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aeration worth it?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by greenfinger, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. greenfinger

    greenfinger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Is it worth getting a small aerator for the lawn? The ground is pretty soft. I was also reading on the different types of aerators. I don't want to have plugs all over the lawn so I may go with the spiking route. Any suggestions?

  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Yea sure,...that'll help pack it down good! you think you have compacted soil now, just do THAT a few times.
  3. CreativeEdge

    CreativeEdge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    what type of grass do you have? a bermuda or zoysia yard would benefit best from plugging this time of year. aerating is always a good thing for the yard, i would recommend this btwn march and may.
  4. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    The plugs should breakup and be gone within a week. A spike aerator ? think about it, once the spike punctures the lawn, it compacts around the hole, creating more compaction, use a core aerator, that'll be your best bet.
  5. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    It's too early to be aerifying in your area. Do it in the spring when the grass is growing fast and the plugs will disappear quickly. The bacteria in the soil plugssoil plugs also help to break down thatch. Solid tine (or spike) aerators have some benefit on golf courses or athletic fields but not home lawns.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    If the ground is pretty soft and you don't have much thatch; an aerator can be a useless investment. I would rent one and see how it goes first.
    There was also a polymer product called 'Liquid Gold' that may be just the ticket for someone to experiment with. Typically these type products are little more than soap to break up surface tension , but this one covers an entire gamut of soil structure science.
  7. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Greenfinger: If you are just going to spike save your time and money. Spiking / Slicing was developed for golf so they could have a quick, clean short term ventilation for the soil. first water and it goes away basically useless on lawns. If you want to do it right you will need to core aerate and live with the cores. You can get a dethatching machine and break them up and sometimes a mower set low will do a reasonable job. It is best for the lawn if they break up slowly over a couple weeks. Clay soil will take longer.
    When it comes to soil amendments such as polmers we did somew work with different ones and they have to be placed into the soil to work good. No real good machine out there yet to do it right.
    Aeration is never a waste of time. Anytime you can get the soil vented and remove some so it moves around it will help the plant growth.
  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,896

    all of the above....use a core aerator not a spiker. Don't aerate when the ground is too soft. Fall aeration is best, but a spring aeration (depending on type of turf) would also be beneficial.

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