One important part of lawn care that many people overlook is aerating of the lawns. This can make the ground become compacted over time, thus making it much more difficult for air, water, fertilizer, and the appropriate nutrients to penetrate the soil and as well reach the roots of the grass.
For this reason, it is good to know why aerating your lawn properly is so vital for the lawn. In this article, we will go over what it means to aerate your lawn, why you should aerate, and also review the best lawn aerator for clay soil.
What is Aeration?
The aeration of lawn can be said to be the process of which the soil is perforated with many small holes in order to enable air, water, and other essential nutrients to get to the grassroots. This will enable the root to grow more deeply thus allowing for a healthier and stronger lawn.
Avoiding compacted soil is the primary purpose of lawn aeration. This is the problem of the existence of many lawns and which prevents the lawn from becoming as thick, lush, and green as it could be.
Should You Aerate?
It is necessary to aerate your lawns especially if it gets frequent use (such as by pets and children who are running around on it), because the traffic on the lawn will compact the soil. Another reason can be the fact that your lawn can feel spongy and seems to easily dry out, which may cause a problem regarding excessive thatch and require aeration.
Moreover, the lawns of newly built homes generally need aeration due to the fact that their topsoil is stripped and/or buried, and the construction traffic compacts the grass that is established on the subsoil.
Here is a round-up of some of the best aerators for clay soil you can buy for a happy and healthy lawn.
Best Aerators For Clay Soil
Agri Fab 45 – 0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator
The Agri Fab 45 – 0299 48-Inch Tow Plug is a tow plug aerator suitable for medium or large-sized lawn heavily compacted soil that experiences heavy foot or transport traffic. This 48-inch tow plug aerator works well in bringing back life to the dry and hard soil by making it fertile.
Main features: It features a durable heavy-gauge, rust-proof steel deck, and welded drawbar attached to ride-on mowers or tractors. This aerator has a 48″ wide working width. This means it has a weight tray of 175 lbs. capacity for increased soil penetration. The product features 32 galvanized and sharpened plug coring knives with flat-free transport tires. Aside from the heavy gauge, it weighs 86 lbs. with feature dimensions that make 53″ x 17.5″ x 7″.
Pros: It is strong, powerful, and defined as the best tow plug aerator model. It has a heat-treated aeration knife. It has a cantilever transport handle. It is time-saving. The product is suitable for land that has uneven terrain and heavily compacted soil. This aerator works as a detacher by simply removing the layer of dead organic material build upon the lawn. It has a universal Hitch.
Cons: Unlike manual or spike aerators, the assembly may take a little bit of time. This aerator is hard to turn in tight corners.
Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator 6C
This is a manual lawn plug coring aerator and dethatcher that reduce the compaction and thatch of the soil and thereby allow the air, water, and fertilizers down to the root zone. However, it is more suitable for small lawn areas but it strengthens drought and heat tolerance in the turf.
Main Features: The body and material are composed of heavy-duty powder-coated steel handheld lawn corer are built for a lifetime of use. This helps in extracting a 2 ½” x 3 ½” area in order to reduce the amount of soil compaction, encourages turf growth, and promote vigorous root growth.
The aerator’s 37″ tool height is designed to reduce the back strain and this helps you to easily aerate the whole yard. The product weighs 3.72 lbs. having the dimensions of about 1.8″ x 8.8″ x 36.5″.
Pros: The aerator is easy to clean and store this light-weighted aerator. The product is durable, safe, and convenient. The product is easy to use – no assembly required. It is cost-effective. It has a lifetime guarantee.
Cons: The product is more physical exertion and time-consuming. Tines get clogged when in use.
Abco Tech Lawn Aerator Shoes
This is an aerator spike shoe that is suitable for small-sized yards with its professional-grade aeration. The Abco Tech lawn aerator spike shoes look like a sandal but have spikes that dig the ground to reduce compact on the surface of the soil. It makes you get to the most difficult areas of your lawn.
Main features: These lawn aerator shoes are made of a sturdy plastic base with excellent heel support. It features 13 heavy duty metal with 48 mm spikes on each sandal. It also features 3 adjustable straps with strong buckles that aprice. The feature dimensions of these aerator spike shoes are 11.8″ x 5″ – having nail length of 2″ each and then weighing 2.5 lbs.
Pros: This product is made of superior quality and risk-free product. The 2″ spike penetration of this aerator allows air, water, fertilizer, and nutrients in seeping into the roots. It is comfortable to wear and also easy for you to assemble. It is the best alternative to many other machine aerators. It is also Cost-effective.
Cons: This aerator spike shoes if not adjusted properly then you feel slipping and may cause puncture to your shoes. It is time timing and requires physical exertion. Small straps which is not suitable for many people.
Sun Joe AJ801E 13 in. 12 Amp Electric Scarifier + Lawn Dethatcher
This corded electric aerator is powered by a robust 12A motor that makes the dethatcher rakes a 12.6″ wide path in a single pass. It comes with a scarifier and scraper which make it easier to reseed the scraped areas of your lawn.
Main features: The aerator has a 5 position depth control knob. This tailors the raking depth from – 0.4″ (10 mm below the soil) to + 0.4″ (10 mm above the soil). That depends on the lawn’s scarifying or the dethatching needs. The product weighs 27 lbs. with 21″ x 23″ x 41″ dimensions. This aerator also contains a hatch bag used in cleaning the area and collecting the grass.
Pros: It picks up thatch efficiently. It is suitable for larger lawns. It has a powerful engine and it’s safe to use. The dethatcher and scarifier are easy to swap.
Cons: Changing the dethatcher for the scarifier will require a 10 mm wrench.
Brinly PA – 40BH Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
This is a tow behind plug/core aerator that works well on turns and uneven terrain with its three independently rotating, welded tine sections that minimize the turf damage during turns. Also helps for consistent penetration on uneven ground.
Main features: The product contains 40″ working widths with 24 heat treated. Contains 16 gauge steel plugged spoons to penetrate deep into the compacted soil and also removes up to 3″ plugs of soil. Designed for easy penetration and absorption of air, water, seed and nutrients to get to the root. This aerator weighs 64.5 lbs. with feature dimensions of 37″ x 51″ x 28″.
Pros: Made with a single transport lever. Very easy to use across the entire garden area. Tines do not get clogged. It has a universal hitch. It is suitable for heavily compacted or clay-rich soil. Best in quality, made in the US and easy to operate.
Cons: Product takes a long time to assemble the aerator. Not a suitable machine for turning too many corners.
GreenWorks 27022 10 Amp 14 Corded Dethatcher / Scarifier Lawn Aerator
This is a corded electric aerator that is powered by a precision-built electric motor that is meant to be connected to a power supply of 120 volts, 60 Hz AC. This machine also ensures a zero carbon footprint.
Main features: The product features an adjustable handle with an ergonomic padded grip. This gives the user comfort while removing the thatch from the lawn. This aerator contains an adjustable tine depth of 3 positions that provides great control by removing matted layers. This product weighs 25.92 lbs. with 25.3″ x 18″ x 12.5″ dimensions.
Pros: This machine is suitable for medium to large-sized lawns. It saves you cost and time. The absence of pollution (air or sound) in turn improves the health and appearance of your lawn. It is easy to use and highly effective (works like an aerator and dethatcher). It is easy to assemble.
Cons: To enjoy it, you need to buy a power extension cable. According to some users, the handle will break after a few usages of this dethatcher (as it is made of plastic).
Jumbo Varieties Lawn Aerator Shoes
These are spike aerator shoes that offer a flawless experience. They come with a fuss-free single strap design to ensure a tight fit and also save your time.
These grass aerating shoes suits perfectly for aerating the small-sized lawn. They dig the ground in order to make sure that water, nutrients, and air will reach deep into the soil and thus keep the grass grow healthy.
Main features: The aerating sandals of the product are made with a sturdy plastic base. They have 26 industrial rust-proof stainless-steel spikes (of 2.2″) that allow you in reaching deep-rooted soil
In addition, the shoe has a non-slip durable metal buckle to ensure a tight fit so as to have a comfortable walk around the yard. It is lightweight to wear because it weighs 1.95 lbs. and also aerate the lawn effectively.
Pros: It is lightweight and comfortable for you to wear without a problem. It is made with a sturdy plastic base and heavy-duty spikes. It offers a stainless-steel shovel for your gardening needs. Makes it possible to aerate the lawn to reach the air, water, and other nutrients into the soil.
Cons: The shoe’s strap design is not up to the mark. Soil and grass get attached to the shoe’s bottom, this prevents you from walking properly. It is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator
The mantis 7321 power tiller aerator performs both aerating and dethatching at a time which helps you to save a lot of time in maintaining a healthy green lawn area. The aerator is a perfect lawn tool useful for compact, clay soil.
Main features: The mantis 7321 power tiller lawn aerator has a set of 4 tempered steel blades which help to punch holes in the soil properly. This aerator offers 60 spring steel picks which help to dethatch a 15″ swath with a single pass. It has dimensions of 15″ x 8″ x 9″ and weighs 17.5 lbs.
Pros: It gives a lifetime guarantee on tines along with 2 years warranty from the date of purchase. It performs both aeration and dethatching. In one stroke, it dethatches a 15″ swath.
Cons: The equipment is a little bit difficult. Some people find its installation difficult.
Yard Butler M – 7C Lawn Spike Aerator
This is a manual aerator with sharp spikes that easily slip into the ground to loosen the soil. Through the aeration, the lawn receives the necessary hydration, air, and nutrients to stimulate the regrowth of the grassroots.
Main features: The four 3″ spikes of this aerator are heavy-duty forks that will penetrate and loosen the compacted soil. This aerator works in various conditions such as rocky lawns, highly compacted ground, and sticky soil. The dimensions are 37″ x 10″ x 1″ and weigh 2.25 lbs.
Pros: You can trust it because it comes with a lifetime warranty. Also, it guarantees against any material or manufacturing defects. This aerator works well in rocky soil or any soil with high clay content. It is easy to clean and you can store. Maintenance is low and lasts for a longer time. It is durable and lightweight.
Cons: It is not suitable for aerating large areas of lawn. It consumes time and is labor-intensive.
Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener
The Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener helps to break up compacted soil. It performs the task of helping to break up soil colloids, loosen clay and dirt, and enhance soil structure.
Also, the 32-ounce bottle can be used to treat lawns of up to 32,000 square feet. This liquid aerator makes use of non-toxic ammonium lauryl sulfate as its main ingredient.
Pros: The aerator treats up to 32,000 square feet. It goes a long way in performing the necessary tasks. The product is affordable.
Cons: This aerator does not include an application bottle.
Another great option: in case, this liquid aerator is not in stock, another great alternative is PetraTools Liquid Dethatcher. It is also a good solution that can help aerate your lawn or garden without hassle.
For you to choose the best lawn aerator, you have to consider certain factors below:
First, while purchasing a lawn aerator, choose the lawn size. Then consider the width of the blades.
The third option you have to consider is the knives to clean the old grass and weed. Then you consider the body material of the aerator.
Read also: 4 Best Liquid Aerators For Clay Soil
Also, the ergonomic handle is essential while putting it into consideration. You can also need a heads collecting bag.
The guarantee given by the manufacturer is very essential to consider. Finally, the price of the product (aerator) should be taken into proper cognizance.
I hope you will find this article helpful in understanding how to choose the best aerators for clay soil. Let me know if you have any questions.