Lawn Aerator

Just wonder if this is worthwhile. My lawn is quite dry , it does have thatch.

I have a scarifier/rake.

Just wonder are those garden hollow tine aerator's a good idea?

Anyone found one that is quite sharp so easier to use ?

thanks

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  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,560

    Hollow time aerators are an excellent idea, especially if you have heavy soil. However, I would only consider the manual ones if you have a very small area to treat: you will quickly feel that life has better ways to wear yourself out in a larger garden. You can hire or pay someone else with a power model to do the job quickly and thoroughly.

  • AlastairSAlastairS Posts: 42

    I don't have clay soil. My lawn is about 18mx7m level. No moss. few weeds (most removed last year). There is thatch. We have a rotary mower (Mountfield). Cuts the grass well, however I would like the grass to be shorter because I think it looks tidier so bought a used petrol Qualcast 35s cylinder mower. Just had it sharpened.I plan to use this for the lawn this year.  I have a free weekend this weekend and would lie happy to aerate the lawn. Happy to give it a go with a hollow lawn aerator and sharp side. Do you think it's a good idea ? Just seen on Amazon some people have difficulty pushing the aerator into the lawn. Any feedback welcome, thanks

  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,560

    They are hard work. I think you would do well to scarify before you aerate - remove the thatch with a lawn rake. People aerate in order to improve the structure of the soil and the drainage, then brush in a dressing of compost and possibly sharp sand. You can feed once the grass is growing. The key question is probably whether you want to go to that much trouble - you won't need to go to the gym after all that hollow timing!

  • sand8sand8 Posts: 23

    aerating with a hollow tine machine is a good idea, in my view.

    Lawns are delicate plants, easily stressed by compacted dry soils, waterlogged earth and the heat of the sun ( I wish!). Microbial activity which is essential for the prevention of excess thatch, also depends on a good supply of air - which is where the aeration comes in. All you are trying to do is create tiny channels from the surface into the soil so that you can get more air back into the root zone to help maintain a healthy eco system. The key thing with aeration is to do it when the soil is moist which is typically sept - april (but with the british that could be Jan - Dec image)

    You probably won't see results quickly.

    If you are interested in a good book take a look at David Hedges Gower, Modern Lawn Care - one of my study courses is on turf management and that book is brilliant written in plain English with lots of diagrams, written by a true professional but with the amateur in mind.

     

  • AlastairSAlastairS Posts: 42

    Thank you for your help.

    I'm still keen to try the hollow aerator - I might it tomorrow, though the temperature is about 6C-8C during the day. Should I wait until it's a bit warmer. I think the grass may be growing now. Thanks. A

  • AlastairSAlastairS Posts: 42

    Hi, I tried using the Hollow Tine Aerator. It is hard work as you predicted.

    I notice the cores are not rising out of the tines as they are blocked. I think it will be very difficult to get the cores rising out unless you have an idea.

    My question, is it okay that the cores are not removed ? I am still managing to push the tines down as far as they will go (about 3 inches). I am filling the holes with sharp sand - this is time consuming as I fill each one individually by pushing the sand down with my fingers - I think if I used a brush to sweep the sand into the holes , the holes would not be filled. I have a hard brush, but it is old and the brush head is worn down so that the spines are shorter and don't bend as much as a new one would.

    Any advise very welcome.

    Alastair

  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,560

    I would tend to use a mix of compost and sand for this job. You brush it across the holes with a stiff broom - a witch's broom was the traditional choice - and much of it will go in. Rain and worm activity will quickly take down the rest. When you finish it looks awful and you begin to wonder if you have made some dreadful mistake, but within days it all looks normal again and once the grass gets going, the improvement is amazing. I am surprised the cores of earth are not coming out. Don't the old ones push through as you push the aerator back in the soil?

  • AlastairSAlastairS Posts: 42

    A little came thro' on my 1st goes , however the mud in the tine is quite solid and so the tine acts more like a solid piece of metal.  I thought mine looked good and is fine apart from this problem. Suggestions online are to spray the tines with WD40  every so often, but I can't see it being that effective. I'm happy just to carry on as is, because it will take quite along time to complete without having to spray tines and push earth out of times with a cane.

    Alastair

  • AlastairSAlastairS Posts: 42

    oh, forgot, why compost and sand ?

    thanks

     

     

  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,560

    Well, fortunately there are a lot of people on this site who know more than I do, but this is my understanding: organic matter is good for almost any soil. When you treat your lawn, you are aiming to improve its condition. It may have heavy, compacted soil like mine. I use compost and grit. The aeration opens up the clay and let's in air. The compost and grit improve the texture, reduce compaction and improve drainage. If your soil is sandy and light you just use compost. It improves the texture and helps to retain moisture. It will hold nutrients better, too, if you feed it. Soil comes in all shapes and sizes, the aim is to make yours as good as you can for what you want to grow. Organic material can't be dug into a lawn like a border so this is the next best thing. I hope that makes sense!

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