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 Post subject: soil compaction
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 4:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:01 am
Posts: 3
Location: Bulverde,TEXAS
I live just north of San Antonio in the hill country and have soil problems in my yard. The soil compacts even in minimal traffic areas and it's making it very difficult to maintain turfgrass. When I bought this house 3 years ago, zoyzia was growing near the house, but I don't know how long it had been there or if it was put in to sell the house.
I have used Medina soil activator twice. Would every 2 weeks be of value?
I have spread a thin layer of compost this spring.
Would areation be of value? Is there a time of the year when it is not appropriate?
I am open to suggestions as my organic approach is in danger of credibility loss!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:22 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
First of all this message should not have been posted in this forum. The Dirt Doctor forum has lots of different topic specific forums. This one is used to explain how to use the rest of the forums. I can understand how it gets used for questions by beginners but really, once you learn how to use the forums, we never return to this one.

I'm going to go ahead and answer this one since nobody has replied at all. Medina Soil Activator may work on some soils but it doesn't seem to work on mine (in San Antonio). I got much better results from pouring water on the ground than from any Medina products. I've had two nearly full bottles of Hasta-Gro in my garage for years. The solution for soil compaction is first to learn the difference between compact soil and hard soil. Compact soil will not absorb water when it rains or gets irrigated. It might only be compacted on the very surface in a soil structure called a cap. Capping is a well known phenomenon caused by many factors but rainfall on bare ground is one of the most prevalent. The solution to capping or mechanical compaction is to water slowly, and continuously for a few weeks. This gives the beneficial soil fungi time and moisture enough to start to regrow in the soil. It is the beneficial fungi that make your soil like a sponge. A sponge will get hard when dry and will become very soft when wet. A good soil will, too.

One method that works to rebuild your soil fungi is to water with a black soaker hose at a trickle rate for 2-3 weeks continuously. A trickle is when you turn on your faucet and the water just changes from drips to a stream. This amount of water will keep the soil moist but not wet. Leave it on for 2 full weeks and then move it about 18 inches to another location. Move it like that until you have covered your entire lot. Then start over again. I had to do mine 2 full times and then a little more before I could feel the soil start to give underfoot when it was wet. Now it is hard as concrete before watering and almost unsteady to walk on after a good rain. There is no runoff from rain because it soaks every drop into the soil.

David Hall
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum

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