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compacting topsoil?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by adam underwood, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. adam underwood

    adam underwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    a customer asked me today if we would spread out some topsoil if he had it delivered. i told him we would spread it out and he asked me if i had a compacter because he wants it stamped down before he seeds. if i rent a compactor and pack the topsoil down will the grass have a hard time rooting?
  2. WhohasHelios?

    WhohasHelios? LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233


    I dont think thats what you want man...

    Just get some good landscape rakes and rake it out, get it nice and flat over your surface and then use a lawn roller. Roll it one way, then go over with your rake and smooth the dips, then roll both ways. Repeat as needed to get it perfect. You want it to be firm to the point that your feet do not dig in if you stand flat on the final grade.

    Also, you can use the end of your rake and pack it that way, you get a nicer product than using a roller but much more time and energy comsuming.

  3. spoolinaround

    spoolinaround LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    compacting it will make it hard as hell for a already struggling seed to thrive, I usually roll it 2 ways after the final grading and seeding
  4. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    Soil compaction is the process of increasing the density of soil by packing the particles closer together and reducing the volume of air.

    Soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay surrounded by air-filled pores and water-filled pores. Ideally, 25% of soil volume should be solid matter, 25% water, and 50% should be pore space. Compaction alters the balance of air pores, water pores, and soil particles. It squeezes the air out of the upper root zone. It destroys the channels for air and water movement. It leaves no room for:

    - Air exchange
    - Water absorption
    - Fertilizer absorption
    - Drainage

    Turf roots need water, oxygen, nitrates, phosphorous and potassium to grow. Soil compaction literally shuts out those nutrients.

    Soil compaction stresses turf grass plants, making them vulnerable to weed competition and slow to recuperate from injury.

    In addition, compacted soil contributes to the accumulation of thatch because restricted oxygen levels impair the activity of earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms. Left unmanaged, thatch can lead to serious maintenance and pest problems. Thatch accumulates faster on compacted soils.


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