Cracks in the soil of your home or garden can be unsightly and inconvenient, but they are also easy to fix if you take the right approach.
Once you have identified what type of crack you have, whether it’s an inter row-crack or an inter- planted crack, follow these steps to fill them back in with clay soil and ensure that your plants have optimal growing conditions from now on.
Get Some Excavation Sand
The other step is to get some excavation sand. This type of sand is also known as coarse-grained sand. It’s ideal for repairing cracks in clay soil because it helps drainage and doesn’t compact too much. You can find it at most home improvement stores or online.
For this project, you will need two bags. Fill the crack with the sand, then tamp it down by hand until there are no gaps between the sand and the edge of the crack.
Using a shovel or other appropriate tool, dig out the cracked area, making sure to remove any loose dirt or debris. If the sides of the crack are uneven, use a level to even them out.
If You want the sides of the crack to be as level as possible so that when you fill it in, the patch will be level with the rest of the ground.
Once you’ve excavated the area, use a hose to spray water into the crack. This will help to moisten and soften the clay so that it’s easier to work with.
Use your hands or a trowel to mix some clay soil with water until it’s a workable consistency. Add just enough water to make the mixture pourable but not too thin. if it’s too thin, add more clay and if it’s too thick, add more water.
The mixture should feel like modelling dough soft and pliable but not sticky.
Fill in the cracks, Pour or scoop the mixture into the cracks and pack it down gently with your hand or trowlet until there are no visible gaps between the edges of the filled in crack and the surrounding soil.
Make sure to only fill in a small amount at a time because if you overfill, when you try to pack down on top of what you already did, it won’t have anywhere for all that extra material to go. Continue filling and packing down around the edges of the cracks until they are completely filled in.
Afterward, smooth out the entire surface with your hands or trowel. Level off any raised areas by either scraping away excess soil from those areas or by adding additional material to those areas and packing it down.
Finally, dampen the area again using a hose to seal up any remaining air pockets left behind. If there is standing water present, simply allow it to dry before proceeding. Once you have completed these steps, take a step back and admire your hard work.
Sprinkle water directly onto the crack
Start by sprinkling water directly onto the crack. Then, use a garden hose to slowly fill the crack with water. Once the crack is full, let the water sit for a few minutes so that it can soak into the clay.
Next, use your fingers or a small tool to press the clay together. Finally, use more water to smooth out the surface of the clay. Continue this process until you have filled all the cracks and smoothed out any bumps.
Next, remove as many rocks from inside the crack as possible using a trowel or spade before continuing with pouring some clean water into it.
To fix large cracks in clay soil, first add some soil to the bottom of the crack. Then, using your hands or a tamping tool, tamp the soil gently until it’s level with the rest of the soil. Be careful not to over-tamp, which can cause the soil to compact too much and make it difficult for roots to penetrate.
Once you have tamped the soil, water it gently and wait for it to dry. Finally, add a layer of mulch to help protect the newly repaired area from weeds and erosion. Then cover the area with 5-6 inches of sand. This will help to stabilise the area and prevent the crack from getting worse. Once you have covered the area with sand, you will need to compact it down so that it is level with the rest of the soil.
Before you can fix large cracks in clay soil, you need to water the area thoroughly. This will help soften the soil and make it easier to work with. Use a hose or watering can to drench the area, and then let it soak for a few hours.
Once the clay is soft, you can start working on fixing the cracks. Dig out any loose dirt that is creating the crack. If there are any roots present, cut them off near the surface of the ground before removing them from the hole.
Next, add in some new topsoil and mix it into your existing soil with a rake or shovel. Finally, put some straw over the topsoil to hold it down and prevent weed growth before laying sod over everything to hide any evidence of your work.
Though it may seem daunting, fixing large cracks in clay soil is relatively easy. The most important thing is to take your time and be patient. Gather the necessary materials, prepare the area, and then repair the crack using a trowel or your hands.
Be sure to pack the clay tightly and smooth it out as best you can. Allow the repair to dry for at least 24 hours before replanting or continuing with any other gardening activities.