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How To Aerate Lawn Manually

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Powered Types Of Aerators

Core Aerating Your Lawn | Manual Core Aerator

For larger lawns, or if you prefer to spare your back, gas-powered aerators make the job relatively quick and easy. These heavy-duty aerators usually remove plugs of soil and grass, which is the best method of lawn aeration. Lawn aerator rental is available at many garden centers or home improvement stores.

  • Pull-behind aerators look like manual drum aerators, but instead of muscling the aerating tool, a riding lawn mower does the work. This means that pull-behind aerators like the Agri-Fab Tow Plug Aerator can be heavier and spikier than manual lawn aerators, thus they can also be more effective.
  • Gas-powered aerators look like lawnmowers, but instead of spinning blades that cut grass, they have spinning spikes that aerate the soil. Some multi-functional models like the VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher Scarifier and Aerator contain an additional dethatcher drum for added convenience.

What Are The Types Of Lawn Aerators

  • Pull-Behind Core-plug Aerators like the Agri-Fab

  • Pull-Behind Motorized Spike Aerators like the Craftsman

  • Electric Motorized Dethatchers such as this one from Greenworks

  • Inexpensive Manual plug aeration tools like the Yard Barber

  • Aeration Shoes Like this model from Punchau

  • Manual rolling drums with spikes for Yard Tuff SE

  • Liquid Aeration This is one youve probably never heard of Liquid Aeration

Whatever Lawn Aerator you choose should depend on the size of your lawn and your budget

In the end, they all serve a similar function which is to loosen up soil and dirt so the roots of the grass can absorb more air, water, and nutrients.

Types Of Lawn Aeration

Core Aeration: This type of aeration removes small plugs of soil from the lawn to improve air circulation, water drainage, and fertilizer uptake.

Spike Aeration: Otherwise known as plug aeration, this type of aeration simply creates small holes in the lawn without removing any plugs of soil.

Liquid Aeration: This type of aeration uses a liquid spray containing nutrients that will encourage more pore space in the soil. This method does not require homeowners to mark sprinkler heads as it does not puncture the soil layer.

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What Is A Lawn Aerator And What Does It Do

Aerating your lawn is part of a spring and autumn lawn care regime and there are two different methods of aerating your lawn:

  • Spiking this involves using solid spikes to create holes in the lawn, which are a couple of millimetres in width and several centimetres deep, to help relieve compacted soil.
  • Hollow tining as it sounds, hollow tines are pushed into the ground to remove cylindrical plugs of turf, around a centimetre wide and a few centimetres deep. Depending on the soil type, you may wish to fill these holes with a sandy mix or leave them to let the soil expand and close the holes, which helps with waterlogged clay soil.

What Is Lawn Aeration

Preparing For Lawn Aeration : Fall Lawn Care: Why You Need to Aerate ...

Lawn aeration, coring, and aerifying are different terms you might hear for the same procedure. A core aerator removes plugs of soil from your lawn, which helps loosen compacted soil and allows vital air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. You can either aerate your lawn yourself or call a lawn service. If you plan to DIY, rent an aerator and follow these tips.

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Is Aeration Good For Your Lawn

Aeration is good for a lawn, and a task that you might want to undertake once a year. The reason aeration makes a lawn healthier is that compacted soil prevents water and nutrients reaching the roots of the grass, as well as air. The problem might show up when the lawn is under stress in hot weather or periods of low rainfall, when it loses its verdant color, thins and even dies.

Once the compaction is alleviated air, water and nutrients can get to the roots and thicker and healthier grass should be the result.

Dont Remove The Plugs

The plugs removed during aeration are best left scattered about on your lawn near the hole they left behind. Do not consider removing these plugs because they contain vital elements that need to be restored to your lawn. Instead of gathering and removing plugs, you can run over them with a lawnmower after they have dried. Running plugs over with a lawnmower or breaking them up with a rake allows the plugs to disintegrate and return to the holes they came from.

Aeration is like a facelift for your yard, and the plugs are a necessary part of the process. The plugs will disappear in less than a few weeks, and the overall improvement in the health and appearance of your lawn will be dynamic.

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Yard Butler Lawn Aerator

  • LAWN DETHATCHER: The Yard Butler Lawn Coring…
  • DURABLE: The Yard Butler lawn aerator tool was…
  • PRODUCE STRONG & HEALTHY ROOT SYSTEM: It is a…

The Yard Butler Lawn Aerator is a great choice as the best manual lawn aeratorif you have a small space to aerate. Its a manual step aerator with only two coring sections, though they are 4 long.

Its best qualities are its price and its ease of use. If you have a very small space to aerate only occasionally, getting a larger machine is simply overkill. The Yard Butler will do the job just fine.

One caveat: be gentle when aerating, as you can bend the metal if youre rough with it.

When Lawns Need Aeration

How to Aerate, Spike & Hollow Tine a Lawn

It may not seem your lawn could get compacted, but it happens easier than you may think. Vehicles or small equipment driven on lawns are more obvious offenders, but even outdoor entertaining or yard play by kids and pets can leave all or part of your lawn compacted. If you live where heavy clay soil is the norm, annual aeration is probably needed to keep your lawn from becoming thin and weak.

Dethatching and aerating are two different tasks, but they often go hand in hand. Thatch is the layer of decomposing organic matter that forms right at the lawn surface, between soil and grass. When thatch gets more than 1/2 inch thick, it works like compaction to prevent the flow of air, water and nutrients grasses need. Aggressive spreading grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrassin northern lawns and Bermudagrass down south, form more thatch than many other grass types. Aeration helps penetrate and reduce thatch buildup or prep it for removal through dethatching.

If your grass often looks stressed and your soil is hard to the touch or rainwater puddles up where it used to be absorbed, you may have compaction problems. Confirm your suspicions with a simple “screwdriver test.” Take a regular screwdriver and stick it into your lawn’s soil by hand. It should slide in fairly easily. If you meet resistance, your soil is compacted, and aeration can help.

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Core Aeration For Lawns

The best method of lawn aeration is to use a core aerator . This is the method professionals use.

But most home centers and equipment rental services will rent you a professional core aerator which you can use on your own lawn to save money.

These aerators actually make rows with small spikes that remove the plugs of soil from the lawn. The aerator leaves these plugs on top of your lawn.

Not every machine is the same, and there are different variations of sizes with different widths and depths.

What Tools You Need To Aerate

The Kent & Stowe Stainless Steel Lawn Aerator 4 Prong is an ideal tool to use. The 4 hollow tines remove cores from the earth by simply pressing into the ground using the footplate. The tines are conically shaped for easy penetration into the soil and create spaces for air, water and nutrients to directly access the grass roots. The holes created reach the lower levels of soil to improve drainage. This tool is also known as a hollow tine fork.

Alternatively, a spike aerator or garden fork can be used to simply poke holes into the ground. This approach is not as effective as soil is compacted to create holes rather than removed, but can still help with aeration. You should be aiming to create holes approximately 5-10 cm deep and approximately 10-15 cm apart.

For very large areas you can hire or purchase a powered lawn aerator for the job, as it can be very hard work.

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Can I Aerate My Lawn In November

For warm-season grasses it is too late to aerate once the growing season has passed in late summer into early fall. For cool-season grasses, late fall into early winter is too late to aerate.

Can you overseed in late fall?

Dormant seeding is the collective term for overseeding lawns in late fall and winter, when soil temperatures are too cold to allow grass seed to germinate. In the mid-west, the opportunity for dormant seeding is best from mid-November through early March, while soil temperatures remain below 50 degrees.

Can you overseed grass in fall?

Fall is the best time to overseed a lawn or repair thin or bare areas. Cool nights and mild, shorter days provide the ideal conditions for seed germination. Grass seed is better able to retain moisture during the fall, and seedlings will thrive without the extreme heat that occurs in the summer months.

Do you have to aerate your lawn in the fall?

If you were fertilizing, aerating, and overseeding your lawn in the spring, youll want to make sure you do it again in the fall. That second round is vitally important to help the roots of your lawn become as strong as possible before the frost. There are a few things you can do to give your lawn the best chance to thrive next spring.

Which is the best type of aeration for lawn?

Aeration can improve the health of your grass, allowing roots to grow deeper and stronger. Core aeration is the best type of lawn aeration.

What does a core aerator do to a lawn?

Shoe Spike Lawn Aerators

Lawn Aerator machine Garden Manual Aerators Tool Yard Grass Cultivator ...

Cost: $25 to $30.

Lawn shoe spikes, like EnvyGreen Lawn Aerator Shoes, dont relieve much soil compaction or eliminate thatch. If youre intrigued by them, go ahead and give them a try. The investment is minimal and they give you some physical exercise. But be careful. Theyre cumbersome and can land you in Urgent Care with a twisted ankle.

They may give you a warm and fuzzy feeling that youre helping your lawn, but I cant honestly recommend them. Huge gimmick factor here.

My Rating: 3 Thumbs Down.

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How We Tested Lawn Aerators

To see how well lawn aerators perform, the GW reviews team tested a range of models across a range of garden situations creating holes and slits in different turf and ground conditions. Before we started, we checked for any wildlife in the grass and organic debris on the lawn surface. The lawn aerators were compared, and the following criteria used to calculate the scores, with equal weight given to each:

  • Set-up & storage: We looked at the assembly needed, ease and clarity of instructions, any storage features and, where relevant, the cable length.
  • Handling: We assessed ease of use, weight, noise levels, comfort and safety features.
  • Performance: Considered the strength of the tines or blades, as well as how well they created holes and slits in the lawn. For the 2-in-1 machines, we also evaluated how well the spring tines removed moss and thatch in the scarifying mode.
  • Value for money: We reviewed all of the above, plus quality and design, the RRP and the length of warranty.

For more information on our testing process see How we Review

This review was last updated in April 2022. Unfortunately, prices change and things go out of stock so we apologise if anything has changed.

Use A Manual Core Or Spike Aerator

A manual spike or core aerator operates similarly to a pitchfork. The tool has spikes or hollow tubes on the end that puncture holes in the soil. The biggest difference between a manual aerator and a pitchfork is that the aerator is designed specifically for aerating your lawn, so the spikes are short enough to avoid penetrating the soil too deeply. Additionally, and the handles are designed for extended use which prevents cramping and general discomfort.

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How To Aerate A Lawn Manually

You can aerate a lawn manually using a fork. Spike the lawn deeply with the fork at intervals of around 12in , and then move it backwards and forwards to enlarge the holes.

This is a method thats suitable for small areas, but its really better to use a purpose-made tool. Manual options include rollers with spikes on, and even a contraption that attaches to your shoes and spikes the lawn as you walk, says Carlos. This is a good option as you can kill two birds with one stone by wearing them when you are mowing the lawn.

If youre buying a manual aerator, look for a core or plug version, which actually remove plugs of grass and soil from the lawn as one of these is more effective than a spike design.

How To Tell If You Need To Aerate Your Lawn

How to Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn – 5 Easy Steps

If you have a lawn, you may need to aerate it at some point to keep it healthy. First, take a look at your lawn and look for a few signs that it may need to be aerated. For example, look for compacted soil or thinning grass. Also, try an easy trick to tell if your lawn is overly compacted. Just look for footprints or tire tracks that remain after someone has walked or driven over the lawn. Additionally, the grass may also look flatter than healthy grass, because the blades are easily crushed on the compacted ground.

If you cant see any grass blades when you look down at your lawn, then its time to aerate. If you see brown patches in your lawn, then it is likely that the roots are not getting enough water. Also, large amounts of thatch is another clear sign of the need for aeration. Your thatch layer is too thick if you have an overly spongy lawn, so test your lawn to see if it feels too spongy and awkward to walk on.

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Diy Lawn Aeration Tips

If youre looking for a DIY version of aeration, you can simply use a sturdy garden fork. Just insert the fork into the lawn and wriggle it back and forth to fracture the soil profile.

For more DIY aeration options check out seven make-at-home versions online here.

However you choose to aerate, you need to cover your lawn effectively and aim for spacing between the holes of around 8 10cm. You might even need to go over the area twice in a different direction each time to ensure full coverage. If your lawn is on the larger side, you can hire a specialised aerator to tackle the job. A spiked roller is also useful for lawn aeration for incorporating lime, gypsum, or coarse sand into the profile of your grass to improve drainage and pH levels.

You could also consider core aeration, which unlike regular aeration simply punches holes in the ground, removing a plug of soil from your lawn at the same time. Core aeration helps manage thatch build-up by introducing thatch-decomposing microorganisms from the soil to the top of the thatch layer and more importantly, relieves soil compaction. Remember to leave the plugs of turf for at least 1-2 weeks as they will break down and feed nutrients back to your lawns roots. We know its tempting to clean up but let them feed your lawn and youll reap the rewards in the coming weeks and months.

How To Take Care Of Your Yard After Aeration

After all the hard work and sweat you put into aerating your lawn, dont let your beautiful yard go to waste. Take the right steps to help maximize the growth of your grass.

Do not remove any dirt or lumps of sod after the aeration process. These will decompose over time. The grass should remain untouched for at least three weeks after aeration Finally, youll want to water your grass only once per day after the initial 30 days have passed. Avoid using your lawnmower unless your lawn is taller than 3.5 inches.

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Aerate Your Lawn On A Budget

If your lawn is the pride and joy of your property, its pretty disappointing when it starts struggling to grow or just isnt looking quite as green and lush as it used to. In these cases, its probably due for some aeration. Buying an aerating machine, renting one, or hiring a landscaping service can all be quite expensive, and many homeowners may not have space in the budget for these investments. Luckily, there are some simpler ways you can successfully aerate your lawn. Enhance your curb appeal without breaking the bank with these tips.

  • Aerating tool of your choice

  • Lawn fertilizer

While the easiest way to aerate your lawn is to hook up pull-behind aerator attachments to your riding lawnmower or ATV, these can get pricey and are only effective if you have the right machine to pull it. Especially for a smaller lawn, you can aerate it effectively without investment in any heavy machinery.

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