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How to Amend Clay Soil

Clay soil lacks the porosity to allow plants to grow well in it. By adding the right materials to it, clay soil can better sustain plant growth.


  • Step 1: Add organic matter Mix organic matter such as commercial or homemade compost into the soil using a garden spade. Anything derived from plant or animal matter will help improve the soil structure.
  • TIP: Do not add sand, which will not mix with clay.
  • Step 2: Add iron sulfate Mix in iron sulfate as a source of iron. While there is iron in clay, it is very hard for plants to extract it from clay.
  • Step 3: Add phosphate Mix in a phosphate supplement containing gypsum. Gypsum loosens the clay’s attraction to itself.
  • FACT: Mulches are laid on top the surface of the soil, but soil amendments are mixed into it.

You Will Need

  • Organic matter
  • such as compost
  • A garden spade
  • Iron sulfate
  • A phosphate supplement containing gypsum

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