How To Compact Soil In Your Garden With 5 Easy Steps To Follow

Learn the basics on how to compact soil without machinery and what proper methods of soil compaction can offer.

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Soil compaction is one of the first mechanical processes performed in a lawn project. It refers to the process of increasing the soil’s density by packing the solid materials together by force, by removing gas, and by reducing pore spaces. Before getting started with landscaping your garden or lawn and laying out visually-appealing green grass, you must first learn how to compact soil the proper way. Soil erosion, not to mention pesky mud puddle inconvenience, may occur if you don’t know how to compact soil. Soil compaction is widely known to be a primary, albeit crucial part of any type of landscaping process.

Compacted soil makes a firm ground for seeds and seedlings to grow

Compacted soil makes a firm ground for seeds and seedlings to grow

Since we now know how important soil compaction is for your lawn and garden, it is only right that you learn the steps on how to compact soil, as well as the advantages and applications it can provide.

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What Are The Advantages Of Soil Compaction?

In this section, let’s get right to the advantages and applications of soil compaction. Intensely compacted soil may not be the best type of ground for all gardening projects. However, it can be an advantage when treated with the right compacting methods. Knowing how to compact soil would place you at a higher advantage.

Gardening And Farming

Furthermore, mild soil compaction is great for gardening and farming projects. It makes crops less susceptible to erosion brought about by large volumes of water and extreme weather conditions. But be careful, though, because intense methods of soil compaction may lead to poor crop and root growth. Learn about the different soil types to help you in this area.

In farming, soil is compacted to keep the seeds and seedlings in place, preventing erosion

In farming, soil is compacted to keep the seeds and seedlings in place, preventing erosion. Via: Flickr.com

Grass-Laden Lawns

No matter the size of the scale, lawns are always a treat for the eyes. As a homeowner, it’s definitely more aesthetically pleasing to see a fresh lawn compacted and grown with grass on the surface. Having a well-maintained and soil compacted lawn is not just for visual purposes. It also makes for a good social gathering venue, since you can walk around on it much more freely. If you want to completely convert your outdoor space, it is a good idea to learn how to compact soil.

Group of friends bonding on a grass-laden compacted soil

Group of friends bonding on a grass-laden compacted soil. Via: Flickr.com

On a large scale, soil compaction also has many advantages. Take golf courses and baseball parks for example. Can you imagine playing on these fields if the ground below you is loose and poorly maintained? Without soil compaction, these playing fields will not only be less attractive, but they will also be less efficient for the different types of dynamic activities they host.

A golfer having a great time on a beautifully landscaped, soil compacted golf course

A golfer having a great time on a beautifully landscaped, soil compacted golf course. Via: Flickr.com

Walkways

Soil compaction doesn’t only offer benefits in the gardening and landscaping department. As we have come to know, compacted soil is a much more stable foundation for a variety of outdoor purposes. By “stable”, we mean it is less susceptible to water infiltration, wind, and erosion. This means it can function as support for heavier objects, like lawn walkways.

Garden walkways, logs, and rich green grass on heavily compacted soil

Garden walkways, logs, and rich green grass on heavily compacted soil

Because of the strong properties of compacted soil, you can build garden walkways to make travelling around your garden much more convenient. Furthermore, it can support all kinds of heavy materials, such as asphalt, gravel, pebbles, paving stones, and even concrete!

Paving stones with moss on compacted soil

Paving stones with moss on compacted soil

How To Compact Soil In Your Garden In 5 Easy Steps?

We understand that the regular equipment used for soil compaction is not readily available for mere homeowners. So in this article, we will be teaching you how to compact soil with just a water hose and your average everyday lawn tools.

A man uses a garden hose for garden growth and soil compaction

A man uses a garden hose for garden growth and soil compaction

Step 1

Get rid of any hard lawn debris like rocks and fallen tree branches from the soil that you want to compact. Smoothen the soil flat using the front and back side of a rake.

Step 2

Using a water hose with a spray nozzle set to low-pressure, spray the area of soil with a slow but steady the flow of water until you see a small pool of water start to emerge on the surface. Be careful in choosing your drip systems because too much pressure can move the soil on the surface. In addition to this, the water can also run off before getting the chance to seep into the soil.

Step 3

Let the water seep into the soil for about an hour. This amount of time is just enough for the water to settle in.

Step 4

Repeat the watering and settling process as needed until the water no longer seeps into the soil as quickly as before. This is how you know if the area of soil is already well compacted. The number of times this process is repeated varies on the type of soil you are working with. This has to do with soil porosity.

Basically, the lower your soil porosity is, the slower it drains water. Clay soil, for example, has a lower soil porosity than the sandy soil. To achieve great compaction, you’re going to have to repeat this process more times with the sandy soil as compared to clay soil.

Step 5

Pack the area of moist soil by walking over it. You can also perform this step with a hand tamper or lawn roller– if these tools are available– to achieve greater soil compaction.

A man plants seeds in water-compacted soil

A man plants seeds in water-compacted soil

Conclusion

Now, that we’ve addressed some of the major things to consider when it comes to soil compaction– including how to compact soil in 5 very easy steps and its many benefits and applications– we hope that you will make use of all this information to your advantage.

Did you find this article helpful? If yes, let me know through the comment box below. Also, don’t forget to share this with your friends!

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Lucy M. Clark
 

Hi there! I’m Lucy, and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.

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