Expert gardeners will tell you that in most cases, a loose soil is beneficial to have in the garden. It provides the roots with the room to breathe and grow. Nonetheless, there are also some instances wherein compaction will be necessary. The latter is the case if you need the surface to be firm, such as when you intend to build a walkway.
If you are wondering about how to compact soil, read on and learn from the tips that we will be sharing. Even as a novice, soil compaction is an easy project. You do not need to have complicated tools or venture into difficult steps.
Benefits of Soil Compaction
Soil compaction, in the most literal sense, refers to making the soil more compact. It can provide a number of benefits, on top of which is the fact that it increases soil density. It leads to the reduction of pore spaces, which prevents the penetration of water and air. It also lessens lubrication and minimizes the possibility of erosion.
Among other instances, soil compaction is a necessity if you want to build something on the ground. At home, you need to compact soil if you want to build a driveway or a walkway, among others. It also levels the ground and makes it more aesthetically-pleasing. It is needed in building sports fields and lawns. More so, it prevents roots from growing, making it an excellent way to get rid of weeds.
However, it is also important to note that compact soil will not be good for your plants. They do not have enough space for the roots to grow. To add, water and air cannot infiltrate the ground, and hence, the plant will not be able to absorb the nutrients that are necessary for its healthy growth.
How to Compact Soil
In an industrial setting, such as in construction, there are specialized machines that are used in soil compaction. At home, on the other hand, you can compact the soil by following the steps that we will briefly mention below:
- The first thing you have to do is to clear the ground where you will be compacting the soil. Get rid of debris and rocks. Consider using a rake or a broom to make this step a lot easier.
- Using a best garden hose at the lowest pressure setting, spray water on the top of the soil. If you use the highest power setting, there is a high likelihood that the water will end up running off before seeping.
- Leave the soil for about an hour. This will be more than enough time for the water to settle.
- If there is a need, repeat the process of spraying water on the soil. Keep doing this until you can see water pooling on the top. The latter is an indication that the soil is already compact and that water will no longer be able to infiltrate.
- Walk on the top of the soil. The pressure from your feet will help to make the soil more compact. Alternatively, it will also be a good idea to use a hand tamper or a lawn roller to compact the soil.
From the steps above, we hope that you were able to learn a thing or two on how to compact a soil. If the purpose of soil compaction is constructing walkways on the lawn or preventing weeds, you can do the task easily and without the need for special equipment like the ones used for compaction for building construction.