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Is Compacted Soil Hurting My Lawn?

compacted soil in lawn
Soil compaction can be a primary trigger of an unhealthy lawn. Aerating can help relieve soil compaction, and spring is an outstanding time to do it.

Aerating your lawn achieves a number of factors:

  • It reduces compaction from standard mowing and traffic for example lawn games.
  • It opens up space to permit air to get for the roots.
  • Significantly less compacted soil drains better.
  • Grass plants are greater able to use water and nutrients.
  • Standard lawn aeration also reduces a buildup of thatch-a layer of dead roots, leaves, and stems. Up to a half-inch of thatch is excellent due to the fact it offers a cushion and a few protection for the roots. However, heavier thatch buildup reduces water and nutrient absorption and may smother the roots.

Soil compaction can be a frequent cause of a struggling lawn. If your grass receives heavy traffic, it's going to best survive that use if aerated once or twice a year. A heavy clay soil also requirements a lot more frequent aerating. Lawns getting light traffic or established on a sandy soil can be aerated once a year or every other year.

Should you live within the south and have warm season grass such as Bermuda and Zoysia, it is a fantastic time to aerate. These grasses are most actively growing within the spring.

Cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescues grow most actively in the fall, as well as a single aerification is best done then. However, if the soil is particularly compacted, early aerating in spring is fine. Moreover, if your lawn has thinned out on account of winter damage or disease, aerating before seeding and fertilizing will help your lawn thicken up far more quickly.

Core aerating - utilizing a machine that removes plugs of soil - would be the easiest method to aerate. Hand aerators are available, but in most instances, a machine is significantly simpler and will do a far better job. These aerators can be rented at some garden centers and most rental retailers. They regularly rent for a half or complete day. Take into account teaming up with neighbors and share the cost.

The soil ought to be moist but not wet if you aerate. A sandy soil needs to be watered lightly the day just before aeration. A heavy clay soil needs to be watered about two days ahead of. To ensure total aerification, it truly is best to go across the lawn twice: when east to west, and once north to south.

The “cores,” or plugs, left behind by the aerator might be removed, but do not need to be. In a couple of weeks, they are going to break up with climate and traffic. If you'd like to speed up the process, drag a mat across the lawn to break up the cores. Unless you are going to remove the cores, it truly is best to do your aerating a couple of weeks ahead of a family get-together or organizing yard games.