The Best Type of Lawn AeratorBy: Roxanne Nichols
There is a bit of mystery surrounding the lawn aerator. What does it do? Which type is best? When do you use it? A lawn plug aerator is actually one of the most important tools to keeping your grass healthy. This is a specific type of aerator. Not just any will do. Here are the reasons why:
- Lawn plug aerators actually remove plugs of soil from the lawn, which opens up spaces for air and water to penetrate.
- These lawn plug aerators are vastly superior to a punch aerator or aerating shoes because they actually remove the soil, rather than pushing it down further.
- The purpose of aerating is to alleviate compaction, so removal of soil is more likely to do that than pushing soil further down.
- Some lawns need more organic matter added to the soil and removing plugs of soil creates space for the top-dressing organic matter to incorporate into the soil.
- Most often, lawn plug aerators work with hydraulic systems, giving them the power to reach a much deeper soil layer than an aerator/roller combination.
When To Use a Lawn Aerator
If you can find an aerator to rent, all the better. Most of the time, though, if you want the benefit of a lawn plug aerator, you will have to hire a professional lawn care service to aerate your lawn for you. They are more likely to have the equipment, or have access to it. The best time to aerate your lawn is in the spring or fall. Doing so in the fall will help the lawn if you overseed it. It will also relieve compaction from heavy use during the summer season. During the fall, roots of grass grow quickly, so the extra space, air and water will aid good root growth before the grass goes dormant or slows growth for the winter. The spring is a good time to aerate to incorporate organic matter into the soil, and to aid with lawn renovation.
Lawn Care Before and After Aerating
Before you deploy the lawn aerator, mow your grass slightly lower than normal and water it well for two to three days before aerating. Next, use the lawn plug aerator to aerate the lawn. You will want to break up the clods, and help the lawn recover from the stress of aerating, so you need to water the lawn again immediately after you are finished aerating. To improve your soil structure, a couple of days after aerating, top-dress with a compost/topsoil blend and rake it into the holes. Earthworms and soil insects will work in the new addition, improving the soil quickly. Using a lawn aerator the right way will improve the health of your lawn, thus reducing the amount of time you will need to spend caring for it.