A plug-in aerator (also called a center aerator) makes small holes in your lawn. Aerating your lawn is a good way to allow more water and fertilizers to enter the soil. A plug aerator also makes roots healthier by reducing soil compaction. The end goal is to have a green lawn that is more tolerant of heat and drought. Improving the lawn can also increase its durability and can better withstand traffic. You can buy an aerator at a lawn or home improvement store. But if you only plan to use it once a year, you can save money by renting one from a local rental store.
For larger lawns, you can get a pull aerator to connect to your mower. There are two different versions that connect to the mower. One is a trailer version that connects to the rear tires of the mower. The other version uses a 3 point hitch. They come in various widths and offer options like hydraulic lifts. Make sure the aerator you choose works with your mower.
1. Three point hitch
Step 1: line up the team
The three point hitch requires you to align the mower with the aerator. Put the mower in reverse and drive slowly until it is in line with the implement. Make sure to lower the arm so that it can align with the highest point of the aerator.
Step 2: connect to the bars
On the back of the mower is a three-sided object that has sticking bars. Place the two arms of the aerator on the bars. Secure with cotter pins to ensure mower and implement stay together. If you have difficulty putting these pieces together, make sure the mower and aerator are in a straight line. Pull back and forth again if necessary.
2. Trailer connection
Each trailer aerator may be a little different, but generally they have an arm that simply attaches to the rear wheels of the mower. Your owner’s manual will show you the exact steps for your equipment.
3. Add weight
Once the aerator is connected to the mower, you may need to add additional weight. You can verify this by making a fringe with the aerator and then checking the plugs you pulled out of the ground to see if it is going deep enough. Otherwise, add weight with concrete blocks if there is a flat deck, sandbags, water containers, or other weights that will stay securely on the implement while in use. These weights generally need to be added if you have hard or compacted soil. It will make the teeth go deeper into the ground and break it better.
Using an aerator to improve your lawn takes some time and effort. Plugging it in the first time can be a learning process, but you’ll be glad you did it while enjoying your beautiful green grass.