I don’t know about you but this weather has gotten me itching to get out in the yard and start raking. But then I was reminded of the words of a landscaper I talked to the other day for an article I was working on. She said NEVER rake the yard right after the snow melts. And it makes sense. The ground is still saturated which can and probably will cause compaction.
Compaction is bad for the soil and the plants that need good soil to thrive. In a healthy soil, 50% is soil particles–sand, silt and clay. The other 50% is pore space for air and water. People think of plants as taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, which they do. However, the roots take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide just like people do. Compaction effectively closes the pore spaces, making it hard for roots to get the water and oxygen they need.
So what can an eager gardener do? Relax, take it easy, watch more March Madness basketball or take a walk. But don’t rake. At least not until it dries up a little more.