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Hi there, my name is Paulo and I got a property in France where I have a open canvas to do a beautiful garden. I knew that the soil was clay but when I went to plant 3X 5m tall Acer trees in front of the house, I was in shock to realise how hard and red (pinkish) soil it was. It was so hard that I could not dig more than 45cm. I filled the hole with organic material (around the tree's roots), but I am worried that the roots wan't be strong to break free through the clay. I am right? What shoud I do? Please help me with this and I also would like some advice in which plants to grow. Before planting I also filled the holw with water and it did not drain at all for more than 3 days. many thanks



Looks like you have created a sump around the roots. The only Acer I know that can take saturated soils is the North American Acer rubrum. I don't suppose it was this species you used?

You would do much better to use a good quality top soil around the roots as this would be a better medium and probably less likely to go sour (bad) if it stays too wet. It would also give the roots a better intermediate before moving into the clay. The heavier (clay) the soil is, the more loam or soil you should use unless of course you completely prepare the site fully beforehand.

30 Nov, 2009


Thank you very much. I will dig even more around it and put some top soil.
Have a good week. xP

30 Nov, 2009


Hello depends really in which region of France your house is. As you know the south is more mediterranean so would need the plants of this region to survive, also an irrigation system would be worthwhile. If you are more Northern then you have a great choice of plants of English type...though with heavy clay soil the Acers weren't the best choice. Take a soil sample and have a test done then you know what you're working with and how you will improve it to create your garden. Good luck.

30 Nov, 2009

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