No typical topsoil unless I bring it in. What we have is red clay mixed with a little limestone churt (busted up soft pieces the size of small pebbles or large grains of sand) but it's no where near enough to make the clay "livable"... however we're on a steep hill so lots of natural drainage.
I've got 1y home-grown compost (horse manure & straw - it came out of the neighbor's stable dump pile that way) and double digging it into the clay beds. And since I have a LOT of pinetrees, pine needles get incorporated whether I like it or not, year round.
I can add something like Pro Mix (peat moss & vermiculite) to lighten the soil further... or??? I'll test ph when I'm done amending the structure. Any recommendations for mostly clay "dirt" - thanks.
And there are areas where I'm digging 4x as needed holes and putting in lots of compost and having to leave bare red clay between... any advice on mulch for bare red clay slopes?