Lawn Aerator

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Lawn Aerator

A lawn aerator is a gardening tool used to reduce compaction of soil so that lawn grass can grow more easily. It also helps to control lawn thatch, the layer of dead plant material that can choke off oxygen from living grass. Lawn thatch and compacted soil makes it difficult for grass roots to grow, and impedes the flow of rainwater as it drains into the ground.

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An aerator can be either the spike type, which uses wedge-like spikes to make holes in the ground, or the core type, which has hollow tines that penetrate the soil and pull out plugs of dirt, leaving behind holes. Spike aerators are not very useful because the spikes further compact the soil and the holes made don’t last very long. Core aerators actually remove soil from the ground, reducing soil compaction and creating more permanent holes that bring in oxygen for the roots. Also, the decomposition of the soil plugs on the ground surface helps to break down lawn thatch.

A powered aerator runs from a gasoline engine, weighs several hundred pounds, and can quickly take care of a large lawn — such an aerator can be quite expensive, but it can be rented by an individual by the day. Manual aerators have several tines set upon a step-on bar, and are very light in weight. To operate, you step down on the bar to push the tines in to the ground. A handle on the tool retracts the tines. The next step down onto the bar pushes the previous soil plugs out of the hollow tines as they get pushed into the ground. A manual aerator is much slower than a powered one. The advantages of a manual aerator are cost, ease of use, and adaptability.

The best time of year to aerate a lawn is in the autumn. Summertime, with its dry weather, is usually not a good time for lawn aeration because rain is an essential ingredient to complete the purpose of an aeration. In the spring, there may be enough rain, but weeds that are starting to grow at that time will also benefit from aeration, and you do not want to help the growth of weeds.

Water the lawn the night before using an aerator — the soil and thatch will be easier to penetrate if you allow water to soak in overnight. Start as early as you can in the day, because, even if using a powered aerator, the process takes a long time, even for a small lawn. Use an aerator with .5″ tines, and make the holes no more than 2″ apart from each other. Set a pattern so that you don’t use the aerator on the same area twice — but, the soil plugs and holes left behind should let you know where you’ve already aerated.

Lawn aeration should be considered essential annual maintenance for all homeowners. Aeration creates a healthy lush lawn that can only improve a property’s value.


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One comment

  1. brisbane lawn mowing

    My lawn needs mowing if you’re really bored. I have bloody work.

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