How to Treat a Compacted Lawn

No one likes the idea of having a compacted lawn, but it’s something that many of us will have to remedy at one point in time or another. A myriad of different elements can cause compaction, including high levels of traffic from either feet or vehicles. 

In this article, we take a look at what a compacted lawn is, signs that may show you have a compacted lawn, and methods that can be enacted to treat it. 

What is a compacted lawn?

A compacted lawn is pretty much what it sounds like: soil becomes packed down and pressed together, making it denser. This issue can affect those who use their lawns frequently, as the high-levels of traffic impact the lawn. Compacted soil finds it more difficult to hold air, nutrients and water, leading to a poorer soil quality, that then often leads to a poorer lawn. Due to this, it can be good to keep an eye out for signs of soil compaction if you wish to have a lawn that is performing at its best.

How do you know if your lawn is affected?

There are many signs that could indicate your soil is compacted. Generally, soil that has been compacted leads to a lawn that is less-healthy, making the lawn susceptible to afflictions from weeds and diseases

Some other signs that your lawn may be suffering from compaction include the appearance of shallow tree roots, puddles of water across various low-lying areas of the yard, and barren dirt patches. 

One method to test if your lawn is compacted is to try putting a shovel in the ground. If the fork of the shovel struggles to penetrate the soil or doesn’t go in very far, then you may have an issue of compacted soil.

What can be done to treat it?

Several different methods can be employed to treat a lawn that has been affected by compacted soil, but most of them relate to aerating the soil. Aerating helps to break apart the soil a little, to allow for nutrients, air and water to get in again. The ideal time to aerate soil is during the spring, so if you’re thinking your lawn may need a little help, now could be a good time!

One way lawn can be aerated is through a machine called a plug aerator. Also known as a core aerator, these machines remove sections of soil (cores), creating holes within the compacted soil, and taking away the density the compaction has caused. Plug aerators also remove thatch. This process helps soften hard soil and allows for water, nutrients and air to get into the soil easier. These machines can be purchased or rented if you wish to complete the process yourself.

If you would prefer to call in lawn experts for your aeration issues, Jim’s Mowing offers aeration services and can take care of the problem for you.

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