Buyer’s Guide: The Best Lawn aerators
Have you ever seen your neighbor’s green grass or a perfect lawn in central park? And then you look at your lawn, and it looks bad – then it’s time to aerate it. There come lawn aerators – electrical or mechanical. The job of lawn aerator is simple – to make way for air at deeper parts of soil.
What is a lawn aerator?
Lawn aerator works very simply – they have a spikes which goes into the soil and later through these holes gets in air and water. It helps for plants and grass to grow because the roots have more air and water at deeper levels. There are some rumors, that for example – lawn aerator shoes are pointless, but at the same time, there are a lot of researchers that shows a positive signal for grass growth.
I suggest to use a lawn aerator twice per season in early spring and late fall and after aeration applies lawn fertilizers. For lawn care in winter, please read more from here. https://agreenhand.com/lawn-care-in-winter
Why do you loosen the soil under tomato or potato bushes? That’s right – so the roots can get more air and potatoes, or tomato can grow bigger. For the lawn, it’s almost the same, and there is only one difference – on the lawn, a simple hoe will not help because the lawn will look terrible after that kind of aeration. After aerating the lawn, you must water it a lot.
Signs that you need a lawn aerator
- Your lawn is full of water after a rain
- You are driving on the lawn quite often with a car or other transport
- If it’s hard to stick a pencil or something else into the soil
- Clay soil, hard.
- Bare grass
How to choose lawn aerator
1. The more power your lawn aerator have, the longer it will live and the harder soil it will aerate. This is important because I have seen some smaller electric aerators which are dead after a couple of times.
2. Look at the width of the blades. The wider aerator, the less amount of time you need to spend on lawn aeration. But remember, if you have quite a hard garden with a lot of bushes and other things, reconsider the width of the aerator. The bigger aerator the harder to get everywhere with it
3. The body material – it can be a plastic or metal. On the one hand, the plastic aerator weighs less, and the corrosion is not a problem but one the other hand the strength of the plastic is significantly less than metal.
4. Is there a bag for collecting the grass and how big is it. Some gardeners suggest to get all grass from aeration in a bag and put in compost but again other gardeners are suggesting to leave the grass because it will get richer. For example – I’m putting all grass in compost.
5. What kind of knives lawn aerator have – some aerators have spikes or needles which are just piercing the ground, and others are equipped with special knives by whom a lawn is cleaned from old grass and weed. The other type you call lawn scarifiers
Basically, it’s all you need to pay attention to before choosing lawn aerator. As you can see, it’s not so hard as it looks.
When to use lawn aerator?
1. Suggestion from me – remove all the weeds before using lawn aerator, because if you use lawn aerator over the weeds, you will chop them and spread all over the lawn.
2. If you have a new lawn – don’t aerate it at least for a year. Best case is to aerate after 1.5 years, right before using fertilizers.
3. The best timing for aerating is before reseeding your lawn or fertilizing it because aerator will open the ground for nutrients and seeds.
4. Don’t use lawn aerators if you have dry and hot weather. You will just make it drier, and grass will be brown in a month.
5. Use lawn aerator when the soil is moist but not too saturated
Tips and tricks
- Remember that a lawn aerator has spikes which go into the soil at least 0.3ft (10 cm) So, mark the places where you have something under the ground. Most important thing – remember about the electricity in the ground for the lights or something else, if you have!
- If your soil is light or it contains a lot of sand, or you just aerated it a few months ago, then do only one pass of aerating. Remember – if you are making only one pass, then use the same pattern as of when you are mowing.
- If your soil is hard, then make two passes. The first one as same as said above and the second one in 45 degrees. Your goal is to create at least 30-40 holes per square foot.
- Water a lot after aeration.
Lawn aerator types
Best lawn plug-in aerator machine
There are many types of lawn aerators, each for every situation and lawn size and grass type. Otherwise, you can divide them into two big groups – Mechanical lawn aerators and lawn aerators with motors – electrical or gas (petrol). The best option for a small lawn or just for private use is electrical lawn aerator – all you need is a power plug.
The gas (petrol) lawn aerator
It is more suitable for large businesses or companies who are taking care of lawns. Alternatively, you can pay a little bit more and buy electric lawn aerator who have batteries. But you can aerate for a couple of minutes, and they are not so powerful.
Manual lawn aerators
These are almost as same as manual lawn mowers, but they are just aerating. You just simply walk with this through your lawn. and let the spikes do their job.
There also some lawn aerators which are cheap but otherwise hard to use.
This is almost the cheapest type of lawn aerator. Working with this rake is hard, but I know some people who like to work with this tool because it’s like a workout. The major con of this tool is that the wooden handle can easily detach from the head. However, with a drill, this can be fixed.
About these shoes, there are many opinions because some people say that they are useless because they don’t go deeper than 5-6cm (you need at least 10cm) but other people say that for a small lawn they are good. But they are good for killing grubs. The shoes are quite simple, like a sandal but with spikes. You can wear them when doing gardening.
When choosing a lawn aerator, don’t look at the prices. Look at your lawn soil, size of the yard and how hard is the soil. And then choose lawn aerator. Because there is no point to buy gas lawn aerator for small garden who maybe does not need aerating at all. And also there is no sense of the purchase of an aerator rake if you have a big lawn.
- Big lawn and hard soil – gas lawn aerator.
- Big lawn but light soil – electric lawn aerator.
- Small lawn but hard soil – manual aerator with wheels.
- Small lawn but light soil – lawn aerator rake.
Best Lawn Aerator for the money
For this price it one of the best lawn aerator. If you have a big lawn then a thatch bag which is provided will be useless, because it’s small and will get full pretty fast. This lawn aerator has very powerful motor and great blade changing system. It’s easy to use and does not leave a big footprint. And for that price, it’s perfect. Otherwise, it has small thatch bag, and it does not have a core aerator and gets dirty so fast. But if you need to rent a lawn aerator which will cost you at least 70$ for one time, then why not to buy your own for almost the same amount of money.
Best lawn aerator shoes
Put on these shoes when walking in the yard. But remember, don’t walk with them on pavement or other hard surfaces because you will break the nails. It’s easy to walk with these sandals, and you will not get tired very fast. The nails are going to the lawn very easy, and you don’t feel awkward when walking with them. Sometimes I had problems with straps – they did loosen up sometimes. Great sandals for great price and quality is pretty decent.
Best electric lawn aerator
Best lawn aerator Amazon. Its 12 AMP motor is almost unkillable and really powerful. This aerator comes with scraper/scarifier which makes easier to reseed scraped areas. It’s really easy to assemble and it takes only a few minutes. The hatch bag could be larger because if you have a larger area you will need to clean it really often.
- easy to assemble.
- Picks up thatch really efficiently
- There is a safety switch so it’s safe to leave it near children.
- Dethatcher and Scarifier are easy to swap and also fast.
- Powerful engine
- Great support from SunJoe
- Catch bag is really small
- That safety switch sometimes is annoying if you need to stop often
- Assembly takes some force
- Changing the Dethatcher for the Scarifier requires a 10mm wrench