The key to a beautiful, healthy lawn is proper maintenance, and the only way to achieve your goal is with the right equipment. When it comes to aerating a small lawn, you’ll need a high-quality small lawn aerator to get the job done efficiently. As you already know, there is an extensive variety of aerator models on the market, with different features and prices, but still, not all of them will give you the best outcome. In other words, choosing the right product won’t be the easiest thing in the world. So, instead of wondering which one will fit your needs best, take a look at the following reviews of the best small lawn aerators and make sure you choose the ideal product for you.
Top 3 Small Lawn Aerators
Best Overall - Yard Butler ID-6C Lawn Coring Aerator
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Yard Butler ID-6C is undoubtedly one of the most reliable aerators you’ll find on the market. Being made of long-lasting steel, it guarantees durability, stability, and sturdiness. The aerator comes with two tubes, which are capable of removing two 1/2 plugs, each 3-1/2” long. This way, it reduces water runoff and ensures that the air, nutrients, and water penetrate the soil easier and get to the deepest end. Moreover, it features a padded handle and a foot bar for extra leverage. On the other hand, it’d be more convenient if the tool could expand, so it meets your needs completely. However, this way it’ll also do the job. The Yard Butler ID-6C will do its best only when the lawn is wet. That’s why you should water it prior to aerating. Also, it’s recommended to aerate the lawn at least twice a year, once in spring and once in fall.
|Removes two 1/2″ plugs, 3-1/2″ long||Works best only when the ground is wet|
|Designed with a foot bar for extra leverage||Non-adjustable height|
|Reduces water runoff and puddling|
|Constructed of steel|
Regarding maintenance, clean out the ejector tubes of the small lawn aerator after every use. Even though each core will push the previous one out while aerating, it usually comes to clogging. In that case, use a hard object like a screwdriver to eject the cores out and rinse the tubes afterward.
All things considered, if you have a small yard to take care of, the Yard Butler ID-6C small lawn aerator is a must-have. It doesn’t cost a pretty penny, yet it’s doing very efficiently what it’s intended to. Therefore, it’s among the best small lawn aerators on the market.
The AMES Companies Spike Aerator
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The Ames Companies spike aerator is operated the same way as the previous one, except it doesn’t remove soil plugs. The spikes make holes in the ground instead. The aerator is designed with a stirrup handle for the convenience of working. Since the tool is sturdy, it won’t pose any problem to penetrate even hardly compacted soils. However, spike aerators aren’t as efficient as coring ones, since they actually compact the soil even more. But, you can be sure that the seed won’t wash away once you put them there.
|Multi-spike design||Compacts the soil even more|
|A stirrup handle|
|Penetrates compacted soils easily due to its sturdy design|
Therefore, the Ames Companies spike aerator isn’t the best small lawn aerator that you’ll find on the market. But, if you need to aerate a small lawn, a manually operated aerator is the best option, which is exactly what this one is. However, it’s for the best to combine both aerator types. Firstly, You’ll make sure the air, water, and nutrients will get to the roots. Secondly, they don’t cost an arm and a leg. And finally, you’ll get a healthy, lush green lawn the neighbors will envy.
Abco Tech Aerator Shoes
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What if aerating was as easy as putting on the shoes and walking around? Well, with Abco Tech Aerator Shoes it is. They are made of a plastic base, with 13 metal spikes on each shoe, and 3 adjustable straps with metal buckles to tighten them up as needed. Once you assemble the shoes, just put them on, and walk across the entire garden to cover the whole area. Furthermore, make sure you saturate the lawn prior to aerating, so the nails penetrate the ground easily. The Abco Tech Aerator Shoes can be a good way to save time when doing yard work as well. For instance, why not aerate and mow at once?
|3 Adjustable straps||A plastic base|
|Anticorrosive spikes||Slip off quite often|
|Get stuck in compacted soils|
However, they’re far from flawless. These Aerator Shoes by Abco Tech don’t go into the ground as deep as the core aerators do. Also, they won’t perform as well in compacted soils, since they get stuck easily in the ground. On top of that, however hard you tighten them up, they can slip off easily.
As can be seen, the Abco Tech Aerator Shoes is far from the best option for aeration. Their spikes aren’t long enough to reach the root level. But, it beats spending a fortune on a big aerator anytime. However, for better results, you better stick to the coring aerators. Lastly, make sure you don’t wear the aerator shoes on a solid floor!
How Do Aerators Work?
Aerators are designed in such a way to penetrate the soil with their spikes or hollow tines in order to provide air circulation and to allow water and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass. Moreover, they make the lawn more resistant to heat and insects.
There are two types of aerators:
- Core Aerators
They come with hollow tines, which once penetrate the ground, they remove soil plugs, about 2-3 inches long, depending on the model. This way, they prevent water runoff and allow fertilizers and air to get deeper in the ground. Additionally, the core aerators are helpful when you’re dealing with compacted soil, since the tines break it up and redistribute it. However, they work best when the soil is wet.
- Spike Aerators
These aerators use spikes to make holes in the soil, without removing any plugs. They are suitable for soils that aren’t heavily compacted. On the other hand, compared to core aerators, spike aerators don’t make holes as deep as the previous ones do. On top of that, they can compact the soil even more. But, once you spread seed or fertilizers on the surface, you can be sure that they won’t wash away.
Your lawn mower keeps the yard looks nice and tidy, but the aerator keeps the grass “healthy”.
Using Aerators in Your Small Yard
Regardless of what size the lawn is, it must be aerated so that it remains healthy and green. Out of all lawn aerator types, the most suitable for small lawns are hand-operated coring aerators. By using a small lawn aerator, you won’t have to walk miles to aerate the entire area, yet you’ll provide it with essential materials.
If you wonder how you’d know when to aerate it, the lawn might tell you itself. If you notice the following signs that indicate poor soil aeration and drainage, it’s time to take matters into your own hands:
- Puddles of water across the lawn
- Parts of the lawn with dead grass or no grass
- Brown patches on the lawn
- Clay soil
- Thatch buildup
Otherwise, it’s for the best to aerate the lawn during an active growing season – that is, spring and fall.
Do Aerator Shoes Work?
Aerator shoes, which come with spikes on the bottom, are supposed to aerate your lawn while you walk around. But, aeration is more than just making holes in the ground. The holes should be deep enough in the first place, so the air, water, and nutrients reach the root level. According to researchers, aerator shoes don’t make a big impact on the lawn. They compact the soil more than they actually aerate it. Hence, they’re an inexpensive alternative to bigger spike and core aerators, but they aren’t nearly as efficient as the latter ones are.
[accordiongroup id=”261″][accordion group=”261″ title=”When Should I Aerate My Lawn?” active=”true”]Depending on the soil, the lawn should be aerated once or twice a year. The best time to aerate the lawn is during the growing season, so the grass heals and fills in the empty areas where the soil plugs had been removed. In other words, in the early spring and fall.[/accordion][accordion group=”261″ title=”Should I Pick Up Plugs After Aerating?” active=”true”]After aerating the lawn with a core aerator, it’s for the best to leave the soil plugs on the ground. The lawn mower will break them up, after which they’ll decompose and filter back into the ground in two or three weeks. [/accordion][accordion group=”261″ title=”What Do You Do After You Aerate Your Lawn?” active=”true”]If you’ve aerated the lawn with a core aerator, leave the cores on the ground. Then, apply fertilizer across the entire area so that the nutrients reach the roots of the grass. Finally, reseed it. The seeds will mix with the cores and will have better access to non-compacted soil.[/accordion][/accordiongroup]