Five Tools for Aerating Your Lawn

Give your soil some air and keep your grass healthy with these tools for aerating your lawn.
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Best performed lightly in spring or in fall, lawn aeration is necessary to relieve soil compaction and to allow air to circulate around the grass roots and at the base of the leaf blades. There are various tools that can be used to achieve this, from the simple garden fork to mechanical aerators that are ideal for use over large areas.

Fork

Soil compaction can be relieved by pushing the solid tines of a fork into the lawn down to a depth of about 3 inches (8 cm) and wiggling the fork slightly to widen the holes before continuing this process every 4 inches (10 cm).

Aerate Your Lawn

Aerate Your Lawn

Garden forks are handy tools for aerating lawns.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hollow tiner

This special tool is used in the same way as the fork and using the same spacing, but it has hollow tines, meaning that cores of soil are removed, which should be filled in with good quality top-dressing.

Scarifier

This tool removes leaves and any thatch at the base of the grass blades, allowing air to circulate and helping water and fertilizer to penetrate the root zone.

Using A Lawn Scarifier

Using A Lawn Scarifier

The lawn scarifier is a useful tool to have in lawn maintenance. This tool will rid a lawn of dead matter building up, such as moss, leaves, or thatch that will prevent proper nutrition and water from reaching the roots of the grass.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Spiked boots

Combine a stroll in the garden with aerating the lawn: these strap-on soles have long spikes on the underside that break up soil compaction as you walk.

Spiked Aerator Shoes

Spiked Aerator Shoes

A gardener uses spiked shoes to aerate a lawn.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Slitter

A useful aeration alternative, the slitter is run over the grass and its sharp blades penetrate through the turf. It lightly trims the grass roots, allowing air to enter the root

More: Tips for Watering and Feeding Your Lawn

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