Lawn care tips: identifying & managing soil compaction

Soil compaction is a common problem, especially in heavily used lawns. If soil compaction is left unmanaged, it can lead to a malnourished and unhealthy lawn.

Luckily, managing soil compaction is a very simple process.

When you understand what soil compaction is, why it occurs and how to identify it, you’ll be equipped to fix the problem before any long-term repercussions set in.

What is soil compaction?

Lawn compaction occurs when soil becomes packed down by foot traffic, mowing, vehicles and pets and children playing on the lawn. Over time, this pressure compacts the soil below, resulting in soil compaction.

The problem with a heavily compacted lawn is that the soil beneath has more difficulty holding air, water and nutrients. This often leads to poor soil quality and an unhealthy lawn.

How to tell if soil is compacted

You can tell whether your soil is compacted in one simple step.

Take a garden fork and push the tines into your lawn. If you struggle to get it past half of the length of the tines, this provides evidence that your soil is compacted and in need of attention.

Shallow rooting weeds invading your lawn is also a sign that your soil may be compacted.

Steps to fixing soil compaction

Managing soil compaction is as easy as one step. Aerating.

When soil is compacted, it has restricted access to air and oxygen. Aerating your lawn is simply reviving your soil with air bubbles so that it can breathe and allow nutrients, fertilisers and irrigation to reach the soil and roots of the lawn.

Use a garden fork to simply puncture holes about eight to ten centimetres apart.

Some people prefer to use aerating sandals or a petrol-powered core aerator depending on the size of the lawn.

The best time to core your lawn is during spring, however, if your soil feels heavily compacted, it might be best to get started as soon as possible in order to revive it.

Make sure to give your lawn a generous serving of water as this will help during the aeration process.

Help your lawn reach its full potential

Ready to take on your lawn and transform it into the best it can be? Speak to one of our friendly lawn care experts today and find out what the next steps are after managing soil compaction.

Take on the challenge and follow lawn tips from the professionals to fully transform your lawn in 2022.