Does spiking the lawn help?

Hi all
I have read somewhere that it is good to spike the lawn every so often, is this correct?
I must admit our lawn is rock hard at the moment so i assume like to borders need digging over the lawn would need the same.
Any advice welcomed, what to use? how often?
Thanks
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Duncan Munday

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"Lawn aerators" as sold in N.America are wheeled tools. The cheap ones merely drive spikes or knives into the soil: the better ones drive in tubes that remove a plug of soil (rather than compacting the soil either side of the spike or blade. This is all theory because the substrate of our lawn is sand, not clay.)
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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+1 to that. I would not waste my time with the spike type. The holes are too small and it just compacts the soil around where the spike goes in. A core aerator removes plugs that are about 5/8" diameter and 2" long. You can then optionally top dress it with humus or similar to get ammendments into the soil.
How much it will help or if it's needed at all depends on the soil. If it's compacted, then it will definitely help. I'd prefer to do it in the Fall, to minimize weed problems, but you can do it anytime.
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Duncan Munday wrote the following:

It depends upon where you are and what kind of soil you have. Here in the Hudson Valley (carved out by glaciers) the soil is mostly clay and lots of rocks. I have a spike aerator, and in many parts of the lawn, the blades often just ride on top of the ground. I am glad I dig not waste money on the more expensive core aerator. The county below me is called Rockland (it used to be a part of my county) and for good reason.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Interesting
Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.
Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!
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Duncan Munday

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Duncan Munday wrote the following:

They do sell them. I would think that they are only for very small lawns. My, just less than an acre, lawn would require a lot of walking.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Even if I had a small strip, I wouldn't waste my time with those either. Again, they don't remove soil, they only compact it more around the spike.
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wrote:

About 20 years ago I purchased a pair of "shoes" with spikes on the bottom. It only took about 5 minutes to realized that these things made it almost impossible to walk and really did not penetrate the ground.
I believe the value of spiking is the same as using a seed slicer. It provides a place to hold seeds that you spread. Also, a top covering of soil will land in and help sprout the seeds. Aeration is not the intent.
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Actually aeration is the intent if you have compacted soil. It's true that it can be used in conjunction with overseeding, but it would not be my first method of choice. A core aerator takes out plugs that can be two inches deep. One has to wonder how many seeds wind up going into the bottom of those holes and probably not surviving. The seed mixed with the broken down plugs on the surface does have a good growing environment.
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'Stubby[_3_ Wrote:

Hi .. i'm not sure...I think its not so good but when grassing....it give a lot of advantage...regards
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BIRDY

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