How to Get a 2 Inch Plug
If you want to pull a 2 inch plug, it is going to depend on many factors and not just the aerator. For instance, a lot of times, it helps out if you water your lawn the night before for about an hour.
Also, you get deeper plugs in the morning as opposed to aerating your lawn in the afternoon. This is because clay in the soil is a lot less compact when the soil temperatures are cooler.
The time of year is also important. Most people like to have their lawns in the spring or during the fall, because of the cooler temperatures and the softer soil.
Make sure that you have all of your weights in your aerator and add water to your drum. If you push the back-end of the aerator down (and the front end up) while you’re using it, you can also get slightly deeper plugs.
If I were going to buy one today , I would look for it used one on Craigslist. Sometimes, you can find them used for about $500 used. Make sure that there is still a lot of tread left on the tine. Looking at the tines will help you decide how much a machine has been used. As an aerator gets older, the tines pull out fatter plugs and they also get shorter. I am not sure what kind of budget you are working on. Most people think it is better to just spend $40-$50 to get an aerator rental. But if you plan on aerating your lawn twice a year, I would recommend that you buy one. My favorite brand of aerator is the Green Ryan Aerator. It can pull a good 2 inch plug as long as the soil was watered well the night before, and it has the weights in it and a full water barrel.
A Bluebird lawn aerator, does not typically go as deep into the soil, but it works well in the spring and in the Fall (although a skinny 424 model will always go deep, the trouble is finding these models.) A Bluebird salesman will show you that there is a lever on the machine that will adjust your depth. But don’t listen to the salesman, because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Lawn aerators will always go as deep as they can. You get deeper plugs by changing the conditions of the soil or adding more weight to your machine.
A Clauson aerator is basically the same design as a Ryan so I assume that it works well. A Billy Goat Aerator is hard to maneuver and I would not recommend it unless you have a flat lawn. If you do have a flat lawn it works great.
If you’re going to use a hand aerator,you should use core aerator. And you should definitely water your lawn a few hours before you do it. This will give water a chance to sink into the soil and make your job with the hand aerator much easier. I like the model with two open prongs the best.
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