Difference Between Plug and Spike Aerators

Difference Between Plug and Spike Aerators
Every person desires their lawn to be lush and healthy, the envy in the neighborhood. Watering and fertilizer alone will not constantly produce the lawn you dream of. Depending on the age of the lawn or the soil and growing conditions in the lawn, introducing lawn aeration into your yard care routine can result within a thicker, greener lawn, without too considerably work.

What Aerating Does

Aerating a grass lawn is basically opening up the soil to allow the grass roots to breathe by using certainly one of three methods. When grass is grown in heavy clay soil, has deep thatch buildup, or endures a lot of foot traffic, like on a playing field where the soil becomes compacted, the roots in the grass can not receive adequate important oxygen or water. Though seldom will a diminished supply of oxygen to grass roots result in the lawn to die, the lawn will turn out to be lackluster and sickly searching over time, if oxygen is denied for the roots.

Methods of Lawn Aeration

You can find 3 commonly used methods of aerating a lawn:

  1. power raking; 
  2. tine or spike aerating, and 
  3. core or plug aerating

Each has its benefits and drawbacks, depending on the type of lawn, the use in the lawn and the desired outcome. An easy way to determine if a lawn needs aeration is to meticulously dig out a square foot of lawn that's dug 6 inches down. In the event the roots are only inside the very first two or 3 inches of the 6 inches, and tangled and balled up, aeration is most undoubtedly needed. But if the roots attain to, or close to, the bottom of the six inches and seem to possess room to spread, but there is certainly at the least 1/2 inch of thatch buildup on top of the soil, hand or power raking may be the far better remedy.

Spike Aeration

Spike or tine aeration, because the name implies, is merely placing deep cuts into the lawn soil with spikes. You'll find power spike aerator machines available for rent; hand-pushed spike aerator rollers; or lawn spike aerator attachments for your footwear. Spike aeration is less expensive to implement than plug aerating, however the benefits of spike aerating a lawn aren't as long lasting and should be repeated much more frequently. As opposed to plug aeration, spike aerating can be carried out at anytime during the year, even numerous times in 1 year. The visual effects of spike aeration are minimal in comparison to a lawn that has been plug aerated, as well as the turf heals considerably more swiftly with spike aeration. In clay soil, plug aeration can be a far better option due to the fact spike aeration can really compress the soil around the cut additional, which will add to compaction, defeating the purpose. Spike aeration is better utilized within a sandy soil because it helps with drainage by opening up the soil. Because of the deep cutting, occasionally up to a foot or a lot more, spike aerating close to underground watering systems or tree and shrub roots have to be avoided to prevent any damage. .

Plug Aeration

Plug aerating, also referred to as core aerating, is done using a power machine that removes a 3- to 4-inch plug of grass and soil every single three or four inches throughout the lawn. It truly is the preferred and most effective method of aerating a lawn, due to the fact as opposed to just creating cuts within the lawn as spike aeration does, it extracts a core or plug from the soil which then permits a direct path for air, water and fertilizer to reach the grass roots. This access to the grass roots will enable a lawn to grow in fuller and healthier. The visual effect of a lawn that has been plug aerated isn't as attractive as a spike-aerated lawn because the plugs that have been extracted are generally left on the surface from the lawn. They are going to naturally break down and integrate back in to the lawn. Power core aerator machines are available for rent at many home improvement centers and equipment rental shops, or you could choose to hire a professional lawn care service to plug aerate your lawn.

When to Aerate

Most homeowners want only to plug aerate the lawn as soon as a year, either inside the spring, right after the final freeze, or fall, just before the freeze. When the lawn just isn't terribly compacted, core aeration can be done each two or three years for optimum benefit. Spike aeration could possibly be carried out at any time through the season, and could be applied a number of times throughout a single season because of the ability from the turf to heal swiftly from the cuts along with the shorter duration on the benefits of spike aeration. For heavily compacted lawns, including a single exactly where vehicles drive more than it; on which sports events are held; or on which recent construction occurred that had heavy equipment driving more than the area, plug aeration is advisable and might be required two or 3 times a year. This needs to be accomplished only in intense cases, and most likely only on the tips of a lawn care skilled. See also Best Sod Plugger

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