What is a Turf Aerator and Why Should You Use One?

On the face of things using an aerator on your grass might seem like a slightly odd idea, but it starts to make a whole lot of sense once you begin to understand the compelling benefits that turf aeration can bring.

Essentially, aerators perforate the soil, creating small holes along the surface. Some simpler aerators are just surfaces with lots of spikes that can be pushed down into the soil, but newer and more convenient aerators see spikes run around on a wheel, so you can push them around the garden and get the job done faster. There are even aerators that can attach to the back of your ride-on lawn mower!

Regardless of your chosen aerator, your turf will enjoy a whole heap of benefits.

Breaks up compacted soil

First and foremost, an aerator helps prevent soil compaction. This can be particularly important in residential gardens, which will typically see children and pets running around on the lawn whenever it's warm enough to do so, but soil compaction can occur under plenty of other conditions.

In any case, densely compacted soil is not an ideal environment for glass. Looser soil allows the roots to go deeper and find more nutrients and water. Additionally, the more welcome creepy-crawlies that live in your soil and help the grass to grow, such as worms, can get around more easily when the soil is not compacted. Finally, looser soil takes added nutrients and fertiliser more ably, so whatever you feed your soil with is going to have a better chance of working to its fullest potential. You'll also be letting in more air and rainwater, both things that your grass needs in order to thrive.

Reduces heavy thatch

Thatch refers to the dead grass and roots that can form an untidy build-up across a lawn. A thin layer of thatch isn't anything to worry about, but too much will retain moisture. In turn, this can lead to rot and excess root damage. The moist and dense environment can also start to attract insects and other unwelcome organisms; after all, it's a perfect home for them. Even if that doesn't happen, it's far nicer to walk on springy grass than across thick, damp thatch.

Using an aerator can help since it will break up the soil, allowing for some reabsorption, and it also helps break down the dead grass, making it more likely to decompose naturally.