Have you ever planted a new flowerbed or re-seeded your lawn and a few weeks or month later it seems that it has sunk? The plants are doing fine, but the soil line is lower than it was. Where did the soil go? You don’t have a slope or a ditch where water would erode the bed, nonetheless, the path is suddenly higher than the begonias and/or the patio is now an inch or two above the grass.

Soil Settles

The process you have encountered is not erosion, it’s more of a settling. When you churned up the soil where you planted your new plants or seed, air got mixed in and essentially inflated the volume. As the area was watered, the soil settled back down eliminating the spaces you created around the plants or under your grass.

Tamp it Down

Grass is actually better if it is planted over soil that has been tamped down so you have an even surface that will stay put. Tamping is the action of pressing down the soil so it is tight and even. You’ve probably seen this done or done it yourself with a garden roller. Leave the top two inches of soil loose so you can plant the seeds and they can easily sprout and take hold. By the way, growing grass is a great way to cut down on erosion in sloping areas.

Add Compost

You can add organic material to your soil to help keep moisture high. Adding compost will minimize the soil shrinkage and help your plants and grass grow. Composting is easy to do, and you have all the supplies on hand–grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, newspapers, and coffee grounds. It’s easy on your budget and good for your soil. If you add a layer of compost each year, you will ensure that your grass keeps growing and you will maintain your soil level.