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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - April 11, 2006

From: Houston, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Soils
Title: Adapting to clay soils in British Columbia
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

What can I use to break down the clay content in my flower bed. It has a high concentration of clay and I want to plant treat it so I can plant flowers in it.

ANSWER:

Incorporating coarse builder's sand and/or compost into your soil will help break up the clay. However, if your clay soil is naturally occurring and not the result of construction compaction, you might want to consider looking into locally native flowering plants that are adapted to clay soils. You might also consider adding native grasses to your flowers. The fibrous roots of native grasses are particularly good at breaking up dense soils over time. Contact the British Columbia Native Plant Society for ideas about what to plant.

 

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