Aeration Questions

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Husky03, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    I have had a couple of requests for aerating so I have decided I need to get one. Do I need to get a spike or plug aerator? What are the pros and cons? Also I want to get a tow behind to pull with my ZTR. How is the Craftsman towbehind aerator? Keep in mind that this will be used lightly so I probably don't need commercial grade at this time. Also, do you guys aerate in the spring or in the fall for cool season grasses?

  2. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,873

    Get one that pulls plugs. It helps to open up the soil better than spike aerators. Also i would refrain from Sears pull behinds, but you might consider calling some of your other customers and see if they want the service, then rent one. I use the Plugr pl800 which I like ver much.

    Spring or fall. I like spring since fall can be very dry some years, but either is fine especially with clay soil.
  3. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,230

    Core aeration is the way to go. Ryan is ok. We have a Ryan lawnaireV, a Classen TA25 split drive and a 60" that fits on my L-3710 Kubota. I like it best cuz it has a seat!!!!!!
    Buy will pay for itself. :)
  4. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    Pull plugs. A spike is a waste of time and effort IMO
  5. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    Do you clean up the mess from the plugs or do you just leave them to get nutrients back in soil?

    What is a good method to price this service? Should I just charge a little more than a weekly mowing? I wouldn't think it would take to much longer than a mowing.

    Thanks... :)
  6. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,873

    I blow as many plugs off the sidewalk and drive as possible, leave the rest on the lawn. I charge 3 times what the lawn mowing charge is.
  7. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    Leave the plugs to break back down. Get them off all hard surfaces. You will need to recoup rental fees, and pick up/drop off time, and your time on the job site. It is slow going and will take longer to aerate than to mow. 3 times the mowing charge as stated above is a good starting point (2.5 to 3.5 times I would say)
  8. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    I use a tow behind and it really doesn't take much longer to aerate then mow if you are doing 1/2 acre or under. You save time on trimming and blowing. I always go over the property at least twice too and it goes by real fast.

    I charge $12 per 1,000 sq. ft. ($60 minimum) on flat easy properties. Price goes up on level of difficulty. I do run $10 per K ($60 minimum) specials when I feel like hitting certain areas with aeration flyers.

    Here is a great low end commercial tow behind that would be great for you. This aerator has nice tines and are spaced good. The bad thing is the wheels and wheel arms are week for a commercial unit, but much better then anything you will find at sears or Home depot etc. Those pieces of junk don't pull near enough cores because the tines are spaced way to far apart.
  9. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Coring vs spiking.
    Spiking is a short term type of aeration. The first good watering and it will go away. This method was developed for use on home lawns and in reality should be done weekly. Commonly called "shattercore aeration" the spike fractures the soil but goes away quickly.
    Soring is the only way to go on home lawns. Read studies done by Universities of Nebraska, Ohio and Michigan. They will define the long term benefits or coring aeration. The core hole stays open for weeks afterwards and the core breading down will help diminish the thatch layer over time. Nebraska did a study on thatch management using core aertion. Bottom line is core the lawn getting at least 9 holes per square foot and at least 1.5 to 3 inches deep. Leave the cores to break down slowly. Overseeding can also be benefitted by aeration before seeding.
    I can go on for hours on Aerating and such been doing it for 30 years now. I was a aeratin fool before it was popular.

    old hippy in Nebraska

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