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clay soil

 
                    
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Helloi, Thank you very much for your very informative article.
I have 2 questions:
1 How do I look up "extention" in the yellow pages?
2 I have a heavy clay soil with little space to add depth to the soil because of existing structures. Can I cover the existing lawn (85% weeds) with top soil,
reseed and succeed? Thanks Bob Cruickshank
 
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Look in the blue pages for your county government and then look for "extension office"

Yup, you can cover the existing lawn with top soil and reseed.  The more topsoil you add, the healthier your turf will be.
 
                      
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I couldn't find our Extension Office in the Blue, Yellow or Whote Pages either.  I did a Google search for "Ohio Extension Office" and found what I needed right away. 

They have lots of cool sounding services and programs.  I was able to find out how to send in a soil sample for testing. 

Good Luck!
 
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Location: Tenino, United States
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Hi, I live in zone 8 a in western Washington state and have a heavy clay soil. I have been very keen to grow a stunning meadow instead in this area as I firmly believe in the importance of supporting pollinators. What plants would you suggest for heavy clay soils in zone 8 a? Any guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Andrea Osborn
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Location: Tenino, United States
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Hi again. I would like to go with all native plants. But for clarity-how would I prepare a native meadow in an old clay soil?
 
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Location: Southern Illinois
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Andrea,

One grass that comes to mind bluestem grass.  It is native to an extremely wide swath of the interior of the United States and Canada.  It comes in two broad varieties—Big Bluestem and Little Bluestem.  The Big Bluestem grows 6’ or taller with Little Bluestem grows about 2-3’ tall.  Generally the little variety is more drought resistant, but both emerged on the prairie and are extremely well adapted to clay soils.

This is only 1-2 species that might go well in a clay-based meadow.  Good Luck!

Eric

 
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I would consider adding wood chips or other free or cheap mulch. We had horrific compacted clay, and added some wood chips on top each year and now the soil is good.  Meadows prefer a soil that is balanced between fungal and bacterial growth, and adding the mulch would add more fungi until it is more balanced.
John S
PDX OR
 
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