With 2 acres of red clay soil, Paul has learned a lot about the issues of soil compaction. He’s tried, tested, and myth busted plenty of so-called solutions but has also found some real solutions. These are the products he recommends if you are struggling with compacted soil.
Compaction Cure Combo
Yard Mastery’s Compaction Cure Combo includes two of their premium solutions: N-Ext RGS™ and N-Ext Air-8™.
N-Ext RGS is a root growth stimulator and Air-8 is a liquid aeration solution. The advantage of using these two products together is that you get a synergistic effect by combining root growth stimulator with soil conditioning. As the soil softens, the roots are able to push deeper, creating healthier grass.
Bonus tip – use this as part of our five-step process for improving clay soil. Paul previously used a product from Simple Lawn Solutions (link to Amazon) but this double-punch approach from Yard Mastery is now his favorite go-to product.
For more information on the effectiveness of liquid aeration, read Does Liquid Soil Conditioner Work? The Easy Aeration Promise.
Deep Soil Integration Auger
Paul developed a process for improving clay soil that he calls “Deep Core Integration”. Beyond simply aerating the top two or three inches of soil, this process involves drilling holes deep into the clay and filling them with organic matter such as compost or really good topsoil.
Instead of just treating the symptoms, this approach goes to the root of the problem, changing the physical structure of the clay soil while encouraging worm populations and deeper root growth.
Read all about this process of improving clay soil by reading The One Trick To REALLY Improve Clay Soil – Deep Integration
Generally speaking, the deeper you can drill and backfill with organic matter, the better. This is the auger bit Paul recommends (link to Amazon) for using your electric drill to create these holes in the clay soil. It’s two feet long and allows you to go as shallow or deed as necessary. The hex-shaped shaft end ensures a no-slip solution. It’s designed and marketed for planting bulbs but this has proven to be a great unrealized use for this product. Paul continues to practice deep soil integration in his yard using this technique.
Brinly PA-40BH Pull Behind Lawn Aerator
Anyone who has ever rented a gas-powered lawn aerator knows how a machine like that can beat you up. Your arms feel like jello after using them.
If you have a large yard and a riding mower, this pull-behind aerator from Brinly offers a hassle-free solution to aerating your lawn. With 24 heat-treated plugging spoons made of 16 gauge steel, you can simply weight it down with a couple of cinder blocks or sandbags and drive around your yard while you aerate. Aeration is a key component to Paul’s five-step process for improving clay soil without digging but its good annual practice for just about any lawn.
To see how this model measures up against others, be sure to see my review of the Best Pull Behind Aerators: Key Features Compared.
These are Thriving Yard’s top picks. Out of the thousands of products that people are trying to sell us every day, these are the ones that we feel are worth it when it comes to soil compaction.