What Vegetables Grow Well in Clay Soil?
Clay soil is notoriously difficult for gardeners. Clay soil has very little available oxygen for plants, and can quickly become waterlogged. However, it also retains moisture, so there are some vegetables that do well in clay soil.
Types of Veggies
Here are some vegetables that look great growing in clay soils:
- Root Vegetables – Carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, and potatoes are all good choices for clay soil.
- Leafy Vegetables – Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, and spinach tolerate clay soil well and can be inter-planted with taller crops.
- Cruciferous Vegetables – Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower do well in clay soils as long as they are provided with adequate drainage.
- Vining Vegetables – Vining veggies such as squash, cucumbers, and melons do well in clay soils if the rate of drainage is good.
Preparing Clay Soil
To get the most out of a garden in clay soil you must ensure adequate drainage. Begin by tilling the soil to a depth of 10-12 inches. Add several inches of organic material such as compost or aged manure and mix it thoroughly into the soil. This will help to improve the drainage by providing spaces for water to move through easily. Clay soils must also be kept mulched and well watered to ensure the best growth.
Growing vegetables in clay soil can be a challenge but with proper preparation and selection of the right varieties, it is possible. With a bit of care and attention, you can have a thriving vegetable garden in even the most difficult clay soil.