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What are the Best Pull-Behind Aerators?

There’s nothing more satisfying than the look of a well-manicured, luscious lawn. Your lawn is the focal point of your yard, and if it looks sparse, you need to do some lawn maintenance.

However, maintaining a lawn can be overwhelming, no doubt about that.

Grass needs regular weeding, cutting, and watering to stay verdant. Despite all these efforts, problems with bare patches may persist, compacted soil being the main reason.

This is where a pull-behind aerator comes in handy. A lawn aerator creates space for water and air to reach the grass roots, leading to healthy grass growth.

Read on to get a review of the five best tow-behind aerators, along with a handy guide to help you make an informed decision.

What is Lawn Aeration?

The soil in your lawn will get compact over time. This is where lawn aeration comes in handy. This ensures that you maintain a healthy lawn by allowing water, air, and minerals to enter the ground. This process feeds your lawn’s roots, making them stronger and greener by minimizing the compression around the roots.

How to Determine Whether Your Lawn Needs Aeration

  • If your lawn is used for playing purposes either by your kids or pets, the continuous stomping will make the land compact.
  • If the lawn retains water for long after a rainfall. You’ll notice that water remains on the ground for a long time.
  • If you had some construction at home- the materials, people, and construction equipment can affect the grass and make it depleted and compact.

Benefits of Aeration

Do you really need to aerate your lawn? Aeration and dethatching have several benefits for your grass. Here are some of them:

  • The soil will loosen and absorb more water from watering practices and rainfall.
  • Aeration enhances robust root development.
  • It reduces compaction, helping the roots of your grass to absorb and breathe nutrients.
  • You will decrease water run-off significantly.
  • Thatching breaks down easily; thus, more water will reach the roots of your grass.
  • Aeration increases oxygen flow to the roots of your grass, thus enhancing lawn growth.

Steps to Aerating Your Lawn

Lawn aeration isn’t a challenging task if you have the right equipment. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to aerate your lawn correctly.

Water the Previous Afternoon

Your lawn needs to be as moist as possible before you begin. Water your lawn the afternoon before aeration to give it ample time to absorb and minimize evaporation. Pulling plugs out of dry soil can be challenging and demands more effort when compared to when the moisture levels are high.

Let the Plugs Dry

After pulling the plugs, leave them to dry. Most gardeners rake them straightway, which may leave some of the soil in the plugs, rendering the process worthless. The plugs dry away by themselves in most cases. However, if they are still there after a week, you can rake them into the lawn.

Take a Few Passes

Most lawn aerators do not cover a large part. Therefore, you’ve to make a few passes. However, you should move using the same motion over the entire lawn.

How to Maintain a Lawn Aerator

  • Rinse mud or dirt off the aerator using a garden hose.
  • After aeration, remove any small soil cores that remain in the aerator.
  • If the plug points lose their edge, you need to sharpen them individually using a small grinder.
  • Oil the wheel hubs, shaft, and lawn spool as recommended for maximum protection and durability.

Best Pull-Behind Aerator Buying Guide

In order to get the best pull-behind aerator, you need to be keen on some factors. Here are some of them.

Lawn Size

This is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing a pull-behind aerator. If you have a large lawn or multiple plots, you need a large aerator. A pull-behind aerator is ideal for large lawns which demand more effort. However, for small yards, spike tine aerator and aerator spike shoes are the best choices.

Blade Width

If you want to spend less time on your lawn, you need to look for an aerator blade with proper width. The blade width depends on the soil type. You should check the area it covers in a single pass. For instance, a machine with a 4 ft width can aerate 33% more soil compared with a 3 ft wide aerator.

Body Material

Pull-behind aerators are made up of either metal or plastic. Metallic aerators are durable, strong, and last long. Plastic aerators are corrosion-free and lightweight. However, they are less durable than metallic ones.

Traffic

If you have a large yard that receives heavy traffic, such as a playground, you’ll need to purchase a powerful tool depending on the amount of stress the soil under. However, if the soil is well-ventilated, relatively small, and receives less traffic, investing in a powerful tool will be unnecessary.

Spike Length

You should check if the spikes have adequate length to penetrate the soil at least 3 inches. If the spike length is substantial, it will loosen the soil allowing nutrients, air, and water to permeate. If you want to grow big plants like vegetables or shrubs, be keen on the spike length.

Power Source

This depends on whether you have a manual or electric aerator. Manual aerators are pocket-friendly but have some limitations. Electric aerators reduce physical workload and have adjustable settings.

Ergonomic Handles

Whether you’re using petrol, manual, or electric aerator, ergonomics plays a crucial role in purchasing the aerators. The best pull-behind aerators should be smooth to prevent blister formation and back strains. The overall quality of the handles and wheels determines the durability of the tool.

Number of Core Aeration Spoons

The metal shaft that digs into the soil is usually called a spoon. An aerator with more spoons usually removes more cores on each pass. Wide pull-behind aerators usually come with more cores.

Price

Lawn aerators are mostly used twice or thrice a year, so it’s wise to purchase a pocket-friendly tool. The yard size will determine the size of the pull-behind aerator you buy and, thereby, its price. However, look for one that has a balance between quality and price.

Best Tow-Behind Aerator Reviews

Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator

If you’re looking for a lawn aerator designed to suit medium-sized to large lawns, this is a good bet. The Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator can be attached to any standard hitch on a lawnmower. It has an easy-to-reach height adjustment lever that allows you to raise or lower the bar with ease. This 48-inches model has 32 spoons for pulling plugs, meaning that it covers a wide surface in a short time.

Features

  • 32 galvanized knives
  • Flat-free tires
  • Heavy-gauge steel deck
  • Universal hitch

Pros

  • Ideal for heavy-duty use
  • Durable built quality
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Confusing assembly instructions

Agri-Fab 45-0518 40″ Tow Plug Aerator

The Agri-Fab 45-0518 40″ Tow Plug Aerator is ideal for medium to large-sized lawns that receive heavy transport or foot traffic. This tool works well to restore the life of hard and dry soil by improving fertility. It comes with a rustproof steel deck, durable heavy gauge, and welded drawbar that are easily attached to a mower or tractor. It’s equipped with an easy-to-use cantilever transport handle that’s easy to raise or lower.

Features

  • 40” working width
  • 24 galvanized knives
  • Heavy-gauge steel deck

Pros

  • It fits any tractor or mower
  • Strong and powerful tool
  • Suitable for heavily compacted soil and uneven terrain
  • Universal hitch

Cons

  • Assembly may be challenging

Brinly PA-40BH Tow-Behind Plug Aerator

This pull-behind aerator has 40-inches of width and 24 aerating spoons that make your work faster and easier. The stainless steel spoons are heat-treated to offer the best performance on your lawn. It is easy to attach to a mower, tractor, and ATV. The aerator’s pugs are attached separately and are easy to replace if one breaks.

Features

  • 10-inch semi-pneumatic rubber tires
  • Universal hitch
  • 24 heat-treated plugs
  • Single transport lever

Pros

  • Ideal for medium to large yards
  • Universal pin hitch for easy connectivity to any tractor or mower
  • Simple assembly and maintenance
  • Designed and built in the USA

Cons

  • Long assembly time

Craftsman CMXGZBF7124336 36-Inch Tow Spike Aerator

The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124336 36-Inch Tow Spike Aerator is a quality tool designed to make compacted soil loose and healthy. It’s 36 inches wide and is equipped with 9 star-shaped spikes that penetrate deep into the soil. This aerator is made with10-gauge steel frame that is strong and durable. With this spike aerator, you can use all brands of tractors and mowers, thanks to its universal design.

Features

  • 70 lb weight tray
  • Universal fit hitch
  • 10 gauge steel frame
  • 9 star-shaped spikes

Pros

  • Durable and strong
  • Works with all brands of tractors and mowers
  • Wide working width
  • Adjustable hitch

Cons

  • Not ideal for rocky soil

Brinly PA-48BH Tow-Behind Plug Aerator

Relieve and aerate compacted soil with the Brinly PA-48BH Tow-Behind Plug Aerator. This aerator has 16-gauge steel spoons that easily penetrate compacted soil and can remove up to 3″ plugs of soil. The best pull-behind aerator has 10″ semi-pneumatic rubber tread tires that make transport easy. Additionally, it has a single universal hitch pin that can be attached to the mower, tractor, and most ATVs.

Features

  • 16-gauge steel spoons
  • Fully-enclosed weight tray
  • Single transport lever
  • 10-inch semi-pneumatic tires

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Flat-free tires
  • Attaches to any lawnmower or tractor

Cons

  • Hard to put the parts together

Conclusion

Best Pull-Behind Aerator Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Aeration is a crucial step to achieving a healthy lawn. However, this is not possible without the right tools. Pull-behind aerators come in various sizes, shapes, and budgets. The product you choose will entirely depend on your needs and preferences. You should identify your budget and needs first before making the final decision.

Happy shopping!