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Do soil amendment products really help our adobe clay soils?

Larry (Los Angeles, 10a, Sunset Zone 19)
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

I've come across this article on the myth of soil amendments here:

This article seems perfectly logical. I've planted things such as shrubs and roses in unamended clay soil and others in amended soil and haddn't noticed much of a difference a year later all things equal. Both sites were heavily mulched with wood chips, fertilized with Osmocote and drip irrigated. I went through many bags of Kellogg's brand "Amend" product for flowers and such, and Kellogg's Gro-Mulch for trees. The "Amend" product has composted wood chips, tree trimmings, composted dairy and chicken manure, feather meal, gypsum ("clay buster"), iron sulfate and rice hulls.

I've been slowly amending my soil by adding a top layer wood chip mulch each year (started gardening two years ago on a bare lot with lifeless grey clay). So, are these soil amendment products mostly useless?

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