One problem that many gardeners experience is compacted soil. While some soil, such as clay, compacts easier than others, almost all soil can eventually be compacted if it is walked on too often, had heavy loads pulled across it or if the soil is allowed to become dry. Compacted soil makes it difficult for a plant’s roots to dig down into the soil, so the plant does not get the nutrients that it needs.
If you have compacted soil in a large area, then you can use an aerator. These machines remove plugs of soil from the ground allowing the soil to move around easier. This method saves hours of hard work but the aerator can be costly.
Another solution is to simply add organic matter to your soil. Start by loosening the top eight inches of your soil and then lay another eight inches of organic matter on top of the loosen soil. Now, use a rake or how to stir the two together.
The best time to loosen compacted soil is before you plant your garden in the spring. Then, watch where you step during the growing season taking as few steps as necessary being extremely watchful near where plant’s roots may be growing. If it becomes necessary, you can stir up the dirt and add additional organic matter to your garden throughout the growing season.