What is clay soil?
What are the problems associated with having clay soil in a garden?
What's good about clay soils?
How can I improve and break up clay soil?
When is the best time of the year to dig clay soil ?
Recommended tools and materials further down this page.
The best way to improve and break up clay soil long term.
How soon can I plant in the improved clay soil.
Also read the Old timers tips for first time gardeners
Improving your clay soil will take a lot of digging but will improve the structure of your soil and make it easier to work with. Their are two main stages: the hard work to change and improve the clay soil, followed up with the easier but just as important once a year maintenance, needed to continue improving your soil. Two simple ways to improve clay soil and maintain the improvement
Grit sand for breaking up and improving heavy clay soil.
It's extra work but worth spreading a one or two inch layer of grit sand across the clay soil before spreading the organic matter and digging the whole lot in at the same time. This will help break up even heavy clay soil. You will need to work at it over the years by repeating the process though. Baked clay is almost impossible to break up, rotivate or dig, it's easier to spread the organic matter and grit and wait until the worms have done some of the work for you.
This is the Sharp Sand I use its composed of grains of rock, with a high percentage of larger grain sizes making it ideal for improving clay soil.
Bulk bags weigh a minimum of 800kg, cost under £70 inc delivery.
Do not use ordinary builders sand it will clog up the soil.