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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:34 am
Posts: 21
Hello, I love this forum!

I'm new to farming -- having gardened organically in Florida sand (making my own dirt) for many years. Our small farm is in Alabama's Black Belt, so named for the heavy, rich black clay (called prairie clay and Vaiden clay). What grows best there is grass and therefore cattle, deer, other grass-eaters. We plan eventually to have a few animals but are for now working on lightening the soil for vegetables.

I came across information online and also called one vendor to get more -- about expanded shale plus compost as the best short and longterm amendment to improve heavy clay soils. Have not been able to find anyone in our area with experience in this, so I thought I'd ask here.

I'd love to know if you've used it, on what kind of soil, how much compost, how much shale, how incorporated, etc. Much thanks for any guidance.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:41 am 
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Just bumping this post in hopes of getting response from someone familair with this product. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:48 am
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Location: Kemp,Texas
It definitely works with the other organic amendments. I would use the "Basic Program" that Howard Garrett has in his library and he also has information on Expanded Shale in his library as well. It will help to aerate the soil which is much needed in clay soils.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:14 am 
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Thanks very much!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 56
Hi Susan,


The previous post by Russ is excellent. Good way to find the info you need.

I used expanded shale before laying new sod. I also use it in my flower beds before my seasonal plantings.

Oh....I live in Flower Mound, Texas and our soil is very hard....lots of clay (my husband calls it 'hard pan'.)

I am now in day two of laying a top dressing of composts and peat moss (1/4 in. give or take) to my yard.

Best regards,
Char Harris
Flower Mound, TX


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 1:52 pm
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
I know this was posted a while back but I just saw it. I have experience with using expanded shale and compost to bust up the clay in our soils, and at the nursery where I work, we highly recommend it to our customers. It works well to prevent compaction, improve drainage and air circulation. Incorporate it as far down as possible, at least 6-8" if you can.

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Sandi
Texas Certified Nursery Professional
Texas Master Naturalist
Organic gardener
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