What are your opinions on aerator shoes???

chueh(7B)March 13, 2014

I once rented an aerator machine. It poked down pretty deep. It's expensive to rent one though, so it's not much help for the lawn only doing it once for some years. I am thinking of buying aerator shoes. However, the spikes are not long at all. Plus, I only weigh 120 pounds. I am not sure even if the shoes I wear would poke holes in my heavy soil lawn.

What are your opinions?


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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Start drinking a large milkshake three times a day. Soon enough you'll be able to poke deep holes.

Or you could spray your lawn with baby shampoo at the rate of 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Follow that up with 1 inch of water as measured by several cat food or tuna cans around the yard. Then next week water another full inch. The week after that reapply the shampoo and 1 inch. That should set up your soil to grow the beneficial fungi which soften your soil naturally. If you never use suflates, sulfur, baking soda, or other fungicides on the lawn, and if you never allow the soil to go bone dry for months at a time, and if you never allow the soil to sit under water for days at a time; then this double treatment should last a couple years at least.

As for aerator shoes, nobody puts much stock in those things. Nice gimmick, though.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:30PM
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I see what you are talking about.... thank you

I can see why the shoes are the gimmick. What about the spike aerator, the 2 or 3 spikes with a long handle???

This post was edited by chueh on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 11:25

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 11:23AM
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Just do the shampoo thing. It worked for me on soil that was so hard I couldn't get dig it at all. The spikes might make some holes but they're just pushing the displaced dirt into the surrounding dirt, not removing it in plugs as an aerator machine does.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:30AM
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I understood the theory of the shampoo and cat food and fungi that dchall_antonio mentioned. However, we do have some non-domestic cats around the neighborhood. They would eat up all the cat food I put there on the lawn.

Also, the reason why I asked aerator question is that I have tried to improve the soil of the lawn for years, by applying organic matters on it and leaving all the grass clipping on. Nonetheless, the clippings and the organic matters have always been sitting on top of the lawn without being degraded, because the soil is way too hard like a big gigantic non-penetrable rock.

Is this shampoo and cat food method still going to work on such a solid hard soil condition? I will definitely try if there is some chance

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 2:18PM
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forsheems(Lexington, NC)

I think you misunderstood what dchall was saying. You use empty tuna or cat food cans to measure the amount of water you put out. These cans are roughly 1" deep so that is why he suggests them. Put the empty can in the middle of the lawn and run the sprinkler until it's full. As for the cat food or tuna in the can, do whatever you want with that.

The shampoo is a surfactant that helps the water penetrate the hard, packed soil to loosen it up. Might take several treatments but it does work and is very inexpensive.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:35PM
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LOL...I am so sorry that I did not carefully read what dchall said. I am so glad that forsheet clarified. Thank you all very much.

OK Sounds fantastic. So.....using the cans is just for the measurement but not for the fungi development....That's the part I thought I got.... So I can use other type of containers too, right? Now...I don't understand why using shampoo would encourage the fungi; I would think the opposite (but of course I am not an expert and can be so very wrong).

This post was edited by chueh on Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 18:10

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 6:03PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Y'all got me laughing on that. I didn't know what you were talking about with the cat food. I say that because sometimes I recommend to the organic skeptics who don't want to spend $12 on a bag of alfalfa pellets to try using dry cat food on the lawn. That works a little better than most organic fertilizers, but it is more expensive, too. And if you are worried about cats taking the cat food away, simply moisten it after you apply and it disintegrates so they can't eat it.

I was a skeptic on the shampoo until I tried it. And suddenly I was an enthusiastic evangelist. Apparently the shampoo allows the moisture to penetrate much deeper where the temperatures are more consistent from night to day. Also apparently this is ideal growing conditions for the fungi. Baby shampoo is used for a reason. It is a very simple formula which does not have antibacterial agents. In any case, let us know how well it works for you. And eat the tuna before you put the cans out...unless you want to feed the cats.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:01PM
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dchall, I am glad that we made you laugh..

One more question, OK... so can I just use alfalfa pellets with the baby shampoo then? I used alfalfa meal before. Is the form of alfalfa important?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:35PM
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