Using Lawn Aerators or Making Your Own
Lawn aerators are standard equipment in most home care stores, and you can rent them for the once or twice yearly use you may have. If your lawn is too small to justify the rent on such equipment, there are ways of making aerators yourself that more than do the job required. Of course, using them could mean a lot of physical effort, but the final effects on the lawn are more than worth it. A manual lawn aerator would make less of a mess of the lawn than a power aerator.
A lawn aerator can be made with lawn aerator sandals that can be bought or even made at home. Aerator sandals have spikes on the bottom sole of the sandal and a strap to allow the sandal to be fixed to any shoe that is needed to be worn.
The spikes are about one or two inches in length; it is better if you strap these on while you are standing on the lawn, as walking on hard surfaces with these spikes may not be possible. Once the sandals are on, walk over the lawn in measured steps, ensuring that you cover the entire area. Areas that are especially compacted may need to be revisited, as would areas that show a lot of thatches or dead tissue. It may be a good idea to water the lawn a few hours before you take your walk, or even the previous night if necessary. You can make such an aerator sandal by using any old shoes, which you use as a base for creating spikes made of steel or even hardened plastic.
Manual core aerators have two prongs on a handle that has an attachment for your feet to press down upon. You press the aerator down onto the lawn, remove the cores, and proceed to the next area. It is a back-breaking job and suggested only for smaller areas. You have only two cores for every square foot of an area. Use of soil conditioners is suggested after aeration.
Aeration is a process that gives new life to a lawn by exposing the roots to much needed oxygen, water and nutrients. It also helps to remove dead tissue.
Image Source: Flickr: cleanairgardening - http://www.flickr.com/photos/cleanairgardening/518513207/