[permaculture] Looking for good examples of the use of berms and swales &...

Albert Lee albertcclee at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 12 13:24:10 EDT 2007

Dear S&M and M. Elvin, 

Adding sand to clay will actually make the clay harder when it dries out. Plus the cost and labor of trucking in sand is very energy intensive. The best way to plant on clay soil is to keep the soil moist with a thick mulch. Good luck. 


----- Original Message ----
From: "Marimike6 at cs.com" <Marimike6 at cs.com>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 10:02:22 AM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Looking for good examples of the use of berms and swales &...

You complain that your veggies "sulk and fail" in your heavy clay soil. Do 
you have access to any free sand in the neighborhood? If you're talking about 
just putting in a small vegetable garden, I would consider trucking in a couple 
of loads of sand and tilling them in thoroughly. While you're doing that it 
will be easy to berm it into raised beds.

I suspect the problem is not with your dirt's organic content, but just the 
fact that the glue you're trying to grow stuff in is drowning the new rootlets, 
depriving them of air. Give it a try, and see what comes up.

M. Elvin   
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