There are several things needed for a healthy lawn - mowing, water, food, and aeration. Getting the first food and water are easy enough, with rain and lawn feed providing all the nutrients your lawn needs, while mowing is an essential part of lawn maintenance that most of us do.
But what is aeration? It sounds more complex than it is. Aeration is the process of adding small holes to the soil beneath a lawn. This allows water, nutrients, and air to penetrate deep into the soil and to the grass roots, resulting in healthier root growth that will greatly improve lawn quality.
The reason holes need to be added is due to lawn compaction, which is when the top soil becomes too solid for water, air, and nutrients to reach deep into the soil. If these vital components cannot penetrate the soil, lawn roots become shallower and the overall condition of the lawn decreases as a result.
Lawn thatch causes similar issues and some lawn aerators can also remove lawn thatching on top of aerating, ensuring healthier root growth and lawn development
You don’t need to aerate the lawn too often and the results make it very worthwhile, with your lawn becoming fuller, greener, and with fewer weeds.
Einhell Electric Scarifier and Lawn Aerator
This machine from Einhell is multipurpose, not only aerating but is also scarifies, allowing you to remove lawn thatch while reducing soil compaction. Both functions work very efficiently and will leave your lawn much healthier, although you do need to swap out the spike drum and aerator roller for each task.
The ball-bearing aerator roller consists of 48 spikes, making it suitable for lawns up to 400m2, while there is also a ball-bearing spike drum with 20 steel blades for scarifying lawn thatching. Each function is simple to operate, allowing you to effortlessly push the device around the lawn for quick and easy maintenance.
A powerful 1400W motor provides the machine with deep penetration for more effective aeration and there is a catching bag for any thatching pulled up as you go, while you can also adjust the handle position for comfortable operation. Many buyers consider this to be the best lawn aerator for sale in the UK.
Coopers of Stortford Lawn Spike Aerator Roller
If you’re looking for a lawn aerator that is simple to use in large gardens then look no further than the spiked roller. Measuring 45cm, the aerator roller offers great coverage, producing rough 184 holes per square metre so it’s far more convenient to use than a garden fork.
Using the roller couldn’t be easier either. Simply push it around the lawn and the spikes will easily penetrate the soil as you go. The spikes aren’t hollow so it won’t remove any soil plugs, yet it is still provides effective aeration so the results will be an improved lawn.
The tool itself is around 4ft long and you can adjust the shaft to find a comfortable working position, so it’s certainly a fine choice for larger lawns that require more time and effort to aerate. There is also a metal protection guard, just in case you accidentally trip into the roller!
Lawn Aerator Spike Shoes
These lawn aerator shoes are a great buy if you want to improve lawn health with very little effort. Simply strap the shoes to your own footwear and then start walking across the lawn to get aerating.
When used right you can use these to aerate a massive area, so the results are going to be very impressive and well worth the effort. You won’t need to exert that much effort though, as the spikes are very sharp and penetrate even tough soil, with each of the 13 spikes measuring 30mm.
The shoes remain firmly on your feet thanks to three adjustable straps with a strong metallic strap for complete stability. Nothing slips or moves around as you go, with the spikes easily penetrating the ground as you move, so you won’t need to stamp or exert too much effort when aerating with the shoes.
A Guide to Lawn Aerators
There are many types of lawn aerators, any of which may be ideal for your lawn, with each one making the aeration process quick and easy. There are several factors that will influence what type is best lawn aerator for your needs, such as lawn size and how much thatching and soil compaction is present, so it helps to know how each aerator works.
This type of aerator is manually operated so is best used in smaller sized lawns. Trying to aerate a large lawn with a manual tool is going to take a lot of time and effort, although the tool is also far cheaper than any other type so it may be worth it depending on your budget.
Garden forks can be considered a manual aerator too, with the large spikes digging into the ground also helping to improve aeration, although its often more challenging to use a fork compared to a specially designed aerator.
Moreover, aerators often come with hollow tines that remove some of the soil. This increases the aeration and makes it far more effective, which is often recommended on poor condition lawns that have lots of compact soil.
Using a manual aerator does require more effort but is easy enough to do. You simply penetrate the spikes or tines around 4-6 inches into the ground, removing it and then repeating the process at regular intervals across the entire lawn.
While not a complex process it will require some effort, which is why its best saved for smaller lawns!
As the name suggests, aerator shoes are a type of footwear designed to aerate a lawn. It’s fitted with several small spikes at the sole of the shoes, allowing the wearer to walk across the lawn surface, aerating the lawn as it goes.
Most shoes are simply an attached strip of spikes that you strap to the bottom of your own footwear, after which you just walk across the lawn to aerate it using the small spikes. As it is technically manual work it will take some effort so is probably best saved for a small lawn.
Because the spikes are small and fine, they don’t get the same penetration as a hollow tine, so it can lack the efficiency of other products. That said, if your lawn is in good condition and you just want to keep on top things with regular aerating, then these are a great buy as they are quick and easy to use.
Plus, because you can easily walk across the lawn, you tend to get a wider coverage as you aerate, which can improve lawn health just as much as aerators that penetrate deeper into the soil
You will need to exert slightly more force as you move, almost stomping them into the lawn surface to ensure proper penetration. For this reason, you should wear solid footwear to protect your feet, preferably a set of sturdy boots!
This type of aerator is pushed up and down the lawn with very little effort, making it great for larger lawns with sloped areas. It features lots of spikes that rotate as you push the device, penetrating the ground with each pass.
It works just like a lawn mower - simply push it around the lawn in regular patterns to ensure even coverage. Pushing doesn’t require as much effort as walking and stamping with the shoes or using a manual tool, so it’s good for large lawns and for anyone that doesn’t want to exert too much energy.
You may need to go over the lawn twice for an even coverage, although it doesn’t require much effort so should be easy enough to do.
Powered by an electric motor, aerator machines take all the effort away from aerating the lawn, providing ample power to penetrate the soil while being very easy to operate. As a result, they are great for medium and large size lawns.
There are two main options available - walk behind and walk on.
Walk behind models look almost identical to an small lawn mower and are operated in the same way, with the user turning on the machine and pushing over the entire lawn surface. Walk on models are massive and tend to be used commercially, such as on a golf course, so we won’t need to worry about them.
These machines come with hollow tines that automatically dig into the ground and remove plugs of soil. This results in a lot of soil being removed and result in more effective aeration. if your lawn is in very poor condition or you just want it perfectly maintained through proper aeration, then this type of aerator is the best option.
I am the editor of Lawn Mower Hut and produce most of the content on the site. I have over 25 years experience in the gardening industry and have worked in multiple roles throughout that time. My passions are gardening and golfing. If you have any questions please get in touch I will be happy to help.
Last update on 2022-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API