Compaction is one of the key elements that prevent lawns from prospering. Compaction occurs when the grains of material, which form the soil, become squeezed together so that there are no gaps in between the soil particles.
This accretion has a number of effects. First as the grass plants grow in the gaps between the soil particles, the growth and health of the roots are adversely affected. Secondly, the accreted surface means that water tends to lie on the top of the soil and this becomes a breeding ground for diseases, particularly lawn pathogens. Thirdly, soil which has been accreted means that grass plants cannot access nutrients and oxygen through their roots systems.
Compaction can happen through general human and pet traffic on a lawn (which is why we suggest that you keep off your lawns as much as possible during the winter months when lawns are wet and compact easily) but particularly since Christmas, the amount of rainfall has added very substantially to this condition. On just one day on London in the early part of January, over 50 kilos of rain fell on each square metre of lawn. And the rain has continued!
Compaction is therefore becoming a real problem and some lawns are starting to look unhappy already. For others the effects will probably not show for three or four months, the damage is there and it needs treating.
We are recommending to all our clients that their lawns are aerated as soon as conditions permit and we will make contact with everybody shortly.