Top critical review
an excellent alternative to an expensive lawn service
September 19, 2015
I purchased this with the expectation it wouldn't work and I'd need to hire a professional with a gas powered aerator. I waited until we got a decent rain and then I gave it a shot. In the parts of the yard that got a good deep soaking I got nice long plugs. In the drier areas I only got about 1-2 inch plugs. I bought a metal spike to clear the cores but I never needed it. I have pretty heavy clay soil so I was supposed that it didn't bind up. I think the best advice I can give for this tool is to wait until it rains enough to really soak the soil. I also tried not to force this tool into the soil. If it felt too hard I just moved over a few inches and tried again. The metal cores are sharp and the end and the step in after a couple inches to help prevent clogging. The design works very well.
My yard is reasonably small so it only took me 30 minutes to do the whole thing. If you have a large yard I'd plan to use this for a spot treatment or to hire a service.
So far my lawn is looking healthy and the old cores have almost completely broken down. I'll probably plan to do this once in the fall and once in the spring.
Update: the first season I used this aerator it worked perfectly. The next two seasons it has been far less effective. I've waited for a deep rain each time I've tried to use it but now mud is packed into the cores. I've used a metal spike to clear the packed clay but usually I get only one or two steps before it's clogged again. It's ended up serving more as a spike aerator but that doesn't help with the compaction in my lawn. Perhaps the cores need to be larger but regardless, I've been less impressed with this aerator lately.