Claymend...Too good to be true?

greenthumbon1handOctober 14, 2013

Calling all master gardners!

Has anyone tried Claymend? My pops and I have been landscaping the yard, which is nothing but clay after 6 inches. We've been amending the 'soil' with compost, top soil, and builder's sand to a depth of about 1.5-2 ft (we've had a long-standing debate as to the depth we should dig -he thinks it should be a foot, but I'm afraid if we do that we'll end up digging the perennials back up due to poor growth once the roots hit the clay). It would be nice to throw something on top of the soil and be done with it - I might actually feel like we're accomplished something, but this seems too easy. Or, would it be good to apply it when we dig and mix the other stuff in? I've posted photos to give you an idea of the kinds of perennials we've been planting at a snail's pace.
Help me in my quest to be lazy!
Thanks much!

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Claymend sounds like little more than humic acid...aka, really expensive compost tea concentrate given their pricing on it.

It's pretty much the only thing that can do what they claim in the parameters they're claiming for a mode of action.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Btw...roots will do most of the work of amending soil past the first 6-12"...along with earthworms and microbes...if you give the top 6-12" some good soil to work with and a bit of time.

The roots will move "good" soil on top down as well as loosen up the clay...and worms migrating up/down through trails they create as the seasons warm/cool will also aid in "good" soil movement down the profile.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:10PM
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This appears to be a very expensive source of organic matter. A couple of places that talk about ClayMend suggest it will "break down" clay soil. It will not. But like any other form of organic matter it will, most likely, make that clay soil workable.
Sand, if added to clay in large enough quantities like 45 percent, might help clay some, but organic matter in what ever shape or form is best and that is why Ma Nature makes so much of it so readily available to many of us at this time of year.
There are no magic elixars, fairy dusts, or voodoo potions that will substitute for organic matter in soils.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:51AM
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Thanks for the replies! Since the leaves are coming down, would it be a good idea to add a layer of leaves before mulching, or would that cause rot?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:48AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

leaves are mulch.

check out the WSU extension page on horticultural myths, specifically the mulch pages. Heavy clay soils have been remediated with lots of mulch alone.

Here is a link that might be useful: WSU horticultural myths

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Claymend is a great product to use in conjuction with the compost and plant matter added to your clay soil.

Claymend is more complex than compost tea. Its formulated to help restructure the clay from a particulate level as well as help neutralize salts by deconstructing the sodiom molecule.

Claymend also has a biological element that helps break down and chelate the nutrients from plant matter and fertilizer in the clay soil so you get better results from the added compost.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Jeff @ Humic Green what you have posted is known as spam. If you wish to advertise your product on this forum pay for an ad.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 6:35AM
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yah sorry about that I realized that after posting, I just wanted to reply to incorrect assumptions.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:56AM
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jeff@humicgreen, that your product is expensive, and unnecessary, is not an incorrect assumption. Delete your spam and pay for an ad if you wish to promote this stuff.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 6:27AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I won't ask Humic green, but I will ask greenthumb what you mix solution to water?
I was given a bottle of this or something like it, and would like to use it on some nasty areas of the yard. Unfortunately, I left it out all winter and can't read the name of the stuff or the instructions! The young lady who gave it to me doesn't know, and her GM died recently, so no help there! Nancy

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 8:39PM
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I have tried Claymend and it worked great. For the past 20 plus years I have amended my soil each fall with one or more of compost, peat moss, mulched leaves, mulched grass, etc. it always returns to a hard and compacted state. I work it again in the spring and usually by the end of the growing season it is hard again. Typically I get my garden planted by Mothers Day which historically is just past the time of our last frost but I didn't get my garden prepared last year (2012) until I think it was the first or second week of July. I used Claymend and what it did to the soil was amazing. The hard dirt clods broke up and I could actually work the soil. I have never had a compost tea do this for me. My garden did really well considering I started so late in the year. What was more incredible to me was how the soil was this spring (2013). There were only a couple of clods when I turned the soil but they broke apart by just lightly touching them. It would usually take me most of the day to prepare my garden in the spring but I had it prepared and planted in just a couple of hours this year. I used Claymend a couple more times during the year and the garden was spectacular. The bell peppers I planted were much bigger plants than I have ever had, probably about 8" taller, the peppers were nice and big and this is the first year I didn't have to prop the plants up for support. The value I received just in the amount of time I saved preparing my garden this spring far exceeded the cost of the product for me. I can hardly wait to see how my garden performs next year.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 12:23PM
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>>as well as help neutralize salts by deconstructing the sodiom molecule.

As a chemist this does not make sense. 1) Salts are generally already neutral (as far as pH), and if not - as in the case of carbonate, phosphate and sulfate, which have a certain level of acidity/basicity and form buffers as a result - even in those cases the non-neutrality has nothing to do with sodium. 2) It is unclear why salts have to be 'neutralized' in any way to improve soil. 3) Sodium is an element, not a molecule, and the compounds it forms, i.e. salts, are salts, not molecules. If you are referring to dissolving sodium salts, only water is needed for that as they are very soluble. If you refer to 'deconstructing' sodium itself, you'll need a nuclear reactor for that.

The product may be just fine but I have problems with your explanation of why and how.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Most salts in a soil (especially sodium based) would actually flocculate soil aggregates and break them up.

The explanation given is as "off" as it's price for what it does.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:11PM
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-flocculate +disperse...oops.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Deconstructing the sodiom molecule...I have real faith in that product now.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:35AM
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It could be meant as a rather confused explanation of the action of something like calcium on sodic clays, which as we know is beneficial. Almost sounds like some guy in Mumbai doing paid shilling for a product using a text translator. :-]

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:09PM
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I gotta step in on this. I own of chain of nurseries/ landscape companies in central CA and I've followed Garden Web for years. By and large, there's good advice here with some exceptions every now and then. I'm not a chemist but I do know a something about plant products on the market because my business demands me to. And NOTHING irks me more than when a customer comes in with what they were sold as THE product that will cure their problem and yet they come to me wondering if they put it on wrong because they aren't seeing the miracle results the product/company/salesman/website said they'd have. Since we've had the same question twice now on this stuff from two locations, I'm signing on to try and warn off people from just blindly buying these online specialized plant/lawn products.
To answer the question "does this work", my advice is real simple folks: BEFORE YOU BUY, READ THE LABEL. Over years of selling yard products, the trend I've found is that the companies with products that actually work in one form or another disclose what's in their product both in the ingredients and the description/directions and they do it to showcase how their product is superior to others out there. Its that simple. And just like how food companies use big words in their ingredients list (e.g. fructose/sucrose = sugar or equivalent) and have "smartly" written descriptions of the biological and chemical results their product will have once it hits your yard, its all just to confuse you into buying their product. Be warned, they might just be selling you "snake oil" and nc-crn is right, many of them are in fact "little more than really expensive compost tea concentrate given their pricing".

The bottle I read really doesn't say much if anything.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Yes, but I guess you all missed that it has a 'biological element'. I think that makes everything clear.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Again, not calling these guys out, but I doubt they actually know what's in it. Experience has shown these new guys selling bottles with blank labels aren't usually involved in the actual making of their product UNLESS it is merely compost tea. Even then, most don't know what ingredients in what amount that are actually in the bottle. And heaven forbid you found that out. Otherwise you wouldn't pay the $30 per bottle.

Snake Oil

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Thanks Mike, great to have the perspective of someone in the business.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 1:30PM
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In reference to toxcrusadr, I stand corrected. I meant sodium chloride molecule. I apologize for the error.

And I bet Mumbai is nice this time of year.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 8:32PM
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"Snake Oil!"

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 8:44PM
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We have kept the ingredients listed on the bottle to those required by the Dept. of Agriculture which are Nitrogen and Sulfer.

ClayMend also has a proprietary blend of Organic Acids and Microbes in addition to the Nitrogen and Sulfer.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Compost and other vegetative waste will have the organic acids and microbes, as well as the Nitrogen and Sulfur, your plants will need, if enough is put into the soil. Most of that can be obtained for free.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:30AM
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And with respect to sodium chloride, my comments stand. NaCl will not exist in the soil solution, so there's nothing to 'break up'. Na+ and Cl- will float around with all the other anions and cations. If you want to talk about displacing sodium to improve clay texture, better study some soil chemistry.

And it's 'sulfur' not 'sulfer'. Not to be a nitpick. :-]

Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 10:55AM
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"those required by the Dept. of Agriculture"

That right there is my problem with this stuff. When one of my customers asks why its not working how she was promised after paying a premium compared to all other products in this space and all that's listed on it is nitrogen, how do I answer her question? More than that though, she had a bigger worry that some spilled and was afraid her young choc lab pup may have lapped some of it up. Where the h$## is the poison label? What if it was her kid instead?
Anytime I hear "proprietary" in my business means one of two things: a)they don't know whats in it, or b)they don't own the patent/priority on the mixture (or both).
My experience has been the ones making the least effort yet charge a steep price are only trying to exploit the unsuspecting consumer. e.g You guys are doing it wrong.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 7:24PM
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