It will happen to many people. You have just built and you notice that your soil in the garden is actually packed together by the many machines. Or you always drive on the same path with your car and you notice it already.
De Boomdokter.be explains the cause and the effect.
Why is compact soil a problem around trees and plants?
If you keep taking the same path in your lawn, parking a car, planting trees in your garden with an excavator, all this puts pressure on the soil. The different soil particles are pushed closer together. The soil around the tree or plant is then compacted. It causes several bad things:
- Water has a harder time penetrating into the soil, causing the roots to get too little water they need
- The roots cannot get enough nutrients , which leads to slowed growth.
- The tree gets too little oxygen through its roots
- The animals (the soil life ) can no longer move well in the soil, so they can no longer convert organic waste.
- Your soil, your plants and trees are dying .
How can you measure soil compaction?
The soil compaction is measured with a penetrometer. A healthy soil has a compaction between 0 and 2 mPa. As soon as more than 2mPa is detected, you enter an orange (vigilant) zone. If the soil is compacted by more than 3mPa, it is no longer possible for the roots of plants and trees to grow.
You can do some simple tests yourself that can also give you an idea whether your soil is compacted or not:
- take a scoop of soil and look at it: is it grayish, dry, and dull?
- Can’t get all the way into the ground with a screwdriver without much effort?
Then there is a good chance that your soil is compacted.
A warned person is worth two.
Of course now that you know this, prevention is always better than cure. So give clear instructions to your architect and contractor when building your home. Prevention is always better than cure.
Do not start with a lot of digging, adding top layers or other artificial interventions to prevent your compaction. The symbiosis underground between fungi and bacteria is extremely important. We will give some tips here shortly.