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The Best Aerator to Spruce Up Your Lawn

by Shannon Lee, All About Lawns Columnist

Aerating your lawn is part of proper maintenance--but where to begin? A good lawn aerator makes all the difference, and understanding why you should aerate in the first place is just as important.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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The Basics of Lawn Aeration

Everyday foot traffic on your lawn can combine with rain and lead to compacted soil. Compacted lawns become harder as the years go by, and soon the roots of your grass begin to tangle up. Compacted lawns cannot get the air or water they need to help your grass grow. Lawn aeration helps to solve that problem.

Lawn aeration is accomplished with an aerator, a machine that pokes holes into the ground and loosens the soil. Aerating allows water and oxygen to penetrate the lawn, which encourages the roots to grow deeper.

Choosing an Aerator

There are two primary aerator options for homeowners:

  • Spike aerators. These models are much less expensive; however, they simply press the soil down, compacting it on either side of the spike. This might look like it's doing a fine job, but it is actually making it more difficult for the roots to draw water and oxygen.
  • Hollow-tine aerators. These aerators dip into the soil and pull up a small "plug" of your lawn, which is then deposited behind the device. They allow greater air flow and water absorption for your lawn.

Proper Aeration

An effective aerator pulls at least twelve plugs from each square foot of your lawn. If you do not like the look of the plugs, give them a few days to dry and then crumble them by dragging an old piece of carpet over the grass. Regular aeration keeps your lawn thriving--providing a healthy difference you can see.

About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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