A lawn aerator is a tool/equipment well known to gardeners who are interested in the well-being of their lawn, or who may have encountered difficulties with it. The lawn aerator is used in regular, annual maintenance, as it can be used to correct its soil before sowing, or in case of problems (water retention, poor assimilation). Be that as it may, the lawn aerator is considered one of the necessary equipment to maintain and obtain a quality turf.
Why use a lawn aerator?
Turf needs three vital elements to grow: water, air, and nutrients. The goal of gardening is to put the plants (and grass) in the best possible conditions so that they can develop at best, and so be able to enjoy. We must then regularly ensure that the grass can benefit from the three vital elements.
The earth plays a primordial role. The roots of the grass are implanted there to find stability, to develop there, and to benefit from the influx of water, nutrients which are deposited on the surface and mix with the earth, and with air.
Only the earth can not always allow the circulation of its elements: it is the case of soils too clayey by nature, or packed and compacted soils.
To know that the earth moves permanently and that if your soil is sufficiently ventilated at the time of your sowing, the rain, the trampling, the passage of the mower will cause the crushing of the ground.
The ground becomes more and more compact until it is no longer conducive to the development of quality turf. The roots do not grow easily; the water infiltrates with difficulty, the air no longer circulates in the earth, the nutrients are blocked.
It must then be remedied on pain of never seeing his turf flourish: it is necessary to change the structure of the soil, unpack the earth, or aerate the grass. And that’s exactly the role the lawn aerator plays.
How to use a lawn aerator?
- To aerate the grass, it is better to work on slightly moist soil to facilitate the penetration of the peaks in the soil.
It is better to clean your grass (leaves, branches) and mow it before carrying out the aeration, to reach more easily the surface of the ground.
- The lawn must be traversed uniformly. A double pass may be necessary if the ground is very compact at places of passage and heavy trampling.
- There are two types of peaks, full peaks that pierce holes, and valleys that pull out cores of the earth. Carrots can be reused as surface topdressing, or added to compost.
- The holes must be filled. By river sand (large and light and unlike fine sand that will be too compact) if the soil is clay and very heavy, or by adding compost or light soil and rich in nutrients. This input can be enriched with seasonal turf fertilizer.
To fill these holes and spread the amendment, the passage of the rake is enough.
When to use a lawn aerator?
Ideally, aeration should be done just before your lawn grows so that it can quickly and easily fill the gap left by aeration. Some grass has a peak in the spring and fall, others only in the summer. Then try to ventilate your lawn two weeks before the good period.
Good ventilation should be done every three years unless your land becomes unusually compact in less time.
You can also perform lighter aeration every year, between the big vents.
Different types of lawn aerator
Manual turf aerator (Grass turner)
This manual aerator sinks easily into the slightly damp soil and removes carrots through its hollow peaks. The removed carrots can be reused in the compost or mixed with potting soil for the amendment.
The beaker fork
The beer fork (Biofourche, Grelinette, Biobêche) is simple to use: manual, you drag it on the ground and push it into the lawn with ease thanks to foot support. It has solid peaks and does not remove carrots. You can fill the small holes obtained (about 15cm deep) with potting soil.
The aerator to push
The push aerator is composed of a roller equipped with picks and a handle to train it. During the rotation, the peaks sink slightly into the ground and create the small holes useful for slight aeration of the turf.
The aerator sole (aerator pad)
The most unusual method to aerate the turf, and yet not the least practical or least effective. Spike soles, or spiked shoes, are fixed under your shoe and allow to ventilate the grass by simply walking on it. The aeration is not deep, but this technique allows extra ventilation that can be performed regularly.
The aerator roller
The aerator roller and a garden roller supplemented by spikes. It is trainable like a conventional lawn roller and, depending on its weight, allows you to pick the ground deeply.
Peak circles are available on the market, to equip yourself with your lawn roller.
The motorized aerators allow cottering a big ground without efforts. Their peaks are also fixed on a rotating cylinder. The depth of coring is generally variable. Some do not care but are equipped with spiked rollers.