7 great products to aerate your lawn, from tools to sprays

Want a healthy, green lawn this year? Try these aerators and aerating products. (Getty/File)

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Spring is here and those first blades of green grass are beginning to shoot up. But how can you take your lawn to the next level, so it’s healthy, lush and even?

Experts recommend aerating, either by hand or by mechanical means. Aeration is the process of “coring” holes into the soil throughout the lawn. And spring is the best time to do it, before grass begins to get green.

But what exactly does aerating do? “It does help to de-compact the soil after winter or a lot of walking across it. It helps with that process,” says Len Chambers, a horticulturalist with the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens.

In addition, it helps to get more oxygen down at root level, Chambers says, adding that it helps soil hold water, and protect from runoff whenever you water the lawn. Aerating is also useful if you’re adding soil, seed or nutrients into the ground, so they penetrate properly.

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If you want to use this technique to get your lawn looking lush and healthy this spring, there are some great tools and products to try.


This fork-style aerating tool pulls out small soil plugs via its tines to let seed, air and water in. Plus, the hollow shape of the tines mean you just push in with your foot, remove the soil and keep going, no need to clear the tool each time.


This version by the popular Fiskars brand provides an extended reach for easier use, and pulls out a sizeable soil plug, similar to using a motorized aerator. Users, who said it was “amazing for small areas” were happy with the consistent size of the plugs and noted it worked well whether soil was clay based or sandy. Pro tip: This tool works best on wet soil, so homeowners suggested doing it after a rain or soaking the lawn first.


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With four sharp spikes, this aerator punctures smaller, non-visible holes that will be primed to soak up seed, water and nutrients. The spike aerator is especially useful for grass that has been compacted over winter by heavy snow or salt.


If you have a smaller-sized city lawn, why not try these popular shoe attachments? Get your frustrations out and provide that burgeoning grass with much-needed oxygen at the same time by strategically stamping across the yard. Bonus: They work in sand, clay or soil and strap on to fit any size of shoe.
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Rather than go the manual or electrical route, another method to try is a liquid aerator. Garden Pro’s makeup helps air and water penetrate to the roots. The container is super concentrated, meaning it can cover up to almost 3,000 square metres. Simple to use, just follow the instructions to mix the liquid with water and then spray it over the lawn, then water thoroughly. Pro tip: It’s best applied in the morning or evening, not during mid-day when the heat of the sun can affect the application.
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For a larger yard or area, try a rolling aerator with heavy duty spikes. This version pulls behind a riding mower or tractor if you have a much larger space to maintain. Plus, the uneven star-shaped spikes can penetrate that winter-compacted soil, up to 5 cm deep. Bonus: The spikes continue to rotate during turns, meaning less missed area.


For those who don’t want to have to store a large tool over the winter, there is another option: You can rent a gas-powered aerator to get the job done quickly and cover a large area efficiently. This compact version is easy to navigate through narrower spaces and comes with removable weight to provide more pressure for compact soil.
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