Lawn aeration is needed for compacted soil | Siouxland Homes

By Jeff Rugg Creators Syndicate Inc.

Question: I had a remodeling project in the back of my house just before the government put limits on workers. The project is complete, but the tractors, wheelbarrows and other equipment have badly damaged the grass in the side yard and back yard. At the time of the renovation, it was too early to repair the yard. I know I have to re-sow, but what else should I do?

Answer: Fixing the soil is just as important as adding new grass plants. If the job was done when the ground was frozen, there probably wasn’t too much compaction of the ground. The same applies to a warm area if the floor was dry. If the soil was damp and the equipment compacted the soil, core aeration is required. Grass seeds will have a hard time growing roots in compacted soil. Any tree or shrub roots growing under the compacted soil have also been affected.

Most lawn and garden soils are designed to act like sponges. They have large pores for water to drain and small pores to hold water in. The large pores allow air to enter the soil and supply the roots with oxygen. Compacted soil is like a sponge being shattered. There are very few large pores, so no water moves through the soil and there is virtually no air for the roots. Compacted soil does not provide conditions for healthy plants.

Core ventilation improves the movement of oxygen, nutrients, and water into the soil. This is best done during the season, when the grass is actively growing. The cores should be 2 to 3 inches apart and spaced 5 or 6 inches deep if possible. If the tines of the machine are further apart, multiple passes are required. Make sure the soil is moist but not too wet to bring them in depth.

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