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Lawn Tools for Punching Holes in the Yard

Updated February 21, 2017

When the soil in your lawn becomes compacted, your plants and grass might not grow to their full potential because of a lack of air, moisture and new seed to the soil. Using a tool to aerate your lawn means punching holes in the yard to loosen it, allowing the much-needed air and moisture to reach the roots of growing plants. There are a few different ways you can punch these holes in the soil. All of them are effective, but you should learn about each one to decide which one suits your purposes.

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Aeration Sandals

Aeration sandals are a handy way to aerate without the need for bulky equipment. The sandals strap onto your shoes or boots and turn your stroll across the yard into an aerating process. Spikes protrude from the bottom of the sandals, and as you stomp the ground during your walk, holes get punched into the soil, loosening it and allowing the air and moisture into otherwise hard, dense soil. Aeration sandals are good for small patches of grass and soil but inefficient for large lawns.

Rolling Aerators

One of the most common types of aerators is a simple rolling aerator with sharp tines mounted around a rolling cylinder. The rolling aerator is pushed manually, much like a lawnmower, as the tines punch holes in the ground. It is an inexpensive, easy-to-use aeration device that is effective on moderately compacted soils on home lawns. Harder soils might require loosening before the tines will penetrate the soil, especially in hard clays. Moistening the ground could help, but that will create mud, making the process more messy.

Core Aerators

The core aerator is among the most effective aerators. Not only does this tool roll along and punch holes in the yard, but it also has round cutting spikes resembling tiny post hole diggers that cut into the soil and take a plug or core from the soil, then drop it at the surface. Core aerators allow more air and moisture to access the soil than simple tine devices. At the end of the process, the cores can be left alone to dry and break down naturally on the ground, they can be dragged with a yard box or roller to break them up more quickly, or they can be raked and saved as a topsoil dressing for a later date, according to the Easy Lawn Care Help website.

Vibrating Power Aerator

A vibrating power aerator provides excellent aeration by punching holes in the soil with tines and vibrating back and forth to break up the ground around the tines as it moves. Some soils are so hard and compacted that the ground must be loosened before using an aerator. But the vibrating action of this device loosens the soil as you go. This type of aerator is effective but expensive to buy and costly to power.

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About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.

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