Heavy Soil – download our useful guide

Heavy Soil:

What actually is a heavy soil?


For plants to grow well, they all need light, water and nutrients but just as importantly, what happens after it rains is pretty important too. Poor drainage is often the killer of plants as opposed to the cold or drought. Heavy soil tends to contain a high proportion of clay, which causes two problems;


Firstly, clay particles are really tiny, so when they clump together they form a dense mass, this makes it difficult for roots to penetrate – especially in summer when these clumps become like concrete walls to the tiny roots looking for water.


Secondly, the dense nature of the soil also affects how water is absorbed, it quickly becomes waterlogged as the water cannot drain away easily and in summer the soil cracks, so when it does rain, the water stream through the cracks in the soil – bypassing the roots entirely.


This type of clay rich heavy soil however can be really fertile, so once you have added a medium that helps prevent the clay particles clumping….lots of plants will grow really well.


Do consider the water table level in winter though, plants generally hate sitting with their roots in soil that won’t drain quickly and bulbs will rot in the soil too – so do think about drainage.


For more information on the types of soil and how to improve your soil – visit our page on Digging


Download our ‘Rule of Thumb’ guide to getting the right types of plants in the right place for your garden.

Download “Heavy Clay Soil - Sept 2017” Heavy-or-Clay-guide-Sept-2017.pdf – Downloaded 359 times – 718 KB




Alternatively, If you don’t want to work out which plants to use in your borders, we do have lots of ready made designs you can download for your garden instead. Think of them a bit like recipe cards for the garden..so just like we all reach for a cookbook to find something yummy to cook – you can reach for one of our ‘recipes’ and create little plots of ‘happiness’ in your garden too. So have a browse, well; go and make a coffee first and then have a browse!




For lots more advice on soil types, preparing and planting :


help 2


Or if nothing answers your query here, do get in touch and we’ll always try to help out.


You can also download our guides for other soil types too…


Good Soil 2  Sandy soil Poor soil Acidic soil