Correcting Compacted Lawns

When the soil under a lawn becomes compacted from foot traffic or heavy equipment, it loses its springy texture and becomes hard as a rock. Water puddles or runs off, lack of air to the roots causes the turf to deteriorate in appearance and vigor; and the lawn often develops thin or bare patches. The best time to correct this condition is early-mid spring or in the fall. Then follow these simple steps:

  1. Mow the lawn, then make holes in the sod by running a rented aeration machine over it. Or do the job by hand with a aerating tool made for this purpose. There are two types of hand tools that can do this. One that simply pokes holes in your lawn and another that actually pulls out plugs of soil. Grangetto’s carries both of these hand aerators.
  2. Do not rake up the plugs. They contain beneficial organisms that actually feed on the thatch layer controlling helping to reduce its buildup.
  3. Spread granulated gypsum according to package directions.
  4. Apply a complete lawn fertilizer such as Dr. Earth® Organic Lawn Food
  5. Cover with ¼ inch of organic top dressing. Kellogg® Topper is a good choice.
  6. When the soil or thatch is hydrophobic (so dry it sheds water), apply a liquid soil penetrant.

Follow up by watering deeply.

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