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Step-By-Step Guide to Assessing Soil Compaction

STEP ONE 

Dig a hole with a spade to ploughing depth (typically around 18cm). Examine this top soil for signs of worm activity (aim for about 15 a spadeful). Lots a or earthworms are a good sign as they burrow through the soil and create natural channels for water and oxygen and roots to flow through. They also break down and incorporate organic matter into the soil. Spreading manure will encourage worm populations due to its high organic matter content.

 

STEP TWO 

Assess root structure. Ideally roots should penetrate all the way down through the soil quite deeply (in the top 15-18cm) to enable the plants to access nutrients low down.

 

STEP THREE 

Assess soil structure. A well-structured soil will be quite crumbly in texture and will crack easily under gentle pressure. Any cracks in the soil should be vertical. Poorly structured soil won’t break up easily or may break up into larger clumps. Horizontal cracks are a sign of hoof or tractor compaction.

 

STEP FOUR 

Smell the soil. Good soil will smell earthy, while badly compacted topsoil will smell rank, like rotten eggs.

 

STEP FIVE 

Soil should be healthy red/brown colour with no grey or orange patches. Mottled grey colouring is indicative of repeated waterlogging.

 

STEP SIX 

Dig deeper into the subsoil. Repeat steps one to five, remembering that while subsoil will naturally be more compact worm numbers, roots, smell and colour targets will be valuable.

 

Wear & Tear

 

AerWorx Aerator blades are designed and made with materials to last. Manufactured by one of Europe’s leading companies in wearing parts here in the UK, the design of the blades has been recognised for its long lasting durability so much that Aerworx (Lawson) Aerators in America import all their blades for all their machines from the UK. With nearly 8 years selling the Aerators here in the UK and producing over 300 machines we have only had to sort a handful of machines with replacement blades usually down the operator error or extreme usage. 

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