When it comes to grass maintenance and care practices, mowing isn’t the end as many lawn owners tend to think. Trained landscapers do more to preserve dense folder in the lawn and other plantations in resting parks, soccer pitches, golf courses, and homesteads. For efficient nutrients intake, air flow, and water seepage, to and from the soil, there is the need to plug, core, or spike the soil regularly.
It is a query of whether you’re aerating your grass unconventionally; something which requires an upgrade to the best pull behind plug aerator. The cost might be an issue for some lawn owners, but that won’t be a problem anymore if you finish reading our guide and review of pull behind aerators.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Aerating?
- 2 Signs that You Require a Push Behind Aerator
- 3 Choosing the Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator
- 4 What is the Purpose of Lawn Aerator?
- 5 Pull Behind Plug Aerator Top Pick for 2018
- 5.1 Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator
- 5.2 Brinly BS-38BH Sleeve Hitch 38 Inches Tow Behind Box Scraper
- 5.3 Brinly PA-40BH 40 Inches Tow Behind Plug Aerator
- 5.4 Brinly SAT-40BH 40 Inches Tow Behind Spike Aerator
- 5.5 Brinly SA-40BH 40 Inches Tow Behind Spike Aerator
- 5.6 Agri-Fab 45-0474 SmartLink plug Aerator
- 6 Our Recommendation of Tow Behind Aerator
- 7 Lawn Aerating Tips
- 8 The Dos and Don’ts of Soil Compaction
- 9 Lawn Aerators FAQs
- 10 Round-Up
What is Aerating?
This is the process of loosing tough and compacted soil. You may use a core aerator – it removes small lumps of soil or uses a spike aerator – it forms holes in the soil without removing any soil. You may aerate your soil manually using a machine or attach it to your mower.
Other alternatives include a push-style aerator, just like a push lawn mower. You can even use a hand-held aerator to aerator a small lawn; it does the same job as a large aerator.
You will be thrilled to learn that there are even aerator shoes which you can wear and walk around your lawn. They have spikes.
All these tools vary in the scale of their operation. Today we will be looking at aerators that are attached to the back of a mower or vehicles.
Signs that You Require a Push Behind Aerator
You will require the best aerator if you see the following signs:
- Your lawn is flooded with water after a downpour.
- You have been driving on your lawn with your car regularly.
- It is hard to stick something into the soil, such as a pencil.
- You have clay soil and is hard.
- You can see bare grass.
Choosing the Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator
You wouldn’t want to spend your money on tools that will fail the moment they hit the ground by failing to work because of functionality glitches and hitches or breaking after a week of use. For these and other issues, you need to consider the features and factors of the best aerating tools.
For instance, you might want to weigh the possibility of a machine serving its work efficiently. Also, how efficient is the tool itself? Well, here are some top considerations you should make before you settle on a specific aerator.
Here, there are lots of questions that you need to answer. For instance, what is the perfect size of an aerator for your lawn? What is the right size of the spikes; depth and diameter? The right answer will lend credibility to the best tow behind machine because it will cover a broad area of your backyard and help you to finish the task within the shortest time possible.
Ease of movement
Movement is also called maneuverability. Your machine needs to move across your lawn with ease. It means that you need to consider the design of its wheels, something which is often ignored. Can the machine move via narrow spaces? Can it take sharp corners with ease?
Think about this. You buy an aerator only for it to develop some mechanical problems after 2 days of use. It won’t give you value for your money, which is a vital factor to consider when buying anything. A machine that features a firm body like steel; reinforced or galvanized, equals durability.
For many decades, the cost has been a determining factor when making buying decisions. However, the concern is; would you go for an expensive aerator or a cheap one? There are mixed reactions to this query, but the fact that buyers always equate high-quality to high price often sways their mind.
Of important, you need to note that cheap can be expensive, but this isn’t always true when it comes to pull-behind aerators.
Money-back guarantee and warranty
Most people hardly think twice when buying machines, especially if they get an affordable one. However, keen buyers will always ask or check out for warranties before they purchase the tool. But why do you need a warranty?
Well, pull behind aerators that offer warranties are sweet in all essence. First, you don’t need to worry about design or manufacturing faults for almost 3 years. Secondly, all costs of repair will be footed by the supplier, seller, or manufacturer, which means that you won’t spend even a penny for almost three years in case of faults.
When it comes to the money-back guarantee, you get a free trial period, of about 30 days, during which you will know if the product is right for your lawn or not. During this period, you can return it and ask for a refund or request for a replacement if the aerator doesn’t meet your needs.
The other critical factor that you should consider when looking for a tow-behind aerator is the load capacity. Here, you need to ask how much additional load the machine can add. Does it have a space for this load? Having a space for extra weight means that your tool will penetrate deeper when aerating.
What is the Purpose of Lawn Aerator?
An aerator is a landscaping machine designed to make small holes in your lawn or the soil under the grass. This process naturally, safely, and easily amends compacted soil which had been compressed by pressure from vehicles or traffic such as riding mowers or cars.
Compaction is common with loam and clay soil types, although sandy soil can also become compacted. A pull behind lawn aerator loosens this soil, with hundreds of positive results including:
- The soil become easier to till and dig.
- Water puddling and runoff are reduced.
- Nutrients, air, and water penetrate the soil faster to nourish your lawn.
- Your lawn is better-looking and healthier.
- Drought and heat tolerance are boosted.
Pull Behind Plug Aerator Top Pick for 2018
Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator
This pull behind plug aerator is the ideal choice for people who need a big machine. The tool handles the toughest of turfs and even work effectively on uneven ground to give you value for money. You can easily attach the cantilever transport system of this aerator to your ATV or lawn mower in a few seconds through the universal hitch. The best thing, you don’t require any tool to do this.
The tool opens compacted soil and penetrates thatch by removing plugs from the surface to enable moisture and air to reach your lawn’s roots as you move it. Penetrating the soil is very easy thanks to its 32 robust galvanized spikes (4 on every one of its eight spools).
These rust-free spikes are easy to operate from the driver’s seat via ergonomically installed transport handle. To guarantee an efficient soil penetration, this tool comes with a 48 inches weight tray. This tray holds up to 175 lbs of weight. The capacity to added additional weight on the machine make sure that the spikes can penetrate even further and harder turfs.
You can easily adjust the aeration depth to 3 inches and this tool will give you years of service without needing to worry about the surface you use it on to aerate. The product comes with durable 10 inches by 4 inches pneumatic flat-tires that enable smooth movement even on rough surfaces and they don’t require any maintenance.
- Easy to assemble.
- Works effectively.
- A well-built product.
- Hard to actuate the lever from the driver’s seat.
Brinly BS-38BH Sleeve Hitch 38 Inches Tow Behind Box Scraper
This is yet another tow behind aerator that offers all-around garden services for landscaping, yard work, and gardening. It is effective in doing different chores such as removing roots, removing debris, leveling yards, and spreading gravel and topsoil or backfilling holes. This is all possible due to its versatile attachments and the ease of operation as well as efficiency.
It is very easy to remove its scarifier bar and side plates to make it a rare blade which is perfect for backfilling grading, or moving dirt, sand, snow, gravel. With BS-38BH, you will get the most project done with just one machine.
The scarper boasts of 38 inches working width which is perfect for gardening and landscaping and it’s easy to move it through tight corners and spaces. The product needs a sleeve hitch to work effectively, which is sold separately by the manufacturer.
With its durable construction, this tool is worth your money and you won’t need to break a bank to get it.
- Offers all-round garden services.
- A very effective tool.
- Very easy to maneuver.
- Doesn’t come with a sleeve hitch.
Brinly PA-40BH 40 Inches Tow Behind Plug Aerator
This product is slightly smaller than the Fab 45-0299 and cannot handle as much weight. However, it is a great choice for a person who wants the same kind of quality results but wants a smaller tool and who doesn’t have an uneven surface to work on.
The product features 24 solid plug spoons that penetrate up to 3 inches of compacted soil. It is an efficient performer product that decompresses the turf and breaks via tough thatch to enable water, nutrients, and air to penetrate the lawn’s root.
Another notable feature of this tool is the 3 independently rotating parts that contain 24 main points made of 16 gauges steel. It also comes with a durable weight tray which offers maximum support for the additional weight of about 150lbs, so the tool can penetrate even further and harder surfaces.
Unlike the Fab’s tray which is open, the Brinly tray is closed to ensure that the weight doesn’t fall off when moving on an uneven surface and at high speeds. This feature helps to enhance the effectiveness of this tool on soil that is compact, full of deep thatch, or uneven hard clay.
The product is quite durable and is constructed from durable and high-quality materials. In addition, each of the 16 gauges is rust-resistant and can be replaced individually in case one gets damaged – very affordable to replace. Finally, the tool comes with 10.5 inches by 3.5 inches semi-pneumatic wheels which last longer, even when being used on turf terrains.
- Penetrates hard surfaces.
- Very sturdy construction.
- Moves through sidewalks and driveways easily.
- Takes time to assemble.
Brinly SAT-40BH 40 Inches Tow Behind Spike Aerator
The SAT-40BH is designed to assist you to achieve healthy, lush, and green lawn with minimal effort. It will help you ineffective watering, fertilizing, and seeding of your lawn regardless of the time of the year.
This spiked tool can work on the compacted soil to give you the chance to poke holes of your desired length in the soil. Through this, oxygen, water, and nutrients will penetrate to the root system of your garden. With that said, this product is mainly designed for minor and moderate soil compaction.
If you are having problems seeding or fertilizing in spring or fall, this will be your best bet aerator. The best thing, the tool is made with wheels that move smoothly even on rough grounds. It will be easier and simpler to cross driveways and paths with this aerator.
Another notable thing about this machine is the 11 tine stars which are constructed of galvanized steel. Therefore, in addition to penetrating turf, this tool will last for years since it’s rust-free. The product also comes with a tray made of durable steel. The tray holds about 100 pounds of additional weight.
While aerating, the aerator is made with a handle that will keep the raised spikes in that position as you move across the hard areas of your lawn.
- Very easy to operate.
- Can work without wheels.
- Perfect for aerating before seeding.
- Wheels fall off
Brinly SA-40BH 40 Inches Tow Behind Spike Aerator
This product allows you to spread granular material while you aerate your garden. Its heavy-duty aerator penetrates the surface while the drop spreader spreads fertilizer, lime, or seed into the surface where it functions fast and won’t get washed away.
This effective machine is made of durable tubular steel material and drawbars that ensure it last for years. The aerator also comes with a 100lbs capacity tray which is constructed of 18 gauges all welded material to minimize flexing and twisting when loaded. The tool’s 8 inches galvanized steel tine stars remain sharp, don’t rust, and penetrates at least 2 inches to enable air and fertilizer to reach the grass’ root.
Another feature of this tool is the flow control which features an adjustable stop to facilitate the right spread pattern with no waste. The tine spikes are rust-free and do a great job in perforating the surface to provide access for nutrients and air to the roots. What you will love about this machine is the tow tube design as well as the solid tine shaft which provides maximum reliability.
- Durable drawbars and tubular steel framing.
- Very easy to assemble.
- 2-in-1 design aerates the lawn and drops fertilizer or seed.
- The top lever needs improvement.
Agri-Fab 45-0474 SmartLink plug Aerator
In a bid to offer you with a range of options, Agri-fab provided the SmartLink Plug Aerator. Its price is one of the best on the market today and it offers a lot of great features as you will see.
It offers you proper plugging. This means that there is an improvement of nutrient and water penetration to the furthest of roots for healthier grass. This product is also great for a person looking for a unit that will enhance air circulation.
You can easily mount this tool on a master platform; the best thing, you don’t need to assemble or disassemble anything. The product features aluminum galvanization on the spikes to ensure that they last longer. Another key feature of this unit is that it is recommended for loosening compacted soil and comes with a three-year warranty.
- Has a 3-year warranty.
- Features galvanized aluminum.
- Improves air circulation.
- Not as effective as Fab 45.
Our Recommendation of Tow Behind Aerator
From the factors we have looked above of the features of the best aerators, we can conclude that the Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator amongst the best tools out there. It has some great features such as a large size of 48 inches, able to penetrate the compacted soil, has 32 galvanized spikes, has a tray of 175 labs, and comes with pneumatic flat-tires.
Lawn Aerating Tips
Here are some important tips on lawn aerating:
- Aerate your lawn at least once per year if it experiences heavy traffic; otherwise aerating every 2nd year is sufficient.
- The perfect time to aerate your lawn is during the spring or fall growing season. Aerate lawns with warm season grass in spring or summer, and cool season grass in autumn or spring.
- A lawn grown from turf installation can benefit from regular aeration to break up tough layers.
- Choose a tow-behind aerator that will remove plugs 2 to 3 inches deep and 0.5 to ¾ inch diameter.
- Use your lawn tool on moist soil – a day after rainfall or watering – for the best results.
- Overseed after aeration to fill any patchy area of grass. Follow up with fertilization and watering.
- Consult an expert to arrange a regular lawn care timetable as well as aeration treatment.
The Dos and Don’ts of Soil Compaction
First the dos:
- Ensure that the soil is compacted – you don’t need to aerate an uncompacted
- Dig holes before aeration to measure moisture friability and content.
- Use narrow, sharp, and long blades to provide the best penetration and volume of the soil.
- Change the depth of penetration by removing or adding weights.
- Work about 5 cm below the bottom of the compacted soil.
- Ensure that the leading discs are in line with time legs to prevent sward tear.
- Aerate in extremely wet soil as it will lead to damage and smearing of the soil.
- Aerate in extremely dry conditions because the tines won’t penetrate effectively.
- Go above a 5-10 degrees tine offset as it will damage the sward.
- Travel too fast – 1-2km/h is ideal for sufficient penetration.
- Use over 6 cm sward heights as this will damage the sward.
- Use on soil with no drainage system.
Lawn Aerators FAQs
Q: Is it necessary to dethatch?
A: Yes. Inorganic and dead material on top of the surface prevents the flow of nutrients and water into the soil. Dethatching removes these deposits to ensure that the minerals access the root system. Ensure that you don’t dethatch below 2 inches.
Q: Which one is better; plug or spikes?
A: Although both works almost the same way, a plug removes the soil instead of compacting it. Therefore, many people prefer plugs.
Q: What is the difference between aerators and a scarifier?
A: A scarifier looks like a spike aerator because it has spikes. It removes organic material from the top of the soil (dethatching) while an aerator digs holes in the surface to enhance the flow of nutrients, water, and air.
Q: How can I keep my pull-behind aerator in top shape?
A: This is a matter of servicing and maintaining it. You can easily DIY or hire a professional to do it for you.
Q: What should I do before I aerate my lawn?
A: Before you move your pull behind tool to your backyard, we would recommend you prepare the surface. Since you will be driving in front, you will not see any obstacle that might hinder smooth movement of your aerator.
To aerate your backyard, you need to have the best pull behind plug aerator. It opens the soil surface enabling your lawn to receive moisture and air required for healthy growth. With that said, always remember that soil often get compacted in early spring and late summer.