The Benefits of Clay

I confess to being a little apprehensive about planting in the clay soil at the Homeward Bound Memorial Gardens, having little experience with it. I did the simple (very unscientific!) home test, and found it less heavy than I expected. Still, I know from weeding this spring, and the caked mud on my shoes, that there is much more than I am accustomed to.  This weekend, I learned its benefits!

While it is still April, temperatures were in the 90’s this weekend in Sacramento – and our plantings in the perennial garden are only two weeks established. I was expecting some droop, but found thriving, happy plants instead. The soil, under a good layer of bark, was lightly dry on the surface, but retaining moisture very well just an inch below. This, and the dappled shade the lower section of the bed receives in late afternoon, will be a real blessing in the hot Sacramento Valley summer.

Clay in moderation? I’m sold!

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