Shop all plants for clay soil
Clay soils are prone to waterlogging in winter and cracking in summer, but they’re also rich in nutrients and moisture retentive. Gardens on clay can be heavy and more difficult to dig but with the right soil conditioning and careful selection of plants best suited to the conditions, there is no reason you can’t develop an outdoor space that looks as beautify as gardens on loamy soils. You’ll find our full range of plants for heavy, clay soils below, spanning climbers, conifers, grasses, hedging plants, perennials, roses, shrubs and trees. Our top tip for gardening on clay is to incorporate plenty of well-rotted, organic matter such as compost, bark chippings or leaf mould into your soil, perhaps with some coarse grit if the ground lies wet for some of the year.
Avoid walking on clay soils when they’re wet to avoid compacting your soil and making it even heavier. Instead, use wooden boards to spread your weight as you move around the borders. Always follow the golden rule of never digging or planting when the ground is frozen or waterlogged and before the start of the winter, leave the soil surface in ridges so the frost will help break up the clumps for you. Acidic clay soils may respond well to the addition of a liming agent like calcium, which causes clay particles to form clumps, improving soil structure and drainage. Plant woody varieties like trees, shrubs and rhododendrons on a slight mound of improved soil above the base clay soil – this will avoid creating a planting hole that holds too much water.