By Sharcady from Indianapolis, IN
We have an equipment rental business. We rent aerators. We tell people it takes about twice as long as it does to mow. Most people will go over it from two directions. Leave the plugs on the lawn and either let the rain wash them back in, or your sprinkler. Hope this helps.
|Spiked Sandals for Aerating Your Lawn|
Hardiness zone: 9b
Pattibc777 from Houston, TX
Aerating your lawn is a great way to revitalize hard, compact soil, prevent thatch from building up and encourage the growth of grass (while discouraging the growth of weeds). I've seen steel-spiked sandals advertised that strap on over your shoes and allow you to walk around the lawn and aerate it while mowing. These are usually priced around $12.99 or so, but with a little ingenuity (and an updated tetanus shot) you could also probably make your own (think strap-on wood blocks with 1 1/2 inch roofing nails). The idea is to punch holes about 1 1/2 inches deep over every few inches in your lawn. This allows air, nutrients and moisture to reach the root zone more easily. If you don't like the idea of tromping around in spiked sandals, you can use a pitchfork instead. Just make sure to wiggle the tines around a bit after punching them into the soil to make the holes bigger.
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I've also seen strap on shoes with spikes in garden mail order catalogs, or you could make your own with some left over wood and four inch nails I suppose! (05/21/2006)
So my suggestion is to talk to several of your neighbors about sharing a rental, then calling around to find the best rate. You can get the pull behind (cheaper) or the powered kind. If you get one of these kinds that actually pull cores, it does an excellent job. (Of course, your lawn looks like a herd of small dogs on laxatives ran across. But it is really good for it.) (05/21/2006)
After you've poked holes in the soil, put some sifted peat moss, dried manure, or compost in a broadcast spreader, and apply a layer about 1/4 inch thick to the whole area. (05/22/2006)
Yes, the soil should be damp (but not drenched) when you aerate. Putting down the peat moss, manure or compost sounds like a great idea!
In Houston, sand might also be good. I am in PA now; but I sure do miss Houston! Big sigh. (05/23/2006)
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