Has anyone used expanded sale to improve clay soil? I read of a study
by Texas A&M which indicated it is a permanent solution to improving the
air and drainage properties for gardening.
Has anyone used it?
No I haven't, but I have serious doubts about it being the single answer
to your soil's problems. As part of a strategy, it seems like a good
If you have tight compacted clay and caliche soil, you should add a mix
of organic matter with one of the newer inorganic amendments. I
recommend adding an inorganic amendment for heavy clay soil, such as
Turface® (calcined clay), Tru-Grow® (expanded blue shale), Ecolite
(zeolite) or Axis® (diatomaceous earth) and Profile for sandy soil.
Expanded blue shale is also available from Soil Mender and is called
natural expanded shale. These are a few of the better inorganic
amendments that retain water and nutrients, in addition to creating more
spaces for air and water.
Other inorganic amendments with much more limited ability to retain
water and nutrients are crushed granite, granite and lava sand,
greensand, glass sand, and finally, regular sand. If your clay soil
develops cracks during summer droughts, please consider adding the
inorganic as well as organic amendments.
³When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
Jane, I use a variety of coarse aggregates from my hydroponics and
bonsai to work into my clay soil. The rough and pitted surface area
is the key. Properly sized, it really does work well in getting a
good soil structure where water and air can flow and roots can grow.
I do not recommend sand, even the highly touted coarse builders sand
especially using coarse aggregate I cant plug up many of the channels
you just created. I'm sure you understand the concept, if not do a
quick read on bonsai soils.
I wouldn't hunt the Tru-Grow brand down if it is not locally
available. No cost benefit in shipping a bunch of rock. As for other
value options, price out chicken grit ( I use a #2), Diatomaceous
Earth (DE) or kitty litter,( hopefully not used or perfumed). small
river or tumbled rock. You have to be careful with some crushed rocks
such as granite because the sharp edges can cut into roots . You can
get DE fairly cheap at the NAPA auto parts store. It is sold as super-
sorb or some such,it is a floor sweep for spills. Do wash( a couple
of times even) and drain off the liquid and save if you want a really
good insecticide( much better than tobacco) . Just ensure you put a
Warning label on it! It kinda looks like milk. ;]
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.