Kick Compaction With Inground Sprinkler Systems

Soil compaction is a frustrating hassle that every homeowner has had to wrestle with at one time or another. Soil compaction reduces the effectiveness of your inground sprinkler systems and weakens your lawn. Luckily, compaction isn't difficult to deal with once you've recognized it in your lawn. But what is soil compaction and how do you deal with it? Nutri-Lawn Burlington can help you out with that. Read on for the ins and outs of compaction to help get your lawn and inground sprinkler system back to normal.

Understanding soil compaction
Before you can beat it, you need to understand what soil compaction is. Your soil requires a healthy balance of minerals, air, water, organic matter, and insects to survive. When your soil is compacted, the particles are packed together too tightly to allow air, water, and fertilizer to penetrate the soil well. During a compacted time, your inground sprinkler systems will be struggling to nourish your grass, and some of the water may even sit on the surface to contribute to the thatch layer.  

Compacted soil comes from too much traffic on your lawn, which pushes the soil particles closer together. Compaction can also be in the form of a dense thatch layer on the surface of lawn.

How to spot soil compaction
If you're not a professional who deals with soil compaction on a regular basis, then you may not know how to spot soil compaction. Compacted lawns are harder than healthy lawns, which will feel springy to the touch. You may also notice that the efforts of your Nutri-Lawn Burlington inground sprinkler systems are falling on unforgiving soil, causing run off. Another good way to test if you have compacted soil is by trying to dig a trowel into the surface. If you are struggling to get the tip of your trowel into the soil due to the hardness of the lawn, then you almost definitely have compacted soil.

Finally, look for dead patches. Areas of your lawn that are dormant or dead are key hints to compacted soil. These are the areas that struggle the most with retaining – or even just absorbing – water from your inground sprinkler system.

What to do about compaction
There are a couple of ways to reduce compaction. First, aerate your lawn. Core aeration removes plugs of soil from your yard in order to loosen up the lawn and provide gateways for fertilizers, air, and water to enter. Aeration also helps to reduce thatch by breaking it up and encouraging a faster rate of decomposition.

Next, you'll want to dethatch your lawn if there's a thatch build up. As mentioned, core aeration does a good job of this if there is less than 3 inches of thatch on your lawn. However, for any more than that, you'll want to dethatch. Thatch is the build up of fertilizers and organic material at the surface of your soil. It's a great breeding ground for diseases, as well as good shelter for insects. To make matters worse, it suffocates your soil by acting as a net to prevent fertilizers, air, and your irrigation from penetrating your soil. Unfortunately, thatch should not be removed until late summer or early fall. Until then, aeration will do a good job of reducing the amount of thatch you have.

Finally, add a nice layer of topdressing. Topdressing will help loosen the soil, and allow your lawn to retain the work of your Nutri-Lawn Burlington inground sprinkler systems. Topdressing will also complement your inground sprinkler systems in renewing the level of nutrients in your soil.

Is your lawn ready to be the best it can be this season? Contact Nutri-Lawn Burlington today for your complimentary consultation.