Best Lawn Aeration Methods for You

person pushing lawn aeration device over grass

Among gardening practices used to maintain the nutrition levels and overall health of the soil bed, lawn aeration is among the most widely-practiced technique. Lawn aeration refers to a method of aerating the soil or increasing its oxygen absorption and retention capacity. In this manner, more oxygen and consequently, moisture and nutrients are sourced towards the root system of the plants. People planning aeration of their gardens can choose across different techniques that can be used for this purpose. The best lawn aeration methods include:

Method 1 - Manual Aerators

This is perhaps the most undemanding form of lawn aeration. It is applicable to most residential gardens that don’t present overwhelming size considerations like commercial garden spaces. This is also the most cost-efficient way of lawn aeration since it does not involve the usage of any specific machinery. It essentially depends upon some serious, manual labor.

Manual aeration can be performed with simple tools like a garden fork or a spading fork. Using such simple tools, the soil is repeatedly turned over and the top soil layer is spread-out. This is a simple way to break through compacted soil—a major cause of oxygen depreciation in the underlying layers of soil.

However, this method does have some limitations. For instance, the depth of the aeration isn't very encouraging. This is essentially because manual tools have limitations and can't compete with the proficiency of lawn aeration tools.

Manual aeration can also be done with hand-held tools that have a spiked end. Some of the aerators use a spring-based mechanism wherein the tool needs to be repeatedly poked into the garden to allow the spikes to pierce through the soil. Hand aerators are quite easy-to-use.

Aerator Shoes

lawn aerators on colorful boots walking on lawn

Aerating shoes are easy-to-handle and quite affordable. Each aerator shoe is endowed with numerous spikes along the sole of the shoe. Some aerator shoes are sold as attachments, i.e. they can be worn over regular shoes. Such shoes are also called garden spikes. After wearing the shoe, the individual needs to walk across the entire stretch of the garden with slow steps to ensure comprehensive aerating of the soil. The amount of manual effort involved here makes it suited for smaller gardens only.

Method 2 - Using Power Aerators

Power aerators can be interpreted as a specialized form of powered lawnmowers, used for the specific task of aerating the soil. The most commonly used variety of power aerators are the lawn plug aerators since their appearance is identical to a conventional lawnmower. These aerators are also available on a rental basis.

Power aerators can complete the aeration of most household gardens within a few hours. These are ideally suited for large gardens and those with hard or rocky soil beds. Most power aerators offer the option of coring (deeper aeration) or spike-based functionality.

Method 3 - Using Mulching Aeration

This method is actually a follow-up process once the basic level of aeration has been done. The aeration period provides the perfect opportunity to feed the soil with essential nutrients. For this purpose, mulching lawnmowers are used. Mulching lawnmowers tend to shred the grass into very fine pieces grass and spread it across the garden. The spreading of grass clippings is done via a motor-powered, spraying action. The other option is to use mulch from a compost pile to be fed through the mulching lawnmower. This ensures that the appropriate numbers of microbes are maintained within the soil.