Soil compaction

I just did a soil compaction test using a screw driver. My front lawn the screw driver goes in very easy. The back yard however i could only go in about an inch. I have started and will continue to treat the soil to break it up. I have changed the soil type from sandy loan to clay, And I saw the soil moisture increase which is what I want because the soil is still wet and some of the grass is now not standing up because it’s too damp. Is there anything else I should adjust? I do want less frequent watering. I have adjusted the nozzle per inch to allow about 30 mins of watering.

You need to know the soil type you have. Sandy Loam is COMPLETELY different than Clay, and it is not dependent on how far the screwdriver will go in. I have nice, solid Clay, and the screwdriver will go in pretty easily when wet, and almost not at all when dry. Clay holds a lot more moisture than Sand (although that doesn’t really make sense to me, it’s true).

If you’re certain that 30 minutes is the right amount of water to apply, then fine, but changing nozzle inches per hour without knowing what it actually is, or deviating from recommended values without knowing better, isn’t a great idea. It’s best to be sure of this value, either by spray head specifications or measurement.

The variance of nozzle inches is really only from .8 to the default of 1. I do have a bunch of tuna cans that I have to put down and measure how long it gets me to a half in, but it does take just about 25 mins or so.

I am able to just tell that the backyard top layer is always wet. Since this is a new lawn this year stated from seed, I really want to try and develop deep roots. Which is why I want to allow the ground to dry out more between waterings

Aerate your lawn with a core aerator every 1-3 years. Make sure you flag the sprinkler heads to not damage them during aeration.

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Yup I do that every year, and overseed too. I think a lot of this compaction is from last fall we put in a retaining wall and regraded the back.