Turf Symptoms Of Soil Compaction
Here are 5 signs to look for to determine potential soil compaction. If any of the symptoms are occurring there is a good chance the soil is compacted and needs attention and immediate maintenance.
- Shallow, thicker and shorter roots
- Smaller and fewer leafs/blades
- Thin patches
- Lacks green color
- Overrun by weeds (e.g., knotweed, crabgrass, annual bluegrass, goosegrass, clover)
Tips for Preventing and Correcting Soil Compaction
Incorporating any of the 3 tips below into a turf maintenance program can help reduce soil compaction.
Reduce and direct traffic:
- Reduce traffic by the establishing pathways of concrete, pavers, gravel or dirt.
- Minimize traffic when the soil is wet or near field capacity.
Take the extra necessary steps:
- Use maintenance vehicles with pneumatic tires.
- Change up the mowing patterns to reduce mower use on the same route.
- Increase the height of the cut to increase wearability and root depth.
- On golf courses, build large greens in order to frequently rotate cup placement.
- On sports fields, occasionally move around the field boundaries.
Modify the soil:
- Develop a soil medium that is more resistant to compaction with sand or loamy soils.
- Note that the addition of sand to clay soils may actually increase their compatibility and destroy soil structure due to the development of cementing conditions.
- Add organic soil amendments such as Mirimichi Green’s CarbonizPN Soil Enhancer to decrease compactibility of the soil. (However, it is not a long-term fix and requires additional amending.)
- Incorporate one or more cultivation practices (e.g., coring, grooving, slicing, or spiking) into the turf maintenance practices.
There is no single practice or product that can solely correct compaction problems and several must be combined for a successful maintenance program. The top solution for soil compaction is combating compaction before it has developed into a problem.
Give these tips a try and let us know what works best for you.