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Core Aeration vs. Spike Aeration

- March 30, 2018
Core Aeration vs. Spike Aeration
When your lawn's soil becomes dense and compacted over time, the grass has a hard time building a healthy root system and absorbing nutrients in the soil. The solution to soil compaction problems is aeration, and from the two widespread methods of aeration - core aeration and spike aeration - core aeration is typically much more successful.

How Spike Aeration Works

The process of spike aeration is simple: it entails driving a spike in to the lawn's soil to make a hole. That usually entails employing an aerator with a rotating drum or wheel covered with strong steel spikes, but merely poking holes in the turf with a rake or fork would technically qualify as spike aeration. The key defining factor is the fact that the spike only makes a hole and doesn't remove any material.

How Core Aeration Works

A core aerator, occasionally called a plug aerator, operates within a manner similar to a spike aerator, but a core aerator is equipped with hollow tubular teeth as opposed to strong spikes. As the hollow teeth are driven in to the turf, a plug of soil is driven into the center on the tooth, as well as the aerator lifts the plug in the turf, leaving behind a wider hole than a spike aerator makes. The aerator leaves behind the plugs of soil on the surface on the lawn.

When to Spike

Spike aerators work best when the soil isn't really compacted. Since they don't remove any material, they're less successful at loosening the soil, and due to the fact they're pushing soil out from the method to make their holes, they could make compaction worse. Spike aeration may be efficient if, as an alternative to trying to loosen the soil, you're trying to improve access to grass roots throughout fertilization or prepare the surface on the lawn for overseeding.

When to Core

Core aerators do a considerably much better job than spike aerators of breaking up severely compacted soil, as well as the holes they leave behind encourage healthy root growth and boost access to water and nutrients for the grass. The principal disadvantage of core aeration is that it leaves behind a scattering of unsightly soil plugs on the turf. You can easily break the plugs up with a mower or rake following they've had a chance to dry out.
 

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