How to Aerate Your Garden

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Learn simply and easy steps to aerating your garden for spring planting.

Things You'll Need

  • A Twist, Core or Spike Aerator, a Cultivator and a Tiller ( depending of size of garden
  • What is Soil Aeration?
    In plain English, literally poking holes in the ground allowing water, air and nutrients to be absorbed by the roots of your plants, roots have trouble penetrating soil. Aeration should be done twice a year, spring and fall although anytime is good for your lawn and garden.

  • Twist Aerator

    This type of aerator uses deep angled claws to break up very hard packed soil.  This tool has a center step plate that you simply step on and use your body's weight to make the holes then pull up allowing air into the ground.  Purchase one with extra long handles to reduce the twisting effect.  An aerator can also be used to blend fertilizers and mulches, mixing compost and makes for a good hole digger too.
  • Core Aerator

    This type of aerator reduces compaction of thatch to allow air, water and fertilizers down into the roots, it also stimulates root growth by pruning them and bringing natural micro - organism to the surfaces.  Core aeration reduces water run - off to strengthen roots making them more tolerant to drought and heat.  If your soil has particular high clay content a Spike Aerator will probably work best.  Water ground thoroughly to soften the soil before beginning aeration.
  • Spike Aerator

    There are two types of Spike Aerators, a walk behind and a 4 pronged with 3inch spikes that you just step on, step down then pull up.  The walk behind uses a series of rotating star shaped tines that slice into the soil allowing seeds, air, water, light, nutrients and fertilizers into the ground.
  • Cultivation

    Cultivation breaks up and loosens the soil while uprooting unwanted weeds in - between rows at the same time.
  • Rotary Cultivator

    Cultivate with ease with a cultivator that has specially designed blades on rotating wheels that break up soil and uproot weeds while automatically cleaning themselves.  Newer models have detachable blades that can be removed for tilling in between narrow or wide spaces and in around plants.  Make sure that the handles are adjustable to help reduce the stress and strain on back muscles.
  • Tilling

    Tilling prepares the soil for planting, making gardening much easier when the soil has been prepared, softened and fertilized.
  • Terra Tiller

    This small hand tiller is a must for a small garden; it has three sturdy prongs made for effectively deep tilling and cultivation.  Sharp blade is good for cutting, it has a comfortable grip that is sturdy and durable and made of all steel construction.  More on tillers in a later article when we prepare to plant.  Meantime for more tools and information check out;

    Yard Butler Store
    Gardening District
    Garden Shop

Tips & Warnings

  • When purchasing aeration garden tools it is important to know what you are buying them for, what they do and the correct way to use them. An aeration tool in your garden shed is equally as important as your garden hand trowel. Choose garden aerators and tillers made of solid steel construction for durability. Three are other garden tools needed to make your garden a show place are the aerator, cultivator and a garden tiller, each tool comes in a smaller version for small gardens.
  • As with all tools always be careful and wear proper clothing and always wear gardening gloves when using tillers or aerators
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