This week I brought in lots of plants for a school garden, which had not been prepared in any way. Ideally, the soil would have been amended or they would have added 6 to 9 inches of top soil and compost. In this case we were dealing with soil that had landscape fabric on top – probably for years.
After taking the landscape fabric off, the soil turned out to be wet clay which would have been very tough to dig in and impossible to break up.
I had brought my heavy duty bulb planter which made short work of creating nice size holes to put in the plants. This particular model was made by Hound Dog and is an older model. Its opening tapers from 2 3/8″ to 3 1/4″. You pull on the handle to open up the bottom and release the clay. There appears to be a new model being sold which has some bad reviews. I’d advise buying one from a local store so you can return it if you have trouble.
I added potting soil at the bottom of the hole, put in my plant and added more potting soil.
This technique works very well when you have wet clay soil. You can put in lots of plants with a minimum of time and effort.