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Heavy clay soil in a cold climate (zone 5)

 
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Greetings.

For some reason I thought it would be a good thing to buy some 14 acres of pasture with (house, farm buildings and ponds) that has a heavy clay soil. The water table here is very high, as in a couple of feet down from the ground level. Hence the soil is very slushy, even now in May. I think it was the ponds and oaks that made me do it. Well, at least I won't be running out of water anytime soon.

However, I'm now remembering that heavy clay soil is a pain in the ass. And wondering if this is going to be worth the trouble, as going to need to make paths just to walk anywhere, can't park a car on it either as it sinks.

What are some good strategies here? Keyline ploughing? Drainage pipes? Plant lots of willow to try and create drainage in it with the roots? All of the above? Or just sell up and find a place with more reasonable soil? Was planning to plant trees, grow veg, keep sheep/goats, and put fish in the ponds...

Any advice greatly appreciated.
 
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First, can you get wood chips?

Those wood chips would make some great paths.

2nd, plant Daikon radish.

Adam said "can't park a car on it either as it sinks.



What did the previous owners do with their vehicles?

For a parking area, I like to use "washed rock" over a good base.

Maybe after the spring rains subside, you will have a better outlook.

Consider doing some earthworks like swales, etc.

Here are some threads that might help:

https://permies.com/t/155557/Improving-wet-clay-soil-newly

https://permies.com/t/155557/Improving-wet-clay-soil-newly



 
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