWSON"

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I have a 25' x 25' back yard it is very tight. I built raised beds rather than plant right into the soil (which is wonderful BTW). I find raised beds are easier to deal with, and more interesting. http://puregold.aquaria.net/landscape/bkyd/backyard.htm believe it or not, I still go areas to "develop" or plant in that itty bitty back yard. there are also great books that deal with gardening in tiny places. Ingrid

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Did you build the raise beds right over top of mulch or grass? How did you prepare the foundations for them? I know the structure is simple, I'm just afraid of slapping them down on something I shouldn't =/ Earl
On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 14:37:11 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

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yep, right over the top. I used pressure treated wood too!!! drove a wooden stake down into the ground then screwed the planks to the stake, they are two or three high (2x4s) which I lined with cheap plastic down the plants (stapled on the inside) and about 6 inches onto the ground to keep soil from working thru the cracks. filled it up with what we dug out from the pond and amended as we went with manure, compost, etc. it does settle so I brought it right up to the top and then I been mulching everything since then, builds up a nice humus after a while. I painted the front of the wood a bluish gray mottled with bluish green. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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