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Discussion Starter #1
I rented a Blue Bird gas aerator today and just want to share my experience for those who are contemplating going that route. It rained most the day yesterday so the ground was soft enough that I could easily push a screw driver into it about an inch. It may be a little early to aerate but since the landscapers in the area are installing new lawns already, I thought it might be OK to areate. I live in the north so the fall weather is unpredictable. The lows have been in the 50s and the highs this week are schedualed for low 70s. We are anticipated rain mid week so I think I picked a good time to do this.

Anyways, I mowed the grass at a height of 2" instead of my normal 3". I read somewhere that 1" is where it should be cut but I didn't feel comfortable going that low. I was surprised that the unit was not self propelled but it works like a tiller. The tines pull the unit and they pull it rather quickly and easily. It does take some work keeping it in a straight line especially if you are on an incline. The unit leans alot to one side then. The turns are a pain. You have to raise the tires with a lever and spin on the back tires. This gets tiresome. The unit is rather heavy so it takes some work.

It has taken me about 1.5 hours to do 10,000 sq ft so far. I make criss cross patterns so I am doing the yard twice. There are thousands of plugs on the ground. If I see the fruits of my labor with this thing next spring, then I will probably do it every fall until my yard gets the density I desire. After that, once every couple of years will do. These units aren't cheap to rent and take some work. I will post some photos this evening.
 

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For future projects, try to find a Ryan aerator, it's a little lighter and more user friendly. It has a roller on the front which can be filled with water for weight, and it makes the machine easy to turn around when on the ground. For aerating, the roller and wheels are off the ground and all the weight is on the tines.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Boy am I tired and sore! It took 6 hours to do one acre minus the house and driveway. I think I will hire somebody with a tractor and pull behind next time.
 

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Now get out there and get your grass seed and starter fertilizer sown before the next rains set in and in about 7-10 days you'll start to notice the efforts of your hard work. slkpk
 

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yeah thats the plan. I am going to get some topsoil first and spread on the really thin areas. Rain on Thursday. If this doesn't thicken up my lawn, I give up. I have spent too much money this summer on the yard. I can't do it next year.
 

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Grasshopper it has been 1 year. Did your efforts pay off?
 

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Grasshopper it has been 1 year. Did your efforts pay off?
It is hard to tell. To be honest when spring arrived my grass couldn't have been thicker or greener. I definately attributed the aeration to the new and improved lawn. However, when the hot summer drought hit us, i was dissappointed. Alot of what appeared to be thatch, or brown lifeless grass. A few weeks ago, I laid the nitrogen heavy fertilizer down right before a week's worth of rain. The rain, accompanied by the cooler weather, brought that lifeless grass back to attention. I mowed last night and wouldn't want my lawn any thicker without having a bagger.

I would say the aeration probably had alot to do with it. i won't do it yearly, but will probably aerate every other year. Next time, I will pull longer plugs.

I have to tell you, my lawn is three years old and i really never thought it would look this good this fast. I want to give honorable mention to "Menards" home improvement store. Their sales prices, along with the additional rebates, on their brand fertilizers have made it possible for me to keep my lawn feeding on a regular schedule. With their latest sale, I was able to winterize my lawn (1 acre) for $36.00! Will post pics soon.
 
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