Healthy soil is not just a mound of dirt. Rather, it consists of air, water, mineral particles, organic matter, worms, and other beneficial soil life. What makes this web so interesting is that when they all work
together, it is a little bit like a machine–a machine that grows healthy plants.
Each of these elements works together like finely calibrated parts of a machine to grow healthy plants. If any one of these “parts” are out of whack, the entire soils structure is disrupted. Compaction is a big problem, as soil that has been compacted means there is less room for roots to grow.
The combination of sand, silt, clay, organic materials and pore spaces fo
r air and water describe soil composition. These spaces are particularly important because they allow roots and soil organisms to move.
Beneficial bacteria glue mineral and organic material into soil aggregates (bricks), while larger fungi act as the mortar that holds them in place.
Compaction is a big issue and can enable lawn diseases to thrive. Here are some other outcomes that result from compaction:
- Drainage and absorption of rain and irrigation water are limited.
- The lawn is very susceptible to drought conditions.
- Lawn growth will be thin and the grass plant will be unhealthy and allow openings to broad-leaf weeds.
- Nutrient cycling will reduce.
Sometimes, working with soil life is not enough to properly aerate your lawn and mechanical aeration is needed to correct compaction. There are many pieces of equipment available to professionals but after research and careful consideration, Heidelberg Farms has added an Aera-vator to the soil toolbox. Harvard University’s Organic Maintenance Program has been using the Aera-vator on campus with great success. Urban college campuses receive a lot of foot traffic and the soil can become very compact. In the typical family lawn, aeration can help soften your playing field and keep your lawn looking great.
Aeration is included in two of our From the Roots Up! Organic Lawn Programs. Call us today at (603) 501-9919. These starter programs have up-front pricing and we are happy to answer your questions.