When you need to pick an aerator for your lawn, there are several you can choose from. Each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Ten of the most common aerators are listed below:
1. Soil conditioner. Also called soil amendments, these products come in liquid form and improve your soil’s condition. Since there is something for every lawn problem, some products will aerate the dirt, breaking up the compressed soil with chemicals or with solid amendments to make the soil loamy. These are especially good for soils that are mostly clay and will continually get re-compacted if the soil itself is not improved. These products are best used with other types of aeration since they do not work well enough in lawns that are not already in great condition.
2. Liquid lawn aerator. Attached to a hose or diluted with water and sprayed on, these aerate chemically. The liquid seeps into the soil, attaches to the dirt molecules and then expands out, breaking them up and leaving more space and air. While these kinds typically work better than other soil conditioners, they still are best with other types of aerators for lawns.
There are pages on our site dedicated to each type of aeration below
Hand Aerators, Liquid Aeration, Pull or Tow Aerators,
Aerator Rentals, Aeration Shoes
Spike Aerators, Rolling Aerators, Plug Aerator
3. Spiked shoes. Specially designed garden shoes with tiny spikes attached to the bottom poke little holes in your yard as you walk on it. Inexpensive and easy-to-use, you just slip them on as you do your normal yard work. They do not do a great job, but are good for counteracting the compaction that happens as you walk on the turf.
4. Spiked mowing wheels. These are wheels for your lawnmower that have spikes all along them that make little holes as you mow. These shallow holes close-up quickly and will only be where the wheels went. They can make the lawnmower harder to push. Still, they are cheap and do not need any extra time to use.
5. Spiked hand tool. Consisting of a handle with two or three solid tines along a crossbar at the bottom, this lawn aerator will take a long time to use and does not give the better holes and benefits that come from aerators that remove dirt plugs. A manual coring aerator is a better choice if you plan on spending the extra time.
6. Push spiked aerator. Similar to a reel lawnmower, you push the spiked cylinder along the ground. It makes a lot of holes and is faster than a hand tool, but does not do as good a job as the coring aerators for lawn will.
7. Spiked rolling drum. These lawn aerating drums are pulled by a tractor or lawnmower and pulled over the ground for aerating lawn. They are great at going across rocks, bumps, and other obstructions, but make holes that fill-up faster than coring types.
8. Coring manual aerator. Like the spiked kinds, these push into the ground with your hand and foot. However, since the coring ones remove dirt from the hole, the benefits to the roots and grass are greater. They are difficult to push into hard ground and it takes time. They are great for any missed or trouble spots after or in-between mechanical aerating.
9. Gas-powered coring aerator. Similar to a gas-powered lawnmower, you either walk behind or stand on these machines as they mechanically send the coring tines into the ground and back out again. They are heavy and is hard to maneuver, but self-propelled machines with power lift and other user-friendly features make them easier to use. They do a great job quickly. While they are expensive to buy, renting is easy and affordable.
10. Tow behind aerator. Like the spiked kind, these use a tractor or lawnmower to move them along. These are the best for large lawns and give you the deepest, most long-lasting holes that give the greatest benefits for the lawn. However, they are wider and larger. They are a great choice for commercial properties, but not the best choice for most residential lawns.
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