Soil compaction is one of the most common and most serious ailments within any sports turf surface. The rigours of play combined with the necessity of machinery maintenance combine to force together particles within a soil. Clay and silty soils containing a high proportion of fine particles are particularly prone to compaction however, all soils can become compacted.
In a healthy soil there are large and small pore spaces which contain the air, water and room for plant roots and soil organisms to breath, grow and reproduce successfully. These spaces are dynamic, enabling the air and water to flow through them and in the ideal situation producing, a well-drained, biologically active soil and good playing surfaces.
In a compacted soil the pore spaces are reduced or absent and in turn the relative amount of available air, water and space for the plant roots and soil organisms to live is restricted. This leads to reduced plant and soil health and poorly draining saturated soils, which provide an inadequate playing surface.
As a further consequence compacted soil can negatively effect the utilisation of applied fertilisers and chemicals resulting in less efficient uptake.
The Soil Compaction Tester / Penetrometer allows the user to obtain an insight of both the severity and depth of compacted zones within the soil profile. This information can then be utilised to make informed decisions on remedial strategies.
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