Lawn aeration is the secret weapon in making your lawn healthy. Aeration involves making holes in the lawn either by pushing a rod into it or by "coring", extracting a plug of soil. By aerating your lawn you provide the following benefits to your lawn and its root system:
- Oxygen gets to the roots and the soil allowing it to "breathe"
- Organic fertilizers and nutrients get access to the root system
- Water is able to better soak the soil and reach the root system
- Helps to break up thatch
- Tight, compacted soil is loosened up allowing the root system to grow
Pick Your Tool!
You have two basic choices when it comes to lawn aerators; Manual or Power.
The Manual Aerator is a tool you use standing up and has 2 or 4 hollow cylinders you plunge into the soil with your foot to extract "cores", "plugs" or "cylinders" of soil. Another type of manual aerator has 2 or 4 spikes which do not remove soil but just create holes. Aerators that extract soil plugs are preferred. These manual tools do a very good job but are pretty labor intensive.
The Power Aerator is usually a commercial tool that can be rented at many tool rental stores and are very useful for large lawns. This tool also comes in spike and coring versions. Use the coring version if at all possible. If you don't, you're not removing soil to allow the roots to expand. Power aerators can be a bit large and take some muscle to control so be careful when using this tool.