Thanks for taking your time to read our detailed information on the best lawn and garden aerators, that are currently available on the UK marketplace. This is a detailed article and includes the choices of lawn and garden aerators, that are available.
Aerating your garden is simply a matter of inserting thin holes into your lawn. This allows air and nutrients into the ground beneath your lawn, and promotes the growth of the healthy grass that sits on the surface.
All lawn aerators actually do is to either remove soil cores from the ground or they puncture holes into the lawn. You will notice a huge improvement in your lawn in only 2-3 weeks when you aerate your lawn properly.
It is Really just about Puncture Holes
Now the reality is that you can puncture holes with the humble garden fork. For small gardens this is an effective solution, and also a good option for those who don't mind a bit of manual work, or are able to do this type of work.
You simply go over the garden with the fork, and create a series of holes to help allow some air into the soil. A depth of around 5 cm (2-3") is all that is required. Even on a small garden this takes time, and for larger lawns the reality is a garden fork would just take far too long.
This can also be hard to do if the ground is firm, and almost impossible to do if the ground is hard. Soaking the ground with water makes this task a great deal easier.
That is where a good quality garden aerator can really help. They speed up the process of doing this task, which you need to do at least twice a year.
Many gardeners get highly frustrated when they buy and start using an aerator of any kind. The biggest single complaint is that the spikes or tines, don't go deep enough into the ground. The reason for that, in almost every case, is that the ground is simply too hard.
We can not stress enough, how important it is to soak the area you want to aerate, and make sure it is soft enough for the spikes or tines to easily push through.
Types of Garden Aerator?
There are four main types which are:
- Spike Shoes
- Tine Aerator
- Rolling Drum Aerators
- Mechanical Aerators
As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of all these is to open up compacted soil and introduce air into the soil beneath and around the grass. They all do this in slightly different ways but the purpose remains the same.
For lawns and grass the very best aerator and the one we would strongly recommend is one that has what are termed "hollow tines" sometimes referred to as "spoons".
As you drag this aerator along it draws up small plugs of earth. Before getting into any more specific detail on this hollow tine option, let's examine which type of aerator is best for your own purposes and then you will be better placed to make a decision.
A note of caution - the cheaper versions of these are quite flimsy, not that well made, and the spikes are usually too short to be effective.
Top 5 Buyer Rated Spiked Shoe Aerators
These are a popular choice mainly because they are the cheapest option, and they are very easy to use. These look like the soles of a shoe with spikes in them, and they also have straps that you attach to your shoes. They are a "one size fits all" type of attachment, and when you put them on, you simply walk on top of your grass.
The spikes then push down into the lawn and allow the air into the ground underneath your lawn.
These will do the job perfectly, as long as you take the time to properly attach them. The straps on these really do need to be properly tightened to avoid them falling off.
The biggest weakness about using these is that the garden has to be soft enough to allow the spikes to easily go into the ground.
- WINNING Lawn Aerator Spike Shoes
- Aunus Lawn Aerator Lawn Scarifier
- GRÜNTEK Lawn Aerator Shoes
- EEIEER Lawn Aerator Shoes (biggest seller)
- Abo Tech Lawn Spike Aerator Shoes
Our Top Picks
WINNING Lawn Aerator Spike Shoes
These shoes have 26 heavy performance spikes that attach to a sturdy plastic sandal with very strong heel support. There are 3 adjustable nylon straps that help attach the ventilation shoes close to the foot. They come with a small wrench to attach the spikes and takes about 10-15 minutes to have them set up and working.
Aunus Lawn Aerator Lawn Scarifier
These shoes have 26 heavy duty metal 30 mm spikes and have durable metal buckles and elastic bands. The base of the shoe is made from polypropylene and HDPE for additional safety. They also come with a small wrench to adjust the spikes. Buyers stated that they are very sturdy and make good size holes in the grass for aeration and accepting new grass seed.
GRÜNTEK Lawn Aerator Shoes
These shoes have 4 adjustable Velcro straps and as such are adaptable to any size of shoe. In the soles there are 13 safe steel nails per sandal and it is these that drill into the earth, making looser lawns more porous - soils store more air, and rainwater seeps faster.
EEIEER Lawn Aerator Shoes
These are the biggest seller online. They have a sturdy plastic base with good heel support. They also have 4 nylon straps and the straps will attach the shoes to your heels for extra durability. Each shoe has 13 high-performance spikes that pierce the ground while walking, breaking up compact ground and maximizing airflow and water absorption.
Abo Tech Lawn Spike Aerator Shoes
These aerator shoes are made up of a plastic base with good heel support, Each shoe has 13 heavy duty metal (30 mm) spikes and 3 adjustable straps with strong metallic buckles. All the metallic parts are designed to be highly anti-corrosive and durable.
Top 5 Spike (Tine) Garden Aerators
Many gardeners prefer to use this "hollow tine" type of aerator if they want a deeper aeration. The shoes above are OK for creating spike holes (thinner holes) in the ground. If however you want larger and deeper holes, then these will work better. You place these on the ground and push down on them with your foot.
These do involve a lot of physical effort, and it can be quite a slow process if you plan on aerating a bigger lawn. Using one of these is really hard work so be prepared for that if you are considering buying one of these.
It’s best practise to aerate your lawn now in late Autumn, as that will give your lawn a few weeks for it to recover before winter strikes. By using this type of tine aerator, it will allow water and air to circulate better through it. It also ensures heavy rainfall won’t ruin your lawn, which can easily be caused by waterlogging.
As we mentioned earlier, a garden forks is often used to aerate lawns, but using a hollow tine aerating tool does the job more efficiently. Each tine picks up a plug of soil and removes it, so your compacted soil is eased and drains better. Afterwards, sweep up the plugs and top dress with a sprinkling of compost. In a few weeks, you’ll be amazed at the difference.
- Corona LG 3604 Aerator with ComfortGel Handles
- The Handy Hollow Tine Aerator
- Kingfisher RC401 Pro Gold Lawn Aerator
- Garland Heavy Duty Hollow Tine Lawn Aerator
- Draper DRA30565 Lawn Aerator
Our Top Picks
Corona LG 3604 Aerator with ComfortGel Handles
This model is designed to automatically expel 8cm earth plugs, There are non-slip traction strips on the foot plate, for additional safety and stability. There is heat treated steel on base plate and tips for durability. The gel grips make this very comfortable to use.
The Handy Hollow Tine Aerator
This tine aerator has five 20mm hollow sprung tines that remove 50 mm deep cores. It also has a solid tread plate. The handles fold up for easier storage. This tool is very well built and put together.
Kingfisher RC401 Pro Gold Lawn Aerator
This is a basic 5 prong lawn aerator with a foot bar. The five prongs go 10cm into the ground. Buyers recommend oiling the inside of the tines or spraying them with WD40 to prevent the soil from blocking up the hollow tines.
Garland Heavy Duty Hollow Tine Lawn Aerator
This is made of plastic coated heavy duty steel. Each tine removes a complete core, and it is recommended that you brush lawn sand in the holes for the best results. The tines are welded on both sides which makes them sturdy.
Draper DRA30565 Lawn Aerator
This has a tubular steel construction with 5 tines and each tine is 12mm in diameter. It has a powder coated finish to help prevent sticking. The five tines have a cut-away pointed edge, which make holes around 10cm (4in) deep and 1.5cm (1/2in) in diameter.
Rolling Drum Garden Aerators
This type of aerator has as the name would suggest a range of spikes that push down into the lawn, and create small thin holes. It is known as a rolling spike aerator because it usually has two wheels, and a drum with the spikes attached.
The most important consideration for any buyer is the number of spikes and the depth of those spikes. For it to be effective, it should have around 27 spikes and that will give you about 180 spikes per square metre.
The spikes need to be able to go down into the ground at least 1.5" and ideally 2".
This type of drum roller aerators are the most popular as they are affordable and effective at getting the job done quickly.
Top 5 Buyer Rated Rolling Drum Garden Aerators
- Denny Shop Gardening Lawn Aerator 76%
- Greenkey Garden Rolling Lawn Aerator 74%
- Draper 83983 Rolling Lawn Aerator 72%
- Yaheetech Heavy Duty Rolling Garden Lawn Aerator 70%
- Finetree Gardening Lawn Aerator
Our Top Picks
Denny Shop Gardening Lawn Aerator
This model is made from galvanized metal tubing and PP plastic, and each metal plate has 4-5 spikes. The cylinder is 36cm wide , and the drum has 35mm metal spikes. The handle can be adjusted in 3 positions. It is easy to assemble and very easy to use.
Greenkey Garden Rolling Lawn Aerator
This model is classed as a large 300mm (12") width which helps aerate your lawn quickly and easily. It has thirty 45mm (2") spikes that provide deep and even aeration. It is available in either green or black.
Draper 83983 Rolling Lawn Aerator
This is a hand pushed lawn aerator, that is fitted with a galvanised steel drum, which has a total of 27 spikes. Like most manual aerators, this is really only suitable for light aeration. That is simply because this one is light, so will only penetrate softer ground.
Yaheetech Heavy Duty Rolling Garden Lawn Aerator
This model has 35mm spikes on a 36cm and offers a fast and efficient way to keep your lawn aerated. It is very quick to assemble and has a 3 piece steel handle.
Finetree Gardening Lawn Aerator
This model has a telescopic handle with 3 levels of adjustment. There are 4 spikes on each blade that help spike the ground. The blades are made from metal and some assembly is required.
The cheapest method of aerating a garden is to buy shoes or sandals with spikes built into the bottom of the shoes.
The theory is very simple,and they do work and are an affordable option. You step into these, buckle them up, and then walk around the garden. It doesn't get much simpler than that and you can do this when out doing any type of work around the garden.
The most common types of these will have 13 spikes with each spike being around 5 cm long.
Make sure these garden aerator shoes are well fastened, and that the ground is soft enough to allow the spikes to sink into the ground.
There are of course top of the range mechanical and electrical aerators that you can buy but only if the size of your garden warrants such a purchase. Of course you can usually rent these from various DIY outlets.
You will only need to do this once or twice a year so the cost should be minimal. We have found with these that they only come in solid spikes so you would lose the advantage of the hollow spikes. That makes it a balance between labour and getting the optimum result.
We also found that with the electrical aerators that they come as a combination tool with interchangeable scarifying and aerating drums. These are expensive so a bit of an investment for something you only need to do once or twice a year.
Professional gardeners and landscapers will invest in a petrol driven, heavy duty garden aerator. They will be using this during their working week so the investment is justified. The truth is that you can get exactly the same result with a good garden fork. It all comes down to how much effort you want to put in and also on the size of your lawn.
- VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier
- Greenworks G40DT35 Cordless Aerator
- Cobra-SA32Ee Electric-Scarifier And-Aerator-Lawn Raker
- Netta 2 in 1 Electric Lawn Scarifier and Aerator (3.8)
Our Top Picks
VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier
This scarifier has a powerful 1500 watt motor and is made from a durable plastic with a metal frame. This scarifier easily removes thatch, moss, leaves and other debris from your lawn. It also makes use of a dual purpose drum that has an aerator. It comes with a collection box, height adjustable handle and a 10 metre power lead. It has a manufacturer 2 Year warranty Included
Greenworks G40DT35 Cordless Aerator
This model uses a 40 V Li-Ion battery and this option comes with a battery and charger included. This is a 35 cm wide aerator with 3600 RPM and 20 steel tines with a depth of 1 cm as well as central working height adjustment in 3 levels from -10 to + 5 cm. This is suitable for small to medium-sized lawns and is equipped with a 20 litre grass bag and an ergonomically shaped and retractable guide bar.
Cobra-SA32Ee Electric-Scarifier And-Aerator-Lawn Raker
This is a 2-in-1 scarifier and aerator, that improves the health of your lawn. The scarifier removes moss, thatch and other debris and the aerator aids drainage and root development, excellent preparation for over-seeding.. It has a 1300 watt motor, a 30 litre grass collector and 4 operating heights. The cable length is 10 metres. It comes with a 2 year warranty.
NETTA 2 in 1 Electric Lawn Rake 1500W Lawn Scarifier and Aerator
This is a 2-in-1 scarifier and aerator with a 1500 watt motor. It has a a 30 litre removable waste bag and a 10m long power cable,. Comes with 2 separate drum kits that can be easily interchangeable for aerating and scarifying purpose. 3 Different depth settings - 1) Drive / transportation 2) Scarifier Depth -3mm; -9mm;3mm.
Garden Aeration FAQ
Below we have listed the most commonly asked questions about garden aeration, and hopefully you will find answers to any questions you may have about this topic.
Why You Should Consider Aerating Your Garden?
In this section we explain what garden aeration actually is. Grass, lawns and soil all benefit from water, air and various other nutrients and feeds. A great way of achieving this is to put small holes into the ground which will allow all of the above to happen.
So the principle of inserting thin holes into the ground is a sound and tested method of allowing air into the ground, which helps the soil to breathe, and avoids it turning into heavy clay.
The ideal time to aerate your garden is after a couple of days of rainfall as the ground will be soft. Alternatively you can water the lawn for a couple of days, and then aerate your garden.
How Often Should You Aerate Your Garden?
Twice a year is the recommended timing for this and we recommend that you do it once in early Spring and once in the Autumn or Fall. If you are attempting to perfect a lawn then you should do this once a month.
As you can see it is a very simple process and yet it is not done by that many people who love their gardens. We find that strange as it it does not take long to do and yet offers the benefits of healthy growth.
What's the difference between Aerating and Scarifying Your Garden?
People do get mixed up with these all the time so hopefully we can clear that up.
- Aerating - this is where you push spike or puncture holes into the ground to allow the soil underneath your lawn the opportunity to breathe. Aerating allows air to get into the soil which helps dry it out and promotes healthier growth
- Scarifying - the process of scarifying your lawn is about removing surface dead grass or moss from the lawn and allowing the healthier grass to shine through.