aerate clay soil

I'm posting this here in case anyone searches Google for help aerating clay soil and needs ideas. This worked great for me and I'd like to share it. We have dense clay soil and, while applying gypsum helps somewhat, I've been told that aerating is necessary too to loosen it up. I've tried using hand aerators:
http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/victorygarden/images/knowhow/tools/lawncare/lawn2_lg.jpg
but the soil is too dense and the coring tines are almost impossible to push into the ground, even after watering it to soften it. I tried renting an aerator, but the machine they called an "aerator" was really a cultivator, with spinning tines designed to rip up the ground, not pull plugs out. I called 5 different gardening services and none of them offer aerating services; most hadn't even heard of the process. I also searched Google and the Yellow Pages under lawn aerating and nobody offers this in the Los Angeles area. Our lawn is far too small for those tow-behind aerators:
http://fergusonmfgco.com/images/FMC%20Plug%20Aerator%204ft%20Trail%20PA-48TWEB.jpg
What finally worked great was to use a 1-inch auger drill bit with my power drill:
http://www.hardwarestore.com/media/product/227108_front200.jpg
(You need an auger bit, not a paddle bit, because you need the dirt to be pulled out of the hole.) Using this, I was able to properly aerate the front and back lawns in about 4 hours. Hope this helps anyone else in a similar dilemma!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/victorygarden/images/knowhow/tools/lawncare/lawn2_lg.jpg
http://fergusonmfgco.com/images/FMC%20Plug%20Aerator%204ft%20Trail%20PA-48TWEB.jpg
Let's apply a test.
A 30x30-foot yard is 900 sq ft. Drilling a hole every 6" (or 6/sq ft) means you have to drill 5400 holes.
At ten seconds per hole, that's 54,000 seconds - about 15 hours.
You were able to do your yard in about a quarter of the time, so you must have about 200 sq ft, or a 10x20' yard.
Here's a tip: Once you've got the hole, fill the hole with Gypsum, else the clay you've moved to the surface will just work its way back into the holes.
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On Mar 12, 4:51 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Ive done the same for small areas I couldnt get into with an areator and often do it around strees and shrubs to get them to take up water and fertilizer. My Gardeenias really bloomed out last year after doing this.
Jimmie
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A snip

This is a relatively short term fix. The clay is still clay. You need to improve the soil. Try brushing/ raking a mix of sand and compost into the holes which will keep the holes open longer and also aid biological activity in the soil..
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Am I the only one here who finds it hard to believe that in the Los Angeles area no company rents core aerators? I've rented them from Home Depot, for example. It sure sounds like a hell of a lot less work and a hell of a lot more holes in a hell of a lot less time.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

City-slicker is walking down a country lane when he spies a farmer holding a pig up in the air so the pig can eat low-hanging apples.
City-slicker: "What in the world are you doing?" Farmer: "What does it look like I'm doin'? I'm feedin' the pig." City-slicker: "I don't know much about pigs, but that seems like an awful waste of time." Farmer: "You sure don't know nothin' 'bout pigs. What's time to a pig?"
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On Sat, 14 Mar 2009 06:41:03 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Why an aerator? For a valley girl? Isn't LA 99.5% asphalt?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/victorygarden/images/knowhow/tools/lawncare/lawn2_lg.jpg
http://fergusonmfgco.com/images/FMC%20Plug%20Aerator%204ft%20Trail%20PA-48TWEB.jpg
I don't know where you live but here in Southern Alberta, soil is clay with poor electric conductivity. Often we aerate our lawns using push behind aerator we can rent from rental outfit. Or we can call landscaping guys to do it for us. It leaves bunch of holes on the lawn.
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