What tool do you use to aerate a lawn?

May, 2022
Darren Spalding

The Brinly Tow-Behind Spike Aerator is a great choice if you'd rather not deal with cleaning messy cores. Think of this machine as the most versatile lawn aerator. Simple and inexpensive hand tools can effectively aerate your lawn, but it takes some effort to punch enough holes to make a difference. Larger 10-inch wheels make towing easier.

The heaviest lawn aerators need the assistance of a tractor or lawn mower to tow the unit and pull up the earth plugs effectively.

Can I aerate my lawn manually?

The grass should be left untouched for at least three weeks after aeration (use your watering flags and some tape to block access to the lawn. If you want to avoid the cost of hiring a landscaper for hundreds of dollars, use this DIY guide to best practices for using a grass aerator and help you determine when it's time to get down to work. If the soil is too wet or too dry, you should not aerate it or you risk damaging your lawn. The most common and often efficient way to aerate a lawn at home is to rent a core aerator machine from a local tool rental company.

Can I aerate my lawn with a pitchfork?

You must insert the fork vertically and take it out in the same direction without tipping it back or forward. So you have a small lawn that might only be 6-8 square feet, then it's okay, get a pitchfork and have your lawn aerated. We've discussed the importance of aerating your lawn between every year and once every three years, depending on the composition of your garden. Instead of raking and removing the earth plugs that the aerator leaves, leave them where they lie. Eventually, foot traffic and rain will bring these cores back into the ground bed.

Technically, aerating with a machine is similar to using a fork, unless you use a plug aerator, which may be slightly better for very heavily compacted soils.

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