Air is one of the most important components in the health of soil. In fact, for a soil to be healthy and attractive for plant growth, it is asserted that there should be at least 50% of air. With this air space, there is enough room for the root to grow. This will also improve the circulation of soil to provide the nutrients that are needed by plants.
However, there are several instances wherein it is better if the soil is more compact. This means that there should be minimal space in between. This will prevent nutrients from entering the soil. It will end up dry and hard. This may not exactly be the healthiest choice for gardening, but for other applications, this can be ideal.
Keep on reading the rest of this post and we will let you know some of the advantages of soil compaction, and more importantly, how to do it right. Again, you should be cautioned that doing soil compacting will minimize air and transfer of beneficial nutrients.
Why It is Necessary to Compact Soil
Soil compaction is a mechanical procedure that is common in the construction industry. Big companies have powerful equipment that can tackle large-scale jobs in a breeze. It is necessary in the construction of roads and buildings. In different infrastructure projects, it is essential to have solid ground, which will provide a strong foundation. Otherwise, the structure will be weak as it will not have the support that is required. Also, it is vital that no plant roots will grow in the soil. Otherwise, this will inevitably damage anything that has been constructed.
In the garden, compacting soil is also necessary in some instances. If you want the area to be free from plant, such as if you want to set up an artificial turf instead, it will be a good idea. It will also be good if you want to convert the yard into a training field, such as for golf or other sport. To add, compacting soil will improve the aesthetics of the grounds.
How to Compact Soil
To achieve the best outcomes, it is critical that soil compacting is done right. In this case, the following are the things that you should do:
- Start by using a bow rake or broom rake to loosen the surface of the soil, allowing it to loosen. As you do this, be sure to also take out the rocks that you can see on the surface.
- Now that you are done raking, the next thing you should do is to sprinkle water on the top. Avoid saturating the soil as this can lead to mud or flooding. A garden hose can be used, but see to it that the nozzle will produce only low pressure. If the pressure is too high, it will take quite long before you can compact the soil. Worse, you might be unable to do compaction because water won’t go away and hence, the surface will be soft.
- Leave the soil for about an hour. This should be more than enough for the water to drain and settle.
- After an hour, it is time to apply water on the soil again. Repeat this process until you notice that the soil is no longer compacted or that water already drains quickly than before.
- Lastly, use a hand tamper or lawn mower. Alternatively, you can also just step on the soil until it becomes harder. This will also make it flat and the excess liquid will be drained. Stepping is highly recommended if you want the compaction to be better, especially if there is a plan to construct a walkway. See to it that you apply the necessary pressure to close the air in between the soils and make it well-compacted.
In the end, it is apparent that compacting soil is useful beyond gardening. If you want plants to grow healthy and in abundance, this is not one thing that you should not do. On the other hand, if you want the soil to be flatter, make sure to follow the steps that have been mentioned above so that you will have the assurance that you can do it right.