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Lawn Aerator Options: From 'Five-speed' to Automatic

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

Hard, compacted ground. A build-up of troublesome thatch. Poor water penetration. The presence of clover in high density. If you're seeing any of these sign in your own lawn, the experts at Halton Region recommend you get a lawn aerator. The type of aerator you purchase depends on the type of landscaper you are.

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Why a Lawn Aerator?

According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the primary benefit of aerating your lawn is to give the soil plenty of air, stimulating root growth. Especially true for clay soils and lawns with little or no topsoil, a lawn aerator digs holes into the ground to improve circulation and nutrient absorption. As you might expect, there are several types of aerators and several schools of thought on the best way to accomplish this mission.

The 'Five-speed' Aerator

When we say 'five speed,' we mean strapping on a pair of lawn aerator shoes and walking your property in neat lines. Aerator sandals are designed exactly as they sound--a pair of plastic sandals with a series of spikes protruding from the soles. As you walk, the impressions of the spikes creates that spongy layer of soil that healthy lawns love. The pros? Eco-friendly operation with no gas required. Detractors say that sandals actually compact the soil even further; but even they admit that it's better than doing nothing at all.

The Automatic Aerator

When it comes to powered lawn aerators there are two main types--hole-punchers and hole-gougers. Punchers simply create holes. The latter actually pulls the plugs of earth out of the soil as it operates. Hole-gougers are traditionally preferable because they're better at reducing compaction.

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About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.



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