Most of the Midwestern area is comprised of clay soils. Never fear! This is a much better situation to have than sandy soils. Clay soils maintain more minerals and moisture than other soils.
Sometimes clay soils can be bad, such as in conditions where there are more problems than just the soil. If while digging in the soil, it looks blueish-black and smells kinda off, this is because of poor drainage and the smell is from rotting organisms. The area should be assessed for drainage problems before anything else is done.
If the clay is a redish-orange, this is perfect as the soil is holding all the minerals plants crave.
The soil should be mixed with a fair amount of compost to help perennials get a good start. If the soil is very compacted, some sand can be mixed it also. Be sure to surround the perennial bed with leaf compost to aid in nutrients getting to the roots and all the other benefits mulch does for plants.
- For Trees and Shrubs for clay soils ~ CLICK HERE
|Botanical Name||Common Name||Bloom||Color||Light|
|Achillea tomentosa||woolly yarrow||Jun-Jul||yellow||sun|
|Achillea filipendulina||fernleaf yarrow||Jun-Jul||yellow||sun|
|Asclepias tuberosum||butterflyweed||Jun-Aug||orange et al||sun|
|Astilbe arendsii & var.||false spirea, astilbe||Jun-Aug||white-pink-red||ps/sh|
|Bergenia cordifolia||heartleaf bergenia||Apr-May||pink||ps/sh|
|Brunnera macrophylla||Siberian bugloss||Apr-May||blue||ps/sh|
|Echinacea purpurea||purple coneflower||Jul-Oct||pink||sun|
|Heuchera hyb.||coral bells||Jun-Aug||white-pink-red||sun/ps|
|Hibiscus spp.||rose mallow||Jul-Sept||white-pink-red||sun/ps|
|Hosta spp.||plantain lily||Jul-Aug||lavender||ps-sh|
|Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’||houttuynia||June||white||sun/ps|
|Iris sibirica, pseudo-
acorus, versicolor, etc.
|Siberian and blue and yellowflag iris||variable||blue, violet, yellow et al.||sun/ps|
|Liatris spicata||gayfeather, blazing star||Jul-Aug||pinkish||sun/ps|
|Liriope muscari||lily turf||Aug-Oct||lavender-mauve-white||ps/sun|
|Lysimachia spp.||Yellow loosestrife, gooseneck loosestrife||Jul-Sept||yellow-white||sun/ps|
|Perovskia atriplicifolia||Russian sage||Summer||Lavender||sun|
|Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’||Goldsturm rudbeckia||July-Sept||yellow||sun/ps|
|Salvia spp.||salvia, sage||Jul-Oct||blue-violet||sun/ps|
|Sedum spectabile var.||stonecrop, sedum||Aug-Oct||pink-red||sun|
|Yucca filamentosa||Adams’s needle||summer||white||sun|
© The Naturarian
Aren’t these two just adorable?!? I love them! My neighbor gave them to me after I helped her set-up her raised garden bed veggie garden. I placed them right near our driveway for all to see. If you also find them a hoot, they are sold by many, just search for ‘pooping gnomes’ 🙂
Behind them: Penstemon pinifolius ‘Mersea Yellow’ (Beard-tongue) which bloom in June. A yellow penstemon? I had to have them! Their dominant color ranges normally are white to pink to reds. I’ve not seen these in anyone’s garden I’ve visited. My wholesale nursery only sold them one year and discontinued them due to lack of interest and unreliability. I’ve had these for 6 years now and although they haven’t spread much (sometimes a good thing) they plug along where they are at. They are located in a 10″ raised bed of composted, good draining soil – Southern sunny exposure – No irrigation.
Poop makes flowers happy!
Share your gnome photos below!
© The Naturarian