Q How do I know if my turf is compacted?
A Compacted areas of turf get puddles when it rains as the water can't drain easily.
Caption: You can relieve compaction by aerating turf with a garden fork
Q Why is compacted turf a problem?
A When the soil gets compacted, grass roots struggle to find air or moisture and the grass may start to die.
Q How can I relieve compaction?
A You can help relieve compaction by aerating the lawn. The simplest method is to insert a garden fork roughly every 15cm and wiggle it to allow air and water to reach the grass roots. Alternatively, you can hire an aerator machine.
After you finished aerating the soil, you can apply a topdressing. Lawns on heavy soils can be improved by brushing a sandy topdressing (90% sand to 10% compost) into the surface of the turf after aeration. Hungry soils can be improved with compost-rich topdressing (50% sand to 50% compost).
Q How can I avoid compaction occurring again?
A Compaction usually occurs in areas of heavy traffic so if possible vary the route of paths or install a permanent path such as paving. Try to move outdoor furniture and children's play equipment around so the grass can recover.