The 7 Best Lawn Aerator Shoes
Reasons To Aerate Your Lawn
Showing off your lawn is an essential aspect of the American Dream. Nothing can make you feel more superior to your neighbors than having a yard that's greener, more lush, and all-around better.
So, if you notice your grass is starting to look a little haggard, it can be a real blow to your self-esteem — and it could mean that it's time for you to aerate your lawn.
When your soil becomes too compacted — whether from kids and pets running around on it or because you occasionally park on it — it squeezes your roots, impacting their ability to function. This makes it difficult for them to get all the water and nutrients they need.
The solution, then, is to free up a little space in the ground.
By creating a few well-placed holes in your turf, you can improve the exchange between your soil and the surrounding air. This allows for water to penetrate deeper into the ground, as well as forcing fertilizer and other nutrients into the soil.
If you have problems with thatch, aerating your lawn can also help break it down. You don't want to remove all the thatch, as that can damage your lawn; all you want to do is break up the layers a little bit.
There are two different types of aeration to consider. One, called plug or core aeration, involves taking out chunks of dirt from your lawn in targeted locations. This opens up quite a bit of room, but it does leave chunks of your lawn missing. The other, spike aeration, simply puts holes in the dirt. This won't create as much space, but it's more than enough in many cases, and no one will be any the wiser.
It may feel vaguely treasonous to attack your perfect, trusting lawn, but in the long run, it will thank you for it, especially after it returns to its former glory. Then you can focus on what's truly important: showing off in front of your jerk neighbors.
How To Tell If Your Soil Is Compacted
While seeing your grass turn brown is worrisome, it's not enough to prove that aeration is warranted. After all, there are a variety of factors that could cause your lawn to die. If you're worried about compaction, below are a few things to be on the lookout for.
Standing water is a telltale sign. If rain isn't quickly descending lower into the ground, that's because it's finding it hard to penetrate into the soil — a sure sign of compaction. It could also mean that you have lots of clay in your soil, which is something else that aeration can help improve.
If the grass is thinning, that's another indicator that your soil may be too dense. The fact that it's there at all means that there's enough nutrients for some growth, but not enough to support a healthier development.
Any grass in a high-traffic area is almost certain to require periodic aeration. This is especially true in parks and other places designed to entertain large crowds, as well as any grass that will have vehicles parked on top of it.
If you think your soil might be compacted, but you're not sure, there's a simple test that can reveal the truth. Simply shove a screwdriver or pencil into the ground; if it's hard to get the point in, you need to aerate. If you need further proof, you can use a shovel, as well. The shovel should sink in easily to at least halfway down the blade.
While you're digging into your lawn, check on the thatch depth. If there's more than a half-inch layer, you should consider dethatching a little bit in addition to aerating, although this is admittedly a drastic measure.
The good news is that, while compact soil can choke out your grass, alleviating the problem is fairly simple and easy. In fact, all you may need to do is change your shoes.
Benefits Of Lawn Aerator Shoes
Once you realize how important aerating your lawn can be to the health of your grass, it might be hard to believe that such a vital job could be completed simply by wearing a pair of shoes around the yard — but the fact is, you can go a long way towards restoring your lawn with some of these kicks.
The most obvious benefit is the minimal amount of work involved. If you're capable of tying your shoelaces, you can start boosting your lawn's health. There's no special effort required, as you can simply continue to go about your life — playing with your kids, passive-aggressively feuding with the neighbors, etc. — without having to do any extra chores.
They're also cheaper than buying or renting a dedicated machine. That makes them a smart choice for the homeowner whose lawn has more pressing problems, or who just wants to do periodic maintenance to prevent the soil from getting too compacted.
Now, it's important to know that these things aren't miracle workers. If you have a serious compaction problem, you'll probably need to remove plugs of soil to bring the grass back to life. Additionally, if you're constantly wearing your shoes and traipsing around your lawn, you could ultimately worsen the problem, so use them sparingly.
Also, if you're only wearing them on certain areas of your lawn, you may be ignoring other sections that need your help. It's smart to have a plan of action before you put them on, so that you won't miss any spots that could benefit from aeration.
While lawn aerator shoes aren't a one-stop solution to dying lawns, they are an inexpensive, low-effort way to let your grass breathe a little bit.
And once you see the difference spiked shoes can make for your lawn's health, it might be just the push you need to finally install that putting green in the backyard.