Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
The kind that will suck a shoe right off of your foot as you walk across a muddy area.
Unfortunately, many first-time gardeners are tricked into thinking they can go ahead and plant their spring vegetables and annuals in the wet and somewhat workable clay, only to realize that once the soil dries out it’s as hard as concrete. These poor gardeners watch as the months tick by and their plants languish, barely growing an inch. And if bulbs were also planted, forget about it – they’ve most likely rotted away while sitting in soggy soil for months at a time.
Sound familiar? Don’t despair – there is something that you can do to remedy this gardening nightmare.
First off, what exactly is clay soil? In a nutshell, this is soil that consists of unusually high amounts of clay particles that are very small and compact. How do you know if you have clay soil? Most gardeners already know the answer if they’ve ever tried to walk around in a muddy area (ie: mud clumps on their shoes that are impossible to break apart). You can also grab a handful of damp soil and squeeze it together. If it forms a tight ball that doesn’t break apart, that’s clay. Another test is to dig a hole and fill it with water. If the water sits there for a long, long time – you have clay.
Why does clay soil hurt plants? Plants need air, nutrients and water to develop healthy root systems. Excessive clay prevents air from reaching a plant’s roots that, in turn, stunts the plant’s growth. And while clay tends to be higher in nutrients that some other soils, it can be very difficult for roots to extract these nutrients (especially when they’re struggling just to breathe!).
Clay soil also retains moisture – a lot of moisture. While this can be a benefit, too much clay means the soil remains wet way too long, causing roots to rot. And because clay soil retains so much moisture, it’s critical that you not walk on it when wet. Walking on wet soil squeezes all the air out of it, and when dry, it’ll form an impenetrable, concrete-like barrier surrounding the root ball of your plant.
Now that you’ve determined you have heavy, clay soil does this mean gardening is out of the question for you? Absolutely not! You’ll just need to become familiar with composting, realizing it’s your garden’s new best friend. While other gardeners might be able to get away with composting once in awhile, if you have heavy clay soil, you’ll need to do this throughout the year.
When adding compost to your garden it’s important to add it to your entire garden, not just in the hole that you dug for your new plant. Amending just the plant’s new hole will create a temporary situation for the plant. It’ll be happy for a while, but because the roots will never be able to penetrate the surrounding concrete-like soil, the plant will always remain stunted. Instead, mix a 6-10” layer of compost in the top layer of your entire garden. The goal isn’t to completely replace the clay soil in your garden with brand new soil, but rather to help break it up so it’s workable for both you and your plants.
If you compost throughout the year, as it decomposes it’ll not only provide much-needed nutrients for your plants, but it will break up the clay as it sinks deeper and deeper into the ground.
Compost consistently for a few years and one spring day, as you head out to begin a new season of gardening you’ll discover the shovel slips easily into the crumbly soil and the soles of your shoes are clay-free.