Lawn Problems – Compacted Lawn Soil

Compacted lawn soil is one of the more common of lawn problems.  The soil in most lawns usually becomes hard and compacted during the summer months when the traffic is at its highest and lawn aerating is the best option to take when the lawn soil has been compacted.

The more you walk on the lawn, the faster the soil compacts and once the soil becomes compacted it is harder for any water or fertilizers to reach the lawn’s roots.  When the soil gets compacted there is very little pore space in the soil to hold any air. The roots of the grass need air to grow and space to absorb water and nutrients,  with this space missing the roots weaken; which then allows weeds to grow.

The best cure for compacted lawn soil is to aerate the ground.  Lawn Aerating is a job that may seem to be straight forward but is often best left to the Lawn Specialist as lawn care professionals will often use piston-driven aerators with tines that move straight up and down, rather than the lightweight, less-effective aerators you’ll find at many rental yards.  

You may have seen these used regularly on the Greens of most Golf Courses.  The putting greens are usually hollow tined and there are holes left across the putting surface, which although a nuisance to the average golfer, is a necessity for the green keeper so he may keep the green free from lawn problems later in the season.

The lightweight lawn aerating equipment, which you can find in most hardware stores, does have it’s place, especially when you only have a small area suffering with compacted lawn soil.  It would make no financial sense at all to bring in the larger equipment for just a small job.  A garden pitch fork can be equally effective on smaller areas.

It is best to aerate in the fall because during the drier summer months lawns are usually more stressed and aerating may damage the lawn. It also useful to know that the lawn soil should be moist when you are aerating so if it’s not already moist, then it is better to water the lawn and aerate it the following day as this will then help avoid future lawn problems.

Stephen King is a keen gardener who likes providing helpful hints and tips to help people achieve that elusive perfect lawn. Stephen shares his experiences to help avoid all the lawn problems he has faced himself

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