Speaking of aerating lawns (dog safe fertilizer) has anyone ever tried
those strap on aerating shoes? I have been intimidated to try them as
1) my feet are a size 6.5 and I just don't see any of the "one size fits
most" models fitting my tiny feet and 2) last year the yard was so hard
after the drought I thought if I was able to puncture the ground I would
never get past the first step.
My questions: has anyone tried them? Would anyone recommend using
them? And if so, has anyone seen a model that comes in various sizes?
If not the shoes do most folks pay a company to come out and aerate the
lawn, or rent the machine from a home improvement type store, etc...?
Thanks in advance for you advice!
They're not worthless, but only slightly less so. :o)
Your best bet is to rent a mechanical core aerator in which plugs of soil
are removed and deposited on the soil surface. Tines that do not do that can
cause more harm than good as they further compact the soil around the tine
as it plunges into the soil. Sure, you're created a 'hole', hwoever the soil
around the hole has been compacted in order to creat that space, Not good,
I usually rent the machine, and then do my neighbor's lawns as well, thereby
mitigating the cost of the rental somewhat.
Latest issue of 'Organic Gardening' had a note on aerating, agreeng
completely with David and Warren. They further mentioned leaving the
extracted cores to dry a few days, then mowing over them to break up
and redistribute this material.
And, if you're feeling *really* adventurous, laying down a good top dressing
of high quality top soil either before or just after you core aerate (I
can't decide which is best, yet) will really improve the soil as well.
I wouldn't use topsoil. I'd use compost. To be very specific, I'd use fungal
compost, instead of bacterial. Trees and turf do much better when you can add
mycorrhizae, and when you add fungal based compost, you do just that. Or, buy
some of the mycorrhizae which is easy to buy these days and put a small amount
into the holes, or mix with the compost before spreading it to fill the core
holes. I don't recommend doing this before aerating. I do it after I've
If people don't want the bother of renting, it truly is very inexpensive to have
done by someone who comes and goes. Price may vary by state, but it's not an
expensive thing (we paid 40 dollars) and you really only need do it about once
every two years. More often is better, but even with that, one time a year is
truly enough. To make it a far more benefit, topdressing with compost is an
excellent way to add organic matter to turf and tree roots.
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