Densely packed soil can slow any plant's growth

How do you know if it's hard-packed soil that's the problem in your garden or lawn?

Digging in tells the tale.  If the top six inches of earth aren't loose and crumbly, if the plants are not rooted deeply, if  sod can be peeled away like carpet glued to concrete, that soil needs work before the plants can take hold and fend for themselves.


New sod on hard soil loses its luster after a few years...

Sod laid on compacted soil often persists for three or four years by virtue of its initial good health, but then declines rapidly. It develops thin spots, succumbs to insect or disease, and allows weeds to become established.