Aerating

Soil compactions occur in heavy clay soils or areas with heavy foot or equipment traffic. Once a soil has become compacted it reduces water penetration, air flow, and beneficial microbial populations. As a result plants grow slowly and poorly and become susceptible to drought, disease, and insect damage. Indications of compacted soils are:

  • Excessive irrigation run-off
  • Bare soil areas
  • Increased pest populations

Aerating the soil removes small cores of soil allowing increased air flow, water penetration and nutrients to infiltrate the soil. The cores are then left, as they will eventually break down and be used as a top dressing material. The benefits include:

  • Increased water penetration
  • Increased drought tolerance
  • Enhanced soil fertility

The best times to aerate are during spring or fall, usually during a growing season. Aeration improves soil structure, texture, and density.


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