Purchased 4 trees (apple plum nectrine and peach) a few weeks ago, SWMBO has ordered me to plant them sooner rather than later and as i don't fancy flatting with my chooks, i have dug a few holes, however i find clay at the bottom of the holes the depth of the soil before I hit the clay varies from around 50cm to 70cm, and i have dug to the length of the spade and have still not got through the clay layer.
how likely are my trees to thrive, and how likely are they to die with this soil?
I've heard that gypsum is very good for breaking up clay.
I would make a hole 4x as big as the plant go down at least 3x the depth of the pot, break up the clay and add lots of twiggy, strawy, wood shaving stuff and chop it well in. Make the hole with a slope rather than straight sides.
Hope that helps! They are likely not to die! (SWMBO?)
SWMBO = she who must be obeyed (Used to be on Rumpole, if you can remember that show)
Will dig the holes extra big, clay here isn't as clay-ey as I've experienced before.
Yeah all the stuff Robyn suggested :) My vege garden used to have a clay layer at a spades depth under the topsoil, but with mountains of home made compost and the hard work of thousands of worms. I go down about three spades depths now before I hit clay. I have only been working on the garden for 2 years and most of it for probably 18 months or less.
I will be getting more fruit trees this winter, about June. Key is to plan where they are to go now and work on getting the ground prepared well before hand. I know you didnt have that luxury having not being in Puts very long.
Glad you found the play ground too!! it is a lot better than the one by the library.
What did you use to make your compost, we seem to have lawnclipping and food scraps (the ones the chooks don't eat) in a pile but it just doesn't seem to turn into anything useful.
Will definitely be preparing soil in advance for the next lot of trees, hoping to get a mini orchard going, I am definitely not fussed on a plain flat grass lawn.