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?
"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.)
+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.
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.
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!
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
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
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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