Clay soil Driveways and Gardens

May 1st, 2013

Clay soil  – Driveways and Gardens

Clay soil can be a gardening nightmare. It turns rock-hard when dry, drains badly, takes an age to warm up in spring and is tough to cultivate. However, it holds its nutrients better than most types of soil and, if drainage can be improved, it produces bountiful plants.

Soil is a mix of minerals, organic matter, water and air. The balance of those ingredients – and particularly the ratio of sand, silt and clay – affects quality dramatically.

Gardeners coping with particularly heavy clay soil are sometimes tempted to lighten it with sand. According to plant scientists, that will often make it worse. Leigh Hunt of the RHS says: “You need almost as much sand as you have clay. So people often do it on a limited scale – they dig a small area of half a square metre and incorporate sand. And that’s where the problems start.”

Sand particles are bigger than clay particles. As a consequence, clay is relatively impervious, while sand soils can absorb plenty of water.

Digging a hole and adding sand can create a sump that draws in water, drowning plants.

Converting a garden is a mammoth task. The RHS estimates that you would need 250kg of sand or grit for every square metre of clay soil.

“The best thing to do in this situation is to make a raised bed and then add the sand so the water has somewhere to go,” says Hunt.

Remember your drive is part of your garden so consider carefully with clay soil driveways and gardens.  Block paving, concrete, tarmac imprinted concrete need a well compacted stable sub base and using clay should always be considered with caution.

Clay drains slowly after rain

Clay  holds water.

This  can result in an unstable sub base.  Building Regulations stipulate for clay based constructions that deeper foundations are required due to the  instability of the clay.

Resin drives on a clay base

Remember from where we are based in Mansfield  Nottinghamshire we are  accessible to Yorkshire and Derbyshire areas.  We have completed anti slip surfacing  in Skegby,  Aspley,  Barnby Dun, Bilsthorpe, Bulwell,  Cheadle Hulme, Clay cross, Cotgrave,Doncaster, Fkleckney, Huthwaite, Leamington Spa, Mansfield Woodhouse, New Houghton, Northampton, Pentrich, Peterborough, Ravenshead, Sellers Wood, Shirebrook, Spalding, Sutton Bonnington, Toton, Warsop, Worksop.  If you have a surface than why not resurface it whether it is a driveway path or patio. Whther it is concrete, tarmac or imprinted concrete we can help. Call Simon or Faith on 01623 623986


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