Many folks don’t realize what can happen to lawns that endure heavy traffic over long periods of time. It can be caused by heavy foot traffic, pets falling into a habit of walking the same areas of the lawn, or even through your lawn care by running your mower along the same paths over and over again. You will develop hard lawn, a condition that can cause your lawn to deteriorate over time. Today, we discuss what causes hard lawn, how to avoid it, and how to fix it after the fact.
What is Hard Lawn?
Hard lawn is the compacting of the soil into a solid area that is difficult for both water and oxygen to permeate. As these are the two most important components for the growth and health of your lawn and grass, hard lawn can cause severe damage that can be difficult to recover from. As hard lawn persists, the yard will continue to deteriorate.
How Do You Avoid Hard Lawn?
The best way to avoid hurting your lawn in this manner is to avoid repetition. Even if the same path is convenient and direct, start walking a different path. If you have dogs, they are creatures of habit and will constantly take the same path, compacting the soil – put strategic obstacles in the way to make them change up what path they take. Other than that, if you see ruts or trails beginning to appear, give the areas some quick aeration to keep the soil loose.
How Do You Fix Hard Lawn?
How you go about repairing hard lawn depends on the severity. For a lawn that is only beginning to show issues from hard lawn, simply coring the lawn and pulling out plugs of dirt and grass can be enough to allow the lawn to recover. By taking plugs from all around the lawn, the hardness of the soil is broken up and it allows for oxygen and water to get into the soil. This will allow the turf to spread out and settle in.
98 percent of the time, this will fix your hard lawn. Unfortunately, the most severe cases call for the most drastic measures. In these cases, you will need a rotary hoe to take up the top 4-8 inches, destroying the lawn in the process. You’ll then need to break up the soil and lay it back in, along with coarse sand to help prevent it from recurring. You’ll then need to roll a new lawn back on the area, or replant grass seed and spend a long time rehabilitating the area. Thankfully, this can all be avoided through the identification and treatment of the area before it gets too severe.