After mixing in compost manure and top soil my soil turned rock hard.

Asked October 8, 2019, 4:21 PM EDT

I'm fixing up my patio and I tilled all the soil by hand and got all the rocks out( some time ago someone had a rock garden here). I mixed in compost manure and McGuires topper soil, leveled it and tamped by walking on it, then watered it down and filled all the low spots then watered it again, it has now turned rock hard. I'm planting grass seed and looking for how I should fix this and get it ready for grass.

Orange County California

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The first thing that stands out is your ‘tamping it down.’ By walking on it, you’re compressing the air—which should constitute 25% of the soil volume—out. Rather like driving over it. By doing so, you limit the amount of water that reach plant roots. What is McGuire’s topsoil? What parts clay, sand, silt and compost? The best solution to correcting soil compaction is adding organic matter—and not walking on it.