Lawn Soil Compaction

Compacted lawn soils can cause water puddling, low water retention and low oxygen levels in the soil and prevent lawn grass roots penetrating or absorbing nutrients.

Identify the problem Identify the problem

If your lawn has high traffic areas or contains a high proportion of clay soil compaction is more likely to occur. Compacted soil holds less air and water that is needed for optimum lawn health. It will lead to water puddling, soil which will store less water and where it is more difficult for lawn grass roots to penetrate. It will also be harder for nutrients to be absorbed into the soil and by the grass roots.


Small Area of Lawn

  • Small areas of lawn can be aerated manually with aerating sandals (sandals with spikes attached to the bottom that aerate the lawn as you walk) or a sturdy garden fork.
  • Simply insert the fork into the lawn and punch holes into the turf. Aim for a spacing between the holes of around 8 – 10 cms. In order to achieve adequate aeration you may need to go over the area twice in a different direction each time.

Large Area of Lawn

  • Over a large area a powered core aerator makes the job easier (these can be hired).
  • Ask for usage instructions from the hire company and read the user manual before commencing. 
  • A core aerator works by removing small cores of grass and soil from the lawn creating the required spaces in the soil. Prior to using a core aerator mark or flag any irrigation systems and hidden objects in the lawn, such as drains, to be able to easily avoid them. When using a core aerator only go over the lawn once. With this process you will be left with the small cores on the lawn which you can rake up and add to the compost.
  • In heavy traffic areas and where the soil is clay annual aeration is recommended to avoid soil compaction.
  • Aerating more frequently on sloping areas of your lawn will also be beneficial; it will allow water to be absorbed into the soil which would otherwise run off.
  • After aeration is an ideal time to fertilise your lawn with LawnPro 7-Day-Green or LawnPro Lawn Thickener.
  • LawnPro Lawn Thickener contains lawn seed to repair damaged areas and gypsum which helps condition and loosen clay soils preventing compaction.
  • Repair badly worn or compacted areas of lawn with LawnPro Smart Patch Mix.

Tips Tips

  • It is not recommended to aerate a lawn within the first 12 months of it being sown or laid.

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