How To Combat Soil Compaction In Your Backyard

Everyone needs a place to call home. Shelter is one of the most basic human needs, but a home is much more than a roof over your head. It’s a place to relax at the end of each busy day. Somewhere to raise kids, to share food with friends and family. A place to laugh and enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest.

And your backyard is an essential part of your home. It’s where you can host BBQ events or relax in the evening as you water your garden. Maintaining your backyard garden is an important task; for many people, their yard is a source of pride and joy.

But what if your backyard soil is becoming compacted? This can lead to a range of issues, including poor plant growth and can cause oxygen deficiency in your grass and plants. This helpful article will share a few key ways to combat soil compaction in your backyard. Read on to find out more.

Repurpose Land With Ornaments or Decor

Suppose a part of your backyard has particularly stubborn soil compaction. You can repurpose that area by placing garden ornaments from your local nursery or shopping for garden water features online. By installing a fountain, a water statue feature, or another large garden ornament, you can still enjoy that part of your backyard without stressing about the state of the poor soil.

A water feature is an excellent addition to any backyard. Watching and listening to the babbling water while you relax outside is pleasant. Also, you will create a safe haven for native birds who will come to your water feature for a drink and a splash on a hot day.

Till Your Soil For Aeration

A great strategy in the fight to combat soil compaction is to till your soil for aeration. Spring is the best time of year to till the soil, but you can do it all year round. The key is to till your soil when it is dry, so don’t do it after rain, and if there has been a downpour, wait a few days for your soil to dry.

You can hand till your soil using a trowel or garden fork by digging down into the soil and slowly turning it over. This will aerate the soil and reduce compaction. You can also use a larger spade if you want.

For your lawn, you can buy special lawn aerators that you can strap to your feet (they have large spikes on them), and you can walk across your lawn in rows to reduce soil compaction.

Don’t Overwater

Soil compaction can be caused by overwatering your garden. You may want to develop a strict watering schedule that your household can stick to so you don’t flood your soil. A deep soaking once a week will do the trick in every season except the peak of summer. During sweltering days you may want to water every day or two, as your plants will need the extra fluid due to the soil drying out rapidly due to high temperatures.

Cultivate Plants That Will Combat Soil Compaction

Did you know certain vegetables and wildflowers can fight soil compaction for you because of how their root systems work? Plants such as artichokes, radishes, cowpeas, mustard and more are perfect for busting hard, compacted soil. The bonus is that you’ll have an edible crop once it reaches maturity.

Install Garden Paths

Soil compaction can be caused by frequent foot traffic in your garden. As people walk in your garden, their body weight presses down on the soil, making it compacted and hard. You can combat this by installing paved garden paths to walk through your garden to weed and water without treading on any garden beds. This is an incredible hack that you can even do yourself by laying pavers.

Create a New Top Layer

This is a great trick for those who have purchased a newly built home or have done a knockdown and rebuild. The soil in newly built homes’ gardens is often highly compacted due to the high volume of foot traffic and machineries such as diggers and cranes.

Applying a 15-20 cm layer of organic material on your garden beds is a great way to introduce some organic material without having to dig. You can use straw, leaves, lawn clippings, wood chips and compost. Then leave it for a while. This material will decompose with the weather and rain and will create lighter soil chock full of nutrients for the plants you are now ready to cultivate.

A Soil Summary

This helpful article shares a few tips to combat soil compaction in your backyard. Follow these tips, and you’ll have fluffy, aerated soil that will nourish your plant friends and provide excellent growing conditions. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should get you started.


Tags: backyard, garden, garden paths, soil, terrace

Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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