Many “green thumbs” believe that aerating your lawn (by compacting the soil poking lots of little holes in it) helps to channel nutrients deeper into the ground where grass roots benefit from it most. You can pay a service for this, but it’s pretty easy to do yourself with a drum spike aerator, especially if you have a riding lawn mower. And it looks sweet parked in your garage — like some kind of barbarian siege gear.
This aerator from Swisher features 78 steel-tined spikes that penetrate about 2-1/2” down in into soil. It’s 40″ wide, too, so it aerates a pretty wide swath at once, meaning fewer trips ’round the yard for you. It’s made to hook on to your riding lawn mower as a trailer, and it’s not that heavy in its natural state. However, you can also fill the drum with water to further compact your dirt and extract full benefit of the aeration. Beware, though: with the extra water weight Swisher says you’ll need at least a 12 hp tractor to haul it.
One note: aerators like this work pretty well in most cases, but aeration alone won’t guarantee that air, water, and grass roots will meet and be fruitful. To assure good results, look at your soil and root conditions and do a little research before you drag one of these around your yard.
The Swisher’s $250 price tag might deter some yard laymen, but it’s actually not a bad deal if you aerate somewhat regularly or have a large yard. And how many lawn care tools that look cooler than this?