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Does spiking the lawn help?



 
 
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  #1  
Old 16-05-2011, 02:32 PM
Duncan Munday's Avatar
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Location: Southampton
Posts: 26
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

Hi all


I have read somewhere that it is good to spike the lawn every so often, is this correct?

I must admit our lawn is rock hard at the moment so i assume like to borders need digging over the lawn would need the same.

Any advice welcomed, what to use? how often?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 17-05-2011, 02:47 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 53
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

"Duncan Munday" wrote in message
news
I have read somewhere that it is good to spike the lawn every so often,
is this correct?

I must admit our lawn is rock hard at the moment so i assume like to
borders need digging over the lawn would need the same.


"Lawn aerators" as sold in N.America are wheeled
tools. The cheap ones merely drive spikes or knives
into the soil: the better ones drive in tubes that remove
a plug of soil (rather than compacting the soil either
side of the spike or blade. This is all theory because
the substrate of our lawn is sand, not clay.)

--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)


  #3  
Old 17-05-2011, 04:04 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 316
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

Duncan Munday wrote the following:
Hi all


I have read somewhere that it is good to spike the lawn every so often,
is this correct?

I must admit our lawn is rock hard at the moment so i assume like to
borders need digging over the lawn would need the same.

Any advice welcomed, what to use? how often?

Thanks


It depends upon where you are and what kind of soil you have.
Here in the Hudson Valley (carved out by glaciers) the soil is mostly
clay and lots of rocks.
I have a spike aerator, and in many parts of the lawn, the blades often
just ride on top of the ground. I am glad I dig not waste money on the
more expensive core aerator.
The county below me is called Rockland (it used to be a part of my
county) and for good reason.

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
In the original Orange County. Est. 1683
To email, remove the double zeroes after @
  #4  
Old 17-05-2011, 04:45 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 188
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

On May 17, 9:47*am, "Don Phillipson" wrote:
"Duncan Munday" wrote in message

news
I have read somewhere that it is good to spike the lawn every so often,
is this correct?


I must admit our lawn is rock hard at the moment so i assume like to
borders need digging over the lawn would need the same.


"Lawn aerators" as sold in N.America are wheeled
tools. *The cheap ones merely drive spikes or knives
into the soil: *the better ones drive in tubes that remove
a plug of soil (rather than compacting the soil either
side of the spike or blade. *This is all theory because
the substrate of our lawn is sand, not clay.)

--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)


+1 to that. I would not waste my time with the spike
type. The holes are too small and it just compacts
the soil around where the spike goes in. A core
aerator removes plugs that are about 5/8" diameter
and 2" long. You can then optionally top dress it with humus
or similar to get ammendments into the soil.

How much it will help or if it's needed at all depends
on the soil. If it's compacted, then it will definitely
help. I'd prefer to do it in the Fall, to minimize weed
problems, but you can do it anytime.
  #5  
Old 17-05-2011, 05:22 PM
Duncan Munday's Avatar
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Location: Southampton
Posts: 26
Default

Interesting


Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.


Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!
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  #6  
Old 17-05-2011, 11:00 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 316
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

Duncan Munday wrote the following:
Interesting


Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the
spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.


Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with
nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!


They do sell them. I would think that they are only for very small
lawns. My, just less than an acre, lawn would require a lot of walking.

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
In the original Orange County. Est. 1683
To email, remove the double zeroes after @
  #7  
Old 19-05-2011, 02:37 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 188
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

On May 17, 6:00*pm, willshak wrote:
Duncan Munday wrote the following:

Interesting


Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the
spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.


Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with
nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!


They do sell them. I would think that they are only for very small
lawns. My, just less than an acre, lawn would require a lot of walking.

--


Even if I had a small strip, I wouldn't waste my time with
those either. Again, they don't remove soil, they only
compact it more around the spike.




  #8  
Old 24-05-2011, 12:29 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 38
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

On May 19, 9:37*am, "
wrote:
On May 17, 6:00*pm, willshak wrote:

Duncan Munday wrote the following:


Interesting


Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the
spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.


Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with
nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!


They do sell them. I would think that they are only for very small
lawns. My, just less than an acre, lawn would require a lot of walking.


--


Even if I had a small strip, I wouldn't waste my time with
those either. *Again, they don't remove soil, they only
compact it more around the spike.


About 20 years ago I purchased a pair of "shoes" with spikes on the
bottom. It only took about 5 minutes to realized that these things
made it almost impossible to walk and really did not penetrate the
ground.

I believe the value of spiking is the same as using a seed slicer. It
provides a place to hold seeds that you spread. Also, a top covering
of soil will land in and help sprout the seeds. Aeration is not the
intent.
  #9  
Old 25-05-2011, 01:50 PM posted to alt.home.lawn.garden
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Posts: 188
Default Does spiking the lawn help?

On May 24, 7:29*am, Stubby wrote:
On May 19, 9:37*am, "
wrote:





On May 17, 6:00*pm, willshak wrote:


Duncan Munday wrote the following:


Interesting


Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the
spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.


Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with
nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!


They do sell them. I would think that they are only for very small
lawns. My, just less than an acre, lawn would require a lot of walking.


--


Even if I had a small strip, I wouldn't waste my time with
those either. *Again, they don't remove soil, they only
compact it more around the spike.


About 20 years ago I purchased a pair of "shoes" with spikes on the
bottom. *It only took about 5 minutes to realized that these things
made it almost impossible to walk and really did not penetrate the
ground.

I believe the value of spiking is the same as using a seed slicer. *It
provides a place to hold seeds that you spread. * Also, a top covering
of soil will land in and help sprout the seeds. *Aeration is not the
intent.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Actually aeration is the intent if you have compacted soil. It's true
that it can be used in conjunction with overseeding, but it would
not be my first method of choice. A core aerator takes out plugs
that can be two inches deep. One has to wonder how many
seeds wind up going into the bottom of those holes and probably
not surviving. The seed mixed with the broken down plugs on
the surface does have a good growing environment.
  #10  
Old 25-05-2011, 03:35 PM
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: May 2011
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubby[_3_] View Post
On May 19, 9:37*am, "
wrote:
On May 17, 6:00*pm, willshak wrote:

Duncan Munday wrote the following:


Interesting


Our soil is full of clay so drainage is poor, i think i will try the
spike type to start with as the plug type may not be man enough.


Thought about constructing some sort of wooden shoe attachment with
nails in to walk and spike - not sure on how safe this would be though!


They do sell them. I would think that they are only for very small
lawns. My, just less than an acre, lawn would require a lot of walking.


--


Even if I had a small strip, I wouldn't waste my time with
those either. *Again, they don't remove soil, they only
compact it more around the spike.


About 20 years ago I purchased a pair of "shoes" with spikes on the
bottom. It only took about 5 minutes to realized that these things
made it almost impossible to walk and really did not penetrate the
ground.

I believe the value of spiking is the same as using a seed slicer. It
provides a place to hold seeds that you spread. Also, a top covering
of soil will land in and help sprout the seeds. Aeration is not the
intent.

Hi .. i'm not sure...I think its not so good but when grassing....it give a lot of
advantage...regards
  #11  
Old 03-06-2011, 01:27 PM
Duncan Munday's Avatar
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: May 2011
Location: Southampton
Posts: 26
Default

Don't think i will both with the spike type going on all of your advice will probably try the plug method.

Thanks guys
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  #12  
Old 27-07-2011, 06:17 AM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 2
Default

It definitely does. Using something like a pair of lawn aeration shoes will give help break up some of the turf and let the rain/sprinkling and nutrients get deeper into the soil.

Combining this with a good scarifier (or rake if you're feeling energetic) and then a couple of months of a mow little and often strategy, raising the blade up to only take off the tips, will promote thicker growth to cut down on weeds and provide coverage to stop moss and thatch coming back.

I've heard people talk about a mulching mower being successful and then leaving the clippings to degrade and feed the lawn but have never tried it myself.

Best of luck.
  #13  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:01 PM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Default

I find it does help, I do it in autumn and earlier spring.
I use a garden fork to spike the lawn. Once the fork is in 2/3 of a tine I partly lift the turf. This allows the lawn to be aerated. Walk backwards so that you do not walk on the completed area. I find this very effective.
  #14  
Old 10-08-2011, 09:47 PM
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan Munday View Post
Hi all


I have read somewhere that it is good to spike the lawn every so often, is this correct?

I must admit our lawn is rock hard at the moment so i assume like to borders need digging over the lawn would need the same.

Any advice welcomed, what to use? how often?

Thanks
You are absolutely right. If the soil is rock hard then your lawn is most likely really suffering. There are a few different options:

1) A hollow tine aerator pulls out plugs of soil about a few inches deep and deposits them on the lawns surface. If you are reseeding or have quite a lot of lawn thatch then this is something good to do around once a year and will promote a thicker, healthier turf with better drainage. You can get manual (a bit like a fork) or mechanical/powered versions depending on the size of your lawn

2) A spike aerator which pushes a solid spike into the ground, usually a few inches. These can be used more often as the soil closes up again over time, especially when it gets moist. The spike pushes the soil sideways as it goes in and compacts the soil further but does allow air, moisture and nutrients in. Again, a manual version on shoes has been discussed and there are powered versions.

3) A blade aerator is similar to a spike but with a thin blade that causes slits in the turf that is effective immediately but closes up quite quickly. These are good for if you have a bowling green lawn and don't want holes or plugs of soil

In most cases, watering the lawn thoroughly the day or morning before will soften the soil up and make the process much easier!

Good luck.

More info about lawn aeration here.
 




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