Food. Water. Air. The three fundamentals when it comes to the survival of any living thing.
The garden lawn. Quintessentially British and the focal point of many UK gardens. We mow it, feed it, water it, but do we encourage it to breathe?
Granted, grass is constantly inhaling and exhaling, but is it breathing enough? The answer is likely to be no, not if we’re referring to optimum growing conditions.
Best Pick – Lawn Spiker
- Tubular steel construction
- Five prongs 12mm diameter
- Powder coated finish
So, how do you increase your lawn’s breathing capacity? Bring in the lawn spiker!
Aerating your lawn by spiking allows the grass roots to absorb more of what they need when they need it, whilst considerably improving soil water retention.
The result? A vibrant, lush, healthy green lawn.
Only got 5 minutes
Healthy soil means healthy grass. The two go hand in hand. Soil can become compact and dry, particularly during the warmer summer months; the soil furthest from the surface is unable to access enough air, water, nutrients, and fertiliser, which consequently means it isn’t available for the roots to absorb. The solution is a lawn spiker.
A lawn spiker penetrates compacted soil and creates long, narrow holes usually between 5-15cm with the top 5cm (2”) being the most important; these holes effectively serve as passageways for air, water, nutrients and fertiliser to pass through, allowing them to reach the roots – their point of entry to the growing plant.
Types of lawn spiker
Traditionally, a lawn spiker is a pull or push-powered aerator, ideal for medium to large-sized domestic gardens. As the name suggests, the roller is covered with spikes – which are either fixed or spring loaded – and they penetrate the ground as the aerator is pushed and the roller rotates, or when pressure is applied to the spiked surface.
The insertion of the spikes creates narrow holes in the earth, approximately 5cm in depth. These cavities in the soil allow grass roots to freely access air, water, nutrients, and fertiliser – all of which are needed in order to achieve optimum growth.
An alternative to the conventional roller-type lawn spiker is an electric lawn spiker – popular for professional use and/or when covering large areas.
For a smaller area, or a lawn where some skilled manoeuvering is required, you should consider lawn spiker shoes – spiked-sole footwear which is strapped securely onto your feet; you then simply walk across your lawn, letting your bodyweight do all the hard work pushing the spikes into the ground. The best lawn spiker shoes are surprisingly effective and capable of delivering an impressively dense spike pattern with very little effort.
Another alternative for smaller turfed areas, or when storage is limited, is a handheld lawn spiker. This requires you to manually push the spikes into the ground either by hand or by using the foot bar.
Best Budget – Lawn Spiker
- Hand pushed lawn aerator
- Fitted with a galvanised steel drum
- Total of 27 spikes
- Hand pushed lawn aerator
- Fitted with a galvanised steel drum
Do I need a lawn spiker?
There are various reasons why your lawn may need aerating with a lawn spiker. Granted, some lawns will need this penetrative TLC more than others however, generally speaking, the majority of lawns will require aerating at some point i.e. when soil compaction becomes evident.
Lawns in particular need of aeration include those which:
- Have heavy footfall and/or are used regularly e.g. children playing, pets pottering or as a walk-through. This amount of garden traffic will significantly increase the rate at which soil compacts.
- Are new or recently established.
- Dry out easily and/or have a ‘spongy’ feel. This could indicate your lawn has a thatch problem (excessive layer of dead turf material). To check, using a spade, cut and remove a slice of lawn about 10cm deep. If the thatch layer is greater than about half an inch, you need to reach for the lawn spiker.
- Are subject to soil layering exists – where fine soil is layered over coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil.
Apart from these special cases, the majority of homeowners will aspire to have a garden with a healthy, vibrant lawn, evenly covered, that grows well year-on-year – to encourage optimum growth, simply simply add the occasional aeration into your standard garden maintenance regime – aerate just as you would mow, edge and feed your lawn.
Spikes Vs Plugs
Lawn spikers and plug spikers are both methods of aeration. They are used to minimise the negative effect compacted soil can have on the growth, health and longevity of your lawn.
Lawn spikers aerate using a roller or panel covered with solid spikes; these puncture the soil and create inlets for air, fertiliser, nutrients and water to pass through.
Plug aerators (also known as core aerators) use hollow prongs – these trap the earth inside, leaving small gaps in the soil.
When deciding which method of aeration is best for you and your lawn, consider the following:
Soils that have a heavy clay content are more likely to become compacted, limiting the ability of the roots in your lawn to access oxygen. Plug aerators are usually more effective at relieving compaction in lawns with a heavy clay soil since the solid tines used on spike aerators compact the clay soil further when they push into the ground.
Soils that crumble easily are usually high in loam and sand which benefit more from the use of a spike aerator.
Plug aerators are the most effective when they are used once a year, for a minimum of three consecutive years.
Spike aerators provide a more temporary fix but positive results are visible far more quickly.
Best of the Rest
- Rolling lawn aerator. 42 cm wide and a diameter of 21 cm incl. nails - length of nails 3.5 cm
- Even large lawns are not a problem - a total of 27 nails ensure a good result and aeration of the grass ! Increases the water flow on the roots and grass for better & denser grass growth
- Better supply of the lawn roots with more oxygen and thus significantly improved breathing of the lawn. Improves nutrient uptake - Scarify or aerate
- 100 cm long handle, which can be disassembled with 2 handles for storage - rubberized handle ensures non-slip and easier working
- Solid steel construction. Dim.: Handle:110 cm | Roll: 42 cm wide, ∅ 21 cm | 27 Nails each 3,5 cm
- ProSpike premium one-piece lawn aerating shoes
- Increases water and nutrient penetration for deeper roots and a greener, healthier lawn
- Features a unique conical spike profile producing larger, stronger holes that stay open longer
- Includes a non-slip platform, heel support and webbing straps for a secure comfortable fitting
- Easy clean & rust free. Manufactured in the UK from super tough rust free nylon for strength and durability
- Lawn spiker for loosening and fine crumbling of light and heavy soils for optimum nutrient supply, Fine crumbling particularly important for sowing
- Tool head can be connected to the QuikFit handle (1000663 = QuikFit Handle S) and all QuikFit handles (1000665=QuikFit Telescopic Shaft L/1000666=QuikFit Telescopic Shaft M)
- Nine star-shaped blades for optimum tillage, Work efficiently thanks to a width of 20.5 cm
- High longevity thanks to high-quality steel head, Awarded the Awarded the "Safety Tested" seal, Finnish design
- Contents: 1x Fiskars QuikFit Spiker, Tool Head, Dimensions (H x L x D): 10 x 30.5 x 20.5 cm, Weight: 512 g, Material: Steel, Colour: Black/Orange, 1000689
Frequently Asked Questions
When should you use a lawn spiker?
Ideally, lawns should be aerated twice a year when the temperature is cool, ideally spring and autumn; this should loosen the soil – particularly soil types prone to compacting such as clay – and encourage soil nutrients to penetrate the roots.
How can I tell what type of soil I have?
You can tell if your garden has clay soil by taking a handful of damp soil and squeezing it firmly. If the soil moulds into a lump, just like cake dough or pastry, then the soil content is predominantly clay; if it falls apart and won’t compact, this indicates you have sandy soil with low moisture content.
Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API