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How to aerate your lawn.

Updated on September 20, 2014
A simple hand aerator.
A simple hand aerator.
A hand aerator being used.
A hand aerator being used.

If you want a healthy and green lawn, the envy of most house owners, the first thing you need to do is to learn how to aerate it properly. Most of us have kids or pets or both, and so our lawns are heavily over used. Normally what this does is that it causes the soil beneath the grass to become compacted and this in turn causes the grass to seem a bit off-color, thinner and generally worn-out.

So where does lawn aeration come in and what the heck does it even mean...?

Simple, lawn aeration allows your soil to breath, allows nutrients, fertilizers and water to reach the roots better and allows the root system to grow

As for what it means : Aeration involves making small holes into the lawn by either manually pushing a rod into the ground or by using a Power Aerator.

Now like most of the articles I've written, I wanted this one 'How to aerate your lawn' to also be a no nonsense guide to getting a greener and healthier lawn through the process of aeration; so 'nuff said, lets begin :

  • Before you start the aeration process make sure that the soil is wet by watering every inch of your lawn. Wait about half an hour for the water to be absorbed because this will soften the soil and make it easier to make the holes.
  • While manually aerating the soil or using a small power aerator is acceptable, the best results are, usually, obtained by extracting about 3-4 inch long plugs from your soil which often require heavier and costly equipment. However, as many of us have monetary or technical ability constraints, in this article, I'm going to focus on a simple manual aerator - a handle on a T-bar with about 2-4 hollow prongs protruding from the ends that you punch right into the ground to create those plugs.
  • Hold onto the handle at the top and push the prongs into the ground by stepping onto the crosspiece. Pull them out and repeat with another section of the lawn.
  • Now many of you might be thinking that its going to be hard to empty out the hollow prongs after each dig. Well I've found that you don't really need to do it, because each dig pushes out the dirt from the prior dig and when you're done just stand up a stick in the ground and gently push through it - that worked well enough for me.

Now, lastly I can relate to you how my experience went : I used a Yard Butler D-6C Core Lawn Aerator and worked on my medium sized lawn for about half an hour every day and it took me 3 days to aerate all of it properly. After about a 2-3 weeks my lawn looks great without any extra fertilizer or watering and the areas that looked parched and with barely any grass are catching up with the rest of the lawn quite nicely.

And yeah, I don't get a commission or anything for any sales of the Yard Butler, but it worked for me so I thought I should share it with you guys. Of course, there are costlier alternatives out there that range from hiring a professional to buying a dandy looking power aerator but if you're willing to put in a few minutes each day it helps saving up on the extra cost and any safety concerns that you may have in case of renting any powered equipment that you don't really know how to use.


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