When it’s time for lawn aerating, you want to use the correct tools and products. The three general methods of aerating are liquid, manual and mechanical. What you use depends on the condition and needs of the lawn.
Liquid aerators are typically sprayed on the grass and then seep into the ground where they chemically attach to the dirt molecules and expand, adding space and air to the soil. The main benefit is that they are easy to use and are put on throughout the growing season. They are great when used other methods, but liquid aeration will often not make as big a difference or last as long as the manual or mechanical aerating will.
Push, roll or step manual aerators stepped into the ground. They have either solid spikes or hollow prongs. Spiked aerators come in various forms, including garden shoes with spikes along the bottom. These are great to wear when you are out doing yard work as an easy way to do a little aeration while you do other things. Unfortunately most spiked aerators don’t do as good of a job as coring ones because they don’t pull out actual dirt cores from the ground.
A manual coring tool is great for lawn aerating since the holes left not only add space and air to the ground but expose the roots to water, fertilizers and other products you put on the lawn. The roots get easy access what they need for healthy grass and have room to grow more deeply into the ground instead of stretching horizontally in the looser couple of inches of topsoil. While it will take a while to do a large lawn with a manual tool, they are fine for smaller areas and for touch-up.
Mechanical aerators have several prongs that enter and leave the ground by the force of a fuel-powered engine. They will put the deepest holes in the lawn and are quicker for large areas. Since they are the hardest on the lawn, aerate only in the spring or fall when there is plenty of moisture and mild temperatures. Mechanical lawn aerating is good to do annually with the other methods for touch-ups and maintaining good lawn appearance and health in between.
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