Lawn aeration is the first step to preparing a healthy lawn. You can aerate your lawn manually or with a machine, but the results will include improved growth and color. It’s also a great way to revive lawns that suffer from brown spots.
Aerators poke holes into the soil. These holes help break up dry compacted soil and aerate, or increase oxygen intake, to the roots, resulting in healthier grass. The holes also improve the soil’s ability to supply nutrients and water to the grass roots.
A manual aerator is best for small yards. It is a handheld tool that you push into the lawn repeatedly to create holes. Some models have spikes that push holes, while others have hollow cylinders that pull out plugs of soil when pushed into the lawn. Either way, expect to get a good workout manually aerating your lawn.
Power aerators follow the same principle as the manual ones, but they are run by a power motor, which makes poking the earth a lot easier. These are big machines, so they’re still heavy to push around the yard. They are also expensive machines, so the best bet is to rent an aerator for a few hours to do your lawn instead of investing in buying your own.
You can make the aerating task easier by watering your lawn deeply the day before you plan to aerate. Or do it the day after a heavy rain. When the soil is moist, it will be easier to poke. Know where your sprinkler lines are located before you aerate so you don’t spike them accidentally. A sprinkling of gypsum before ar after you aerate can help to break down really tough soil.