For most people, it is probably better to use a mechanical lawn aerator than a liquid aerator. They actually cost about the same, but a mechanical one is more effective. In order for liquid lawn aeration to work effectively, you have to do two or 3 applications.
Whether you use a liquid or an aerator rental, it will end up costing you about $45 to $55 either way. So it really comes down to what I think works the best. And whether you are physically capable of using a lawn aerator.
If you are not able to use an aerator rental because you are elderly, you might be better off using a liquid aerator. Although, to me it seems like liquid aerators work sometimes and sometimes they don’t. When you use a core aerator to aerate your lawn, it nearly always works. If you can rent a lawn aerator, this would probably work better for your lawn in most cases. Also, if you rent an aerator you can go over your lawn twice for the same cost, and you get almost as much benefit the second time you aerate your lawn as the first. With a liquid aeration, you pay per application, so if you put twice as much liquid on your lawn, it ends up costing you twice as much money.
The best way to aerate your lawn is to use both a liquid aerator and a core aerator. The benefits of liquid aeration and core aeration are actually slightly different and so they don’t really overlap that much. A core aerator mechanically allows room for root growth and development so that your grass will be much healthier and stronger. As a grass gets stronger it breaks down the clay soil. A liquid aerator breaks down the clay soil so that the grass will have an easier time growing. The liquid aerator changes the soil and stimulates grass growth, the core aerator stimulates grass growth which changes the soil. On top of that, you will also have an easier time getting liquid aerator to work on your lawn if you have already gone over with a core aerator.
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