I want to put in a new garden this spring, but I have heavy clay soil. Can’t I just till up the area, remove ~6-8” worth of clay soil, & then add new/good soil & compost, & till it all into ~6” of the remaining clay soil? So ultimately, the soil would be a combo of 6” worth of clay soil, say 6-8” worth of new/good soil, & maybe 4-6” worth of compost—with the overall depth of workable soil at ~16-20” deep. Can I do it that way?
You could go to these lengths to improve the soil, but it's likely more work than necessary.When I have heavy clay soil to amend I simply add 3-4 inches of compost to the surface and work it into the top 6 inches of existing soil. That provides a good 9-10 inch deep soil base for plants to grow in. Because 90 percent of plant roots are in the top 12 inches of the soil profile, most all plants will grow well in a bed amended this way.