A lawn aerator might not be a common gardening tool you’ve heard of, but using one can have great benefits. An aerator puts holes in the ground, which helps water get deeper into the soil, and it also prevents the soil from getting compacted, which can keep oxygen and insects from helping lawn growth. There are different types of aerators, one with spikes and one with hollow spikes called a “core” aerator. A spike aerator puts holes in the ground, but also promotes soil compaction because it pushes soil around to make the holes. The core aerator, on the other hand, actually removes the soil that gets pushed into the metal tubes. There are also powered aerators, which are especially nice for large yards or fields. Manual aerators are much less expensive, but move slower. Typically, you can effectively aerate your lawn in the same amount of time it takes to mow. Aerating your lawn also takes some planning because the time of year and how often makes a big difference. Aerate in late spring or early summer if you have Bahia, Bermuda, Buffalo, Centipede, St. Augustine, or Zoysia grass. Aerate in the fall is you have Creeping Bentgrass, Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, rough bluegrass, or Rygrass. Different soils are also a factor in aeration. Clay soil should be aerated at least once per year, while sandy soil can be aerated every other year. Some additional aerating tips include: aerate before reseeding or fertilizing your lawn, take care of weeds prior to aeration, if a lawn is just planted it’s a good idea to wait at least a year before aerating. Aerate when the soil is moist, but not soaking wet because the aerator will get clogged. Also, do no aerate during periods of high heat or drought. Follow these tips for easy aeration and a healthy, green lawn to boot.