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If a full drum aerator is overkill for your yard, or if you have lots of time on your hands, consider aerating your yard by hand foot with the Yard Butler Core Aerator.  You might be asking, “If I’m going to go the cheap route, why not just use a pitchfork?”  Well, many people claim that core, or plug, turf aeration is superior to spike (read: pitchfork) aeration because more air can get to the roots — which is, after all, the point of aeration.

Core aeration of an entire yard with this tool might be so slow as to be useless, but you could aerate the trouble spots with it, and that might be all you need.  If you have standing water in certain areas or packed high-traffic areas, core aeration should help — and with street pricing at $22, this tool might be the least expensive way to do that.

Yard Butler Core Aerator [Lewis Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What's This?]

 

12 Responses to Turf Core Aerator

  1. scubasteve says:

    I have a very similar tool, just made by a different manufacturer. As mentioned, I wouldn’t want to do a large yard with it. but for small yards (under 6-8,000 sq ft) its not that bad. Looks like a flock of geese camped in your yard when done though. Also have to be careful with the soil used on as well as soil moisture. They tend to clog, and its a pain to clear them out.

  2. kdp says:

    One thing to remember – if you’ve applied a pre-emergent herbicide, using an aerator is akin to punching a bunch of holes in your protective layer. You’ll have to reapply.

  3. MikeT says:

    I used one of these once, and it took about three plunges into turf before the holes both plugged up and it became much less effective.

  4. elmegil says:

    I for one am pretty skeptical. I have a step-on “manual” aerator, though not a core aerator, and if the ground is too wet I end up digging up the yard, and if it’s too dry I can’t make a dent in it. The band of “just right” is too narrow for it to be of any use to me in my loamy soil (years of tree leaves just left there by previous owners…very rich but something of a pain).

  5. Brau says:

    I have one of these … completely useless … plugs up way too easy. Found a simple pitch fork works better to aerate, but doesn’t remove any plugs of course.

  6. Stu says:

    I have the similar “Turf Hound” and it works well for me. My yard is very small (200 sq ft) and has a dense clay soil.
    As to plugging up — each plunge pushed out the previous core.
    elmegil is right — can’t be to too dry or too wet. But I only use it a couple times in spring and a couple times in fall (when I’m reseeding and fertilizing), so it’s not hard to find a few minutes with the right conditions, and it takes no time to get it out and get it done.

    http://www.hound-dog.com/turf_hound.htm
    http://www.amazon.com/Hound-Dog-Products-TURF-HOUND/dp/B00023S156

  7. J.R. Bluett says:

    Just for fun, I may have to look around for a powered/self-ejecting version. It will probably be way more expensive than it is worth, but there has to be somebody that was annoyed with the “correct amount of wet” problem with the plugs getting stuck. Thanks for the input by the way, this is another item on my “questionable” list for when I buy a house.

  8. Frank Townend says:

    One can always rent an Aerator for a weekend. Maybe with two or three neighbors, the cost is quite reasonable.

  9. Andy says:

    Actually, you should be able to rent power aerators by the hour. Near me, they’re $15/hour with a 3-hour minimum.

    I also have this aerator featured on this page. It is definitely slow going, especially if you want dense aeration. Works best when soil is moist but not waterlogged, b/c as others have mentioned, it can clog easily (especially if you have clay soil).

  10. Paul says:

    This thing is another 3rd world produced piece of garbage. It wouldn’t last the use it would take to do a 100 sq.ft.yard. I don’t think it would last long enough to aerate a potted plant.

    It’s junk and i would bet a dollor for dounuts that all of lewis tools are junk..
    but thats what you get when you out source to mexico.

    I feel violated by the cheapnesss of there products

  11. Jo Darby says:

    The reason spikes, pitchforks, etc don’t really help your lawn is because the soil compacts around the spike/tine and makes compaction worse.

  12. Jude says:

    Paul (2 comments above mine) – I feel violated by the cheapness of your English.

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