Forum home Problem solving

Aerating Advice

I am thinking about Scarifing/Aerating my lawn. I have never done this but I have read it is a good thing to do. Our soil is very clay like. I am wanting to know what type of Aerator to use (spikes/Hollow) and also what do you do after you have done the Aerating? 

Posts

  • GartenerGartener South EastPosts: 99
    I too ve clay soil and use the Standard garden fork. It makes good sized channels, which you can fill with a mix of Sharp sand and Topsoil (and top it up with regular top dressing of the whole lawn).

    Good luck.
  • I was thinking of buying a hollow tine fork, I’ve read that using the hollow type is better than the solid type forks. Also when you say top dressing what do you mean? (I’m a complete gardening novice) 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,159
    edited March 2019
    Top dressing is spreading a mixture of sand and loam over the lawn and brushing it into the holes made when you aerate. It also helps to level out any slight hollows. On a clay soil you probably want a more sandy mixture (on my sandy soil I sometimes use old potting compost from the previous year's baskets and tubs, because I want to increase moisture retention not drainage).
    Edited to add: sharp horticultural sand, not building sand.
  • GartenerGartener South EastPosts: 99
    JennyJ said:
    Top dressing is spreading a mixture of sand and loam over the lawn and brushing it into the holes made when you aerate. It also helps to level out any slight hollows. On a clay soil you probably want a more sandy mixture (on my sandy soil I sometimes use old potting compost from the previous year's baskets and tubs, because I want to increase moisture retention not drainage).
    Edited to add: sharp horticultural sand, not building sand.
    I was curious abt the Q. of Horticultural sand v/s The Builders ‘Sharp’ sand. After some googling I am thinking that its pretty much the same thing other than the price.

    From experience anything where the sellers/merchants can put a ‘Horticulture’ label on, just increases multifold in price.
  • GartenerGartener South EastPosts: 99
    I was thinking of buying a hollow tine fork, I’ve read that using the hollow type is better than the solid type forks. Also when you say top dressing what do you mean? (I’m a complete gardening novice) 
    I think Standard fork is better because it (a) goes deeper in the soil and is easier to move. (b) Unlike hollowtine fork, you dont have to keep on tidying the plugs of soil.

    I also bought a hollow tine fork once upon a time but never used it since.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,159
    Builders sand (the kind used for making mortar and plaster) is generally softer (smaller grains) and less gritty, so doesn't help drainage the same as sharp sand. As far as I know it can also have salts in it, depending where it comes from.  If you can get sharp gritty building sand that doesn't have salt in it, then that should be fine.
    I tried a hollow tine fork once. Little pebbles kept getting stuck in it.
  • GartenerGartener South EastPosts: 99
    I meant the Builders ‘sharp’ sand, which is gritty and used in laying Paving slabs rather than bricklaying cement mortar. Not too sure abt salt thing though but i have used it in past (on lawn) and didnt face any issues. 

    Its much cheaper than the garden center ‘Horticultural sand’,
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    Don't worry about putting sand on the lawns. This is a practice used by sports turf professionals on surfaces that are highly drained and regularly fertilised. 

    What size area are you talking about for your lawns?

    Why do you think aerating it is what you need to do? What is the problem/issue with the lawn?

    Solid core aeration has pretty much the same benefits as hollow. Hollow does give ever so slightly better decompaction, but it's a minute difference. 
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,052
    I don't know if this is any use, but I scarify with a rake. I then use horticultural sand to draw lines, and then I aerate with a fork along those lines. The sand drops into the holes and then I brush the rest in. I always use Westland lawn feed after that in Spring. My lawn is quite small but always ends up lush in Summer.
    SW Scotland
  • My front and back lawn is a combined 100m2-ish. The reason I am thinking about doing it is that the lawn has never looked great and I know the ground underneath is terrible so I want to start doing more for the lawn that the usual mowing/watering routine.

    does anyone know roughly how to calculate how much top dressing would be required, like is there a rough rule of thumb I.e 2 litres per m2 etc
Sign In or Register to comment.