I have crappy, shale, mega rocky yard. Should I put some clay on top before I put topsoil in?
Welcome to Workshop. We're pleased you could join us and look forward to reading about more of your projects and plans. Feel free to post anytime you need a hand as we have loads of community members happy to share their knowledge and experience.
Can you tell us a little more about your plans for your backyard so members can provide more useful advice? What do you want to grow? How big an area to you want to transform? Where abouts are you based? What kind of budget do you have for the project? Adding as much detail as you can will help other members get a better idea of what you want to achieve and what you are up against.
Once you get back to us I am happy to tag some of our resident experts to help draw them into the discussion.
Most people try to remove clay, as per this discussion https://www.workshop.com.au/t5/Garden/Suggestions-for-rock-hard-clay-soil/m-p/4324
Thanks I’d like to be able to grow grass and not have to wear shoes constantly. I don’t have clay I have rocks up to 5 cm in diameter - too many to clear. I don’t have any topsoil in the yard at all - once I have that problem solved I can look at what else to do. I do have an embankment which I’m wondering putting some clay on will keep it together to spread topsoil over.
I know most people want to break down their clay.
Many thanks for the extra information @W0rst-yard-ever.
Let me tag a few of our helpful community members who might be able to provide suggestions for you.
You might also like to search Workshop for posts like this one on improving soil for tips that you could apply to your garden.
I would be very reluctant to spread clay over the top of your shale - it would probably only make a terrible problem a whole lot worse! Bfore doing anything, you need to break the shale up by rotary hoeing the area - nothing will grow in it while it is so compacted regardless of what you spread on top.
Once the area's been hoed to around 300mm deep, a lot of the larger rocks/stones could be raked off. Then, and only then, you could spread a good organic soil over the top. Not straight top soil as such - because that's often quite acidic and hydrophobic - but a good organic soil from a landscape yard. It has to include composted material to improve the site so you can attempt to grow grass.
Thanks for the advice 😍- can’t hoe the yard way too hard, (shale, rocks under the surface - I had to have a scaper in to level it - rocks everywhere and I’ve been working on picking them up as they are too big and heavy to rake. ( upwards of 5cm in diameter)
Just thought I'd check in and see if you had been able to make any progress? Let us know if you need a hand with anything.