Unfortunately, obtaining a beautiful green lawn is not quite as simple as waiting for rain. Owners must water, mow, and fertilise to grow healthy grass. The best lawns have nutrient-rich soils for the grass to feed on, but many soils lack the necessary nutrients. Simply spreading fertiliser over the top of the grass is not necessarily enough. An aerator pokes or digs holes in the grass so fertilisers can get beneath the surface to the roots of the grass. The aerating process also gives the roots more room to grow and expand.
Determining the Need for Aeration
Many factors are important when it comes to aerating lawns, and not everyone needs to do it. One of the benefits of aerating is giving the roots space to spread out, and those with high-traffic lawns should definitely aerate. Highly compacted soil makes it hard for grass to grow. Lawns that do not have much exposure to water also benefit from aerating because the holes help water seep deeper into the soil. Lawns that feature layers of imported soil need aeration. The layers negatively affect water drainage, and the holes break up that layering.
Powered Aeration Tools
Individuals who have large lawns and want the highest quality lawn care equipment should consider powered aerator tools. A spike aerator has long forks that drive into the ground to poke holes. Plug aerators dig into the lawn and actually remove plugs of dirt. Removing a plug is generally more effective because the hole is larger, and it gives the roots the most amount of space to grow. Poking a hole just loosens the soil and does not help as much with compacted soil. However, poking holes does help with water and fertiliser absorption. With either tool, the holes should penetrate the soil at least 5 cm to 8 cm, and a plug aerator should dig holes from 1.2 cm to 1.9 cm in diameter. Ideally, holes should also be 5 cm to 8 cm apart.
Manual Aeration Tools
The most common option is to use a manual aeration tool. The three types of manual devices include aeration shoes, handheld aeration tools, and push-behind aeration tools. The "shoes" consist of a flat base with spikes on one side that the user attaches to the soles of boots before stomping around on the grass. The handheld units often resemble pitchforks, and the user drives the tines into the ground. Push-behind aeration devices have spikes attached to a rotating cylinder that the user pushes across the lawn. Most devices, except some handheld tools, poke holes rather than remove plugs, so they work best for basic care. A hollow tine handheld aerator does pull plugs.