working with clay

Hi,
I'm trying to get my garden leveled as the builders put lot of clay soil when building the extension few years ago.
Currently the soil is bit sticky, moist inside and hard on top which is not that bad to work with.
I've moved the soil to lower part of my garden where i exactly want it to be. The problem now is that its bit lumpy and doesn't level properly.
I also want to put 3 inches of concrete once leveled.
Could anyone advice what will be the best solution to that. I was thinking of getting the vibrating plate on hire, but not sure if it will work.
Thanks
--
RK77


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RK77 wrote:

You might get better information at alt.pave.the.earth
David
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"RK77" wrote:

The clayey soil you moved to your garden (big mistake) should either be removed or amended... I would remove it to another area or just put it back where the paving will commence... I wouldn't bother leveling, the pavers will *grade* and compact that area... you never want a paved area level, unless you like puddles and cracked paving.
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so you want to put a patio over the clay? this might not be the best idea because water will drain to the lower part of the garden and if there is clay underneath it will not drain so your patio may be standing in water.
you must let clay DRY OUT completely before working it at all. it would be a better base to mix a lot of sand into that clay before leveling. around here in the US we are being asked to not use concrete but rather blocks or even gravel which drains well so there isnt run off into our sewer systems. a draining type material would be better at the bottom of your garden. look better too. Ingrid

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I have heavy clay soil too. Be careful working with it when it is wet; that's how you make those adobe bricks. Break it up when it is dry and add some sharp sand and improve the soil with compost or topsoil. Mix well.
Good luck, Laura
-------------- Zone 9 So. California http://www.theGardenPages.com
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From what I recall, if the sand is too fine, clay particles will fall in between the sand grains and turn cement-like. So it should be a coarse sand.
When I was at the hort show last week, one of the suppliers recommended sawdust - nitrogen issues, I know, but that only takes a couple of years to resolve itself.
Dora
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In article

Clay -----> 20 - 30%
Silt -----> 30 - 50%
Sand -----> 30 - 50%
5 - 10% compost
Plant rye or buckwheat in the fall or late spring for their extensive root systems for a couple of years to put more organic material in your soil. Avoid chemical fertilizers. They kill soil and cost money.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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