Compressing Soil When Planting

benesesso(9)November 7, 2012

I used to think that the soil had to be foot-compressed when planting. I recently read that compression shouldn't be done, as it makes it harder for the roots to move out.

So, what do most gardeners here do?

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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I think that practice is recommended in order to stabilize the plant and to ensure that, when it's watered, it doesn't collapse. I don't stomp the dirt; I generally use my hands to press the dirt down since I'm usually down on the ground anyway.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:01PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I'm with tomato on this one. I DO press down a bit, but not hard. With trees I use my foot, but I do NOT put my full weight down. I think moderation is the key. I'm curious to hear what other folks do too. Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:16AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Ditto. Compress enough to give the plant some support but not too hard.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Agree- with trees I use my foot and give a good push all around with just reg. plants I use my hand. This also helps to get rid of air pockets-NG
PS Ref.your foot-- I think weight may come into play. 115 vs 225- lol

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Great question! I remember my Dad pressing down hard with his foot when planting saplings, and they all did just fine. Of course, this was in Illinois and we had farmland soil.

I guess it depends on what kind of soil you have - with clayey desert soil, I just water it in real well and it compresses itself. With looser soil, I apply light to moderate pressure, taking care not to mash down too hard.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Thanks for all the replies. Guess the words "Tread lightly" apply.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Yeah, I just water stuff in - I tend to think it gets more of the soil to the roots anyway.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:42PM
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