All About Spike Aerators

spike_aeratorIf your lawn appears patchy and limp, then you made need to aerate it.  Aerating lawn can be done by using two different types of tools for the aeration process – spike aerators or plug aerators.  Both types perform the same basic function of punching holes in the soil, which allows water, air and nutrients to better reach the roots of your grass.  The difference lies in how they accomplish the task.  Spike aerators have solid spikes that punch holds in the earth by displacing the dirt.  Plug aerators have hallow spoons that actually remove sections of soil.

There are many different types of spike aerators on the market, available in a range of prices.  Some are more effective than others.  Many lawn mowers come with an aeration attachment; however, these tools cover only about 2 inches with each pass, and the spikes are so tiny that they likely do very little in the way of aeration.  Another tool you can purchase is a shoe spike aerator, in which the tool actually attaches to your shoe.  Though affordable, the coverage and size of the spikes is only marginally better than the lawn mower tool.  A push spike aerator is pushed like a lawn mower and rolls the spikes over the lawn.  Though the spikes are usually larger and it covers a greater area, there is not enough weight to actually penetrate the earth.

For truly effective lawn aeration, you have two choices.  Hand and foot push spikes are driven into the earth by the operator who can exert enough force to get the spikes deep into the earth.  These tools are affordable, but require a lot of time and physical exertion to get the job done.  For larger areas, the rolling barrel spike aerator will do the trick.  This tool has a large barrel that can be filled with water or sand to increase weight and therefore the depth of the holes.  They have a larger coverage area than hand and foot spikes and are easier to use, though they do cost more.  Weigh your priorities and choose the spike aerator that works best for you.

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