Imagine trying to go about your day constantly holding your breath or only being able to breathe through a straw? Not the most pleasant living conditions, right? Likewise, your lawn could be experiencing something similar if the soil lacks healthy oxygen levels.
Signs of Poor Soil Health
Many factors can impact soil health. Keep an eye out for some of the symptoms that something isn’t quite right beneath the surface.
Obviously, a main indicator of a problem is if the lawn is declining. An abundance of weeds can be another indicator that the soil is struggling, as they tend to prefer to grow in poor soils.
If digging a two- to three-foot-deep hole is challenging, it is likely the soil’s health is poor. Healthy soils are quite easy to dig and have little compaction. Water ponding on the surface or running off is another sign of low soil quality. Thriving soils should also host a number of lifeforms, including earthworms and microbes.
Causes of Low Soil Health Oxygen Levels
Overwatering essentially drowns turfgrass as the moisture displaces oxygen in the soil, so they can’t carry out respiration and experience root death. The more roots die, the less likely the lawn will recover when the soil finally dries.
When soil oxygen concentration drops below 10 to 12 percent, plants can show signs of “wet wilt,” where they appear to be wilting despite an abundance of water in the soil.
Another possible culprit is soil compaction. Soil compaction can be sped up by wet soils or driving equipment or walking on saturated soils. This reduces the open pore spaces in the soil.
Your soil texture can play a part in whether it will be more prone to soil compaction or retaining water. If clay makes up more than one-third of the soil’s makeup the soil can be sticky when wet and brick-like when dry. Adding organic matter can help improve your soil’s health.
Improving Soil Oxygen Levels
Overwatering the landscape is frequently a problem, especially when an automatic irrigation system is utilized. A good rule of thumb is to water for about 30 minutes twice a week. However, you should check the soil after 15 minutes and stop watering once it is moist to about six inches below the surface.
You can also evaluate your irrigation system to make sure there are no leaks or incorrect spraying patterns causing portions of the landscape to be overwatered.
Aeration is one of the main methods used to combat soil compaction as it removes cores of soil allowing air, nutrients and water to reach the roots.
You can count on Scientific Plant Service’s Professional and Certified Advisors to analyze your soil and determine a plan to make your lawn and landscaping healthy and strong.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.