Aerating heavy clay soil
Living in central Alabama, I've come to realize that my lawn has a foundation of heavy red clay soil which is extremely susceptible to compaction - even without much traffic. I've tried the weed-hound step aerator with little success, as the clay soil kept getting lodged in the spoons. I'd like to try mechanical core aeration, however I'm on a budget and spending $60 on a rental machine sounds kinda high (I could re-sod the compacted areas for that much). I currently have a emerald zoysia lawn and am fertilizing twice yearly with organic grains and applying a light monthly application of cornmeal to prevent fungus - which is working very well! It's just the thin/bare patches of grass that are staying thin/bare because the soil is rock hard and zoysia is a slow grower to begin with. Please let me know if there are any good alternatives, thanks!