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I'm going to plant a Jasmine so I can have it along one wall in my garden (it's for my bees) but the soil in my yard is all clay and rocks, I have compost and a worm farm so the soil quality won't be an issue it's just digging the hole that's the problem.

Any other time I've had to dig into the soil it's taken days of wetting it and digging it out bit by bit with a spade but that's only been to put posts in for the bee hive to rest on (a fairly narrow but deep hole). Anything else not in pots has been on a layer of soil built on top of the ground but that won't work for where the jasmine is going.

Any tips would be helpful, I've looked around but the tips are for men and I'm not very strong.

I'm going to plant a Jasmine so I can have it along one wall in my garden (it's for my bees) but the soil in my yard is all clay and rocks, I have compost and a worm farm so the soil quality won't be an issue it's just digging the hole that's the problem. Any other time I've had to dig into the soil it's taken days of wetting it and digging it out bit by bit with a spade but that's only been to put posts in for the bee hive to rest on (a fairly narrow but deep hole). Anything else not in pots has been on a layer of soil built on top of the ground but that won't work for where the jasmine is going. Any tips would be helpful, I've looked around but the tips are for men and I'm not very strong.

10 comments

[–] Nasrin 1 points (+1|-0)

To second others, I use water, a digging bar, and eventually a small tiller that is manual because of rocks and caliche. It can be exhausting, but it's worth it.

You really do need that digging bar, let the weight help carry it down. I lift mine up ridiculously high, but it gives a great force and really helps.

If you're digging for Arabian jasmine or Carolina jessamine you don't need to go too deep, you can even try a hand auger I find it insanely convenient.

[–] stern-as-steel 0 points (+0|-0)

For the clay, we used to dig as deep when we could and soak the ground. Like, fill our trench, however deep with was, all the way up with water and keep it wet for a day. Then let the water go down, dig as much as we could, fill it up again. Rinse and repeat. It takes a while but it works, and doesn't require buying anything new.

[–] gold_bee 1 points (+1|-0)

I've used a pickax in this type of situation - use the pickax to break up the clay and dislodge the rocks, then shovel out all the loosened dirt and rocks. It's a great way to relieve stress :) Hope you find a tool that works for you!

[–] ellienoire 0 points (+0|-0)

You can avoid digging if you have some money and spare time by making a raised bed.

Unfortunately that won't work for the area I'm using, I literally need two holes that are 30cm (12 inch) wide and 17cm (6.6inch) deep, if the root balls are smaller it won't even be that big.

I've have tried raised beds before but I can't use anything treated because of the chemicals so everything rots after a year for two.

[–] Vita 3 points (+3|-0)

My suggestion is to hire a landscaper or some college boys who need a few bucks. If you are just digging a single hole, it will probably run about $40-50. A landscaper will have better equipment to accomplish the task.

If hit a dead end I'll have to do that, I need two holes, they won't be very deep just wide. I have a few options I can choose from so if I need to resort to that it won't be too expensive.

If you hadn't brought it up I wouldn't have thought of it, I didn't think tradies did that sort of thing. Thank you.

[–] boogerita 4 points (+4|-0)

I like to use water and a digging bar. It does take strength to break up the clay and then you’d have to shovel it out. Also you could use a trench hoe and pull the dirt out as you chop it.

I just had a look at my local hardware store, they have a digging bar and a trench hoe in stock so I can try both before I resort to getting outside help. Thank you.

[–] boogerita 1 points (+1|-0)

Awesome! The digging bar is crucial if you have hard clay soul