Lawn Aerator

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Anybody know where to get an aerator that's basically a 20-gallon barrel with a row of aerator tubes fastened around each head? The one I'm looking for is pulled by hand. I have too much area to cover for the foot-stomper type, but don't need to get a motorized version.
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Anybody know where to get an aerator that's basically a 20-gallon barrel with a row of aerator tubes fastened around each head? The one I'm looking for is pulled by hand. I have too much area to cover for the foot-stomper type, but don't need to get a motorized version.
I meant to say.... you fill the barrel up with water. Ends up weighing around 200 pounds.
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"Guv Bob" wrote:

I seriously doubt you are physically capable of moving that type of aerator by hand unless it's always downhill and then it will aerate you. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_lawn-garden+aerators-lawn-rollers?storeIdi70&ipp$
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Guv Bob wrote:

Lawn aeration is a crock.
There are VERY FEW situations where aeration is really called for and the mechanical alteration of soil is necessary to improve turf health.
Those few situations are mostly sports fields, golf courses, etc. And the aeration they perform uses spikes that do not core out plugs of turf.
Why do you think your residential front or back yard needs plugs of turf to be removed from it?
What type of soil do you have in Long Beach?
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On 7/18/2014 6:36 PM, HomeGuy wrote:

Spike aerators do more damage than they correct. They compact the soil around the holes they create.
Plugging aerators loosen the soil by removing plugs. Where the soil is heavy clay, this can be a great benefit. The holes permit water to penetrate the surface, carrying nutrients towards roots. Believe it or not, roots also benefit from the increase in oxygen reaching them. Spike aerators prevent all this instead of permitting it.
Aeration can be important wherever there is foot traffic across a planted area.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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David E. Ross wrote:

Hi, +1. Definitely beneficial for healthy lawn in our locale.
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HomeGuy wrote:

Hi, Not really, depends on where you live due to difference in soil condition. I admire people talking in definitive and subjective terms. When I lived in ON. I never used aerator.
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wrote in message

turf

Below 1-2 inches, it's hard-packed clay in this particular spot. This was just an idea. Water won't penetrate it. Trying to avoid roto-tilling. It's level and rolling a 200 pound barrel on a rock-hard surface like this is pretty easy. I have rolled a 55 gal drum of liquid on the same place -- that's where I got the idea.
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On 7/18/2014 8:19 PM, Guv Bob wrote:

I suggest you apply a thin layer of gypsum over the area and dampen it. Then, over the next 2-3 weeks, slowly rinse it into the soil. This will start to break up the clay so that however you aerate it, you will get good results.
Yes, I am a big fan of gypsum. No, I do not have any direct investment in any company that mines, processes, or sells gypsum.
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David E. Ross
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turf

Below 1-2 inches, it's hard-packed clay in this particular spot. This was just an idea. Water won't penetrate it. Trying to avoid roto-tilling. It's level and rolling a 200 pound barrel on a rock-hard surface like this is pretty easy. I have rolled a 55 gal drum of liquid on the same place -- that's where I got the idea.
PS - This is out near the desert - not anywhere close to Long Beach.
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Which answers te question I was going to ask. We are quite rightly called "Clay Township" and even aerating once a year for 5 years and twice for the last 3 haven't made any noticable improvement in problem areas. Gypsum now and then aerate in the fall?
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but what they conceal is vital.?
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On 7/19/2014 6:53 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

In my area, rain (if it ever falls again :( ) is in the winter. I apply gypsum in November. Not having small children any more to run across my small lawn, I do not need to mechanically aerate. (Visits from grandchildren are an occasional treat.) When I had a larger lawn and small children, I would mechanically aerate about two weeks after applying gypsum. This would mean that I maximized the penetration of rain.
The answer to your question thus depends on your climate.
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Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Guv Bob wrote: ...

plug aerate and then apply a layer of compost to get organic matter down in those holes it will help keep them open.
however, since you are in such an arid area the worms won't do much until there are some rains, but they are the best helpers for getting clay to drain. also, planting alfalfa or trefoil and letting it grow for a few years before mowing it back a few times a season. those roots will gradually get down through the clay, and repeated mowing every few months when it is growing will both add organic material to the topsoil but as the top is cut back the roots die back too and those trails left behind are drainage and worm trails too along with the increase in nitrogen and other nutrients the roots bring up from down deeper.
i cut them back when they've reached woody stem stage so those stems don't break down as quickly as they would if they were more at the green/mushy stage. people who grow these for forage cut them right before flowering or slightly into flowering stage just for that reason, the animals like it much more when it don't have sticks innit.
songbird
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Oren wrote:

You guys (particularly you Oren) are full of so much shit on this topic it's beyond belief.
Your ideas especially about oxygen are pulled straight out of your ass.
You have absolutely no idea what the gas permeability is of soil, especially given all the different conditions you're going to encounter.
This guy (Bob) lives in what is becoming a desert (California, Long Beach). His soil will be very dry and porous and this is not an issue of getting more atmospheric gas in contact with roots.
The accepted treatment for patchy lawns growing in clay is to top-dress frequently with top soil and throw in grass seed and fertilizer.
AND LOTS OF WATER - something the OP will not be able to do.
There are con artists that troll neighborhoods in the spring with aerators they rent from Home Despot. I garantee you they do not bring top soil or gypsum with them to rake into the holes as part of their con jobs. And they set their plugs to barely reach 1.5 or 2" so they don't cut any in-ground infrastructure (irrigation lines, telephone or RG-6 coax cable).
The OP has primarily a water problem, and either too much or too little shade for his lawn to thrive. Throwing down a good amount of fertilizer and water can do amazing things for a lawn, even in clay.
I live in the middle of the great lakes - this is clay central. My own property is in an area that was once dug up decades ago for clay to make bricks. I have never once aerated my lawn in 15 years of ownership. My grass does very well in the areas I bother to take care of it.
And here I will give you one expert who is basically saying that adding gypsum after the fact to an established lawn is full of shit:
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/askextension/thisQuestion.cfm?ThreadID 910&catID4&AskSiteID4
=============We often get this question about how to improve the structure of a soil after plants or in your case a lawn has been installed. It is not easy and often there is not a very efficient way of doing this because you don't want to start over. Ideally we like to see soil improvement done before planting and the best way is to incorporate a lot of organic matter into the soil.
Many people think that gypsum is the magic cure for clay soils. While gypsum is often suggested to help loosen up clay soil by getting between the particles and helping to floculate or open up the soil for better air and ater movement it often takes time and if a plant is there again it can't be incorporated the way it should be.
The only way I think you can help a tight clay soil under sod is to do vigorous core cultivation. This means using a machine that puts holes into the ground that are at least 4 inches deep and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter with the holes being no more than 2 inches apart.
After that you can topdress with good soil that is worked into the holes and allows air and water to start moving down and supporting good root structure. Gypsum could be added but it isn't going to do the job as well as if it were to be fully incorporated. Doing this coring regularly will eventually start to "replace" the soil one core at a time allowing a better soil environment for root development. =============== FOUR inches deep. Take note of that. Half inch to 3/4 diam, NO MORE THAN 2 INCHES APART.
Your lawn is going to look like swiss cheese after that.
If you're going to do that, you might as well rototill the whole thing, and ADD SAND. Playground or brick sand. That will probably work better (and cheaper) than gypsum.
"Doing this coring regularly ..."
Who the hell wants to break their back doing that "regularly" ?
Either just top-dress once or twice a year, or rototill the whole dam lawn, truck a good amount of the clay away and replace with some good black earth and load it with some good grass seed and fertilize.
But again, maybe you're just wasting your time since you're in the middle of a drought and who knows when it will end. Probably not a good time (or a good decade) to try to do any lawn rehabilitation in California.
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On 7/19/2014 9:50 AM, HomeGuy wrote:

You -- HomeGuy -- have just joined Todd in my filter system. Good-bye.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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HomeGuy" <"Home wrote:

You may (or may not) be the world's greatest authority on lawns but there is no reason to be so rude regardless of your expertise. Try and learn from those who know more and teach those who know less without struting your ego so much.
David
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - A better world requires a daily struggle against those who would mislead us.
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David E. Ross wrote:

You -- David Ross -> you'll read my posts when and if I want you to.
Bob F wrote:

Yes, that's what I'm thinking.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Stupid move, Tony. You're deluding yourself.
In areas that get sub-freezing in winter (like most of Canada) the many cycles of frost heaving (freeze-thaw) in winter does a great job of breaking up residential soil.
Think about it.
Just look what it does to our roads, and imagine what is going on in the soil.
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HomeGuy wrote:

Plugs are NOT removed, they are extracted and returned to the lawn. Plug aeration is a mild form of tilling that doesn't disturb the turf, an excellent practice for ALL established lawns. I do not recommend aeration for non-lawns, then rototilling with added amendments is highly recommended. Aerating poor soil will not improve it, may even make poor soil worse by accelerating erosion.
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On Sun, 20 Jul 2014 09:22:21 -0400, HomeGuy

Poor analogy.
Frost heaving may break up pavement but does nothing to improve compacted soil, in fact when it finally dries it will be more compacted. In spring as soon as soil is friable is the best time to till/aerate before soil dries. Garden soil is not pavement.
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