Should I Use Hollow Tines Or Solid Tines For Lawn Aeration?
Chosing between using hollow or solid tines is a choice that should be made to best suit the application. Lawn aeration is an important gardening practice in achieving and maintaining a luscious, beautiful lawn with thick and healthy grass growth. It helps to reduce compaction, improve grass root growth, and improve drainage. If you are considering using a lawn aerator machine to improve the quality of a lawn but are unsure whether you should use hollow tines or solid tines on the aerator, you can read about the differences and best application of both treatments below.
What Is Hollow Tine Aeration?
A hollow tine aerator or plug aerator drives hollow spikes into the surface of your lawn and removes cores of soil. Generally, hollow tines leave a hole that is roughly three inches deep, although different sizes are available if you need something more specific.
The removal of soil leaves space for the remaining soil to expand and breathe, so it is less compacted than before. This allows water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground, improving drainage, feeding the grass effectively and giving grass roots space to grow. The grass will be able to flourish - becoming healthier, thicker, and improving the all-round quality of the lawn.
The removed cores of soil are usually deposited on the top of the lawn. It is best to collect these cores together and compost them or dispose of them in your garden waste bin.
When To Use Hollow Tines…
Hollow tine aeration is best suited to particularly dense and compacted soil, in order to tackle the compaction problems. Lawns that have to withstand a lot of wear and tear are more likely to benefit from hollow tine aeration. Public gardens, playing surfaces, or parks and playground with heavy foot traffic are other good examples. Hollow tine aeration is also best if your lawn has never been aerated before.
What Is Solid Tine Aeration?
A solid tine aerator or spike aerator drives solid spikes into the surface of your lawn, punching holes into the ground without removing any soil. Punching holes into the soil allows water to penetrate deeper into the ground and offers more space for roots to expand and grow. It allows air and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground and feed the grass roots. This type of aeration can provide tired looking or worn lawns to flourish, improving the overall appearance. Solid tine aeration helps to rejuvenate lawns at the start of growing season or to prepare it for harsh months ahead in early autumn.
When To Use Solid Tines…
Solid tine aeration is best suited to lawns that are already well looked after and maintained, and as part of a regular lawn care routine. If you aerate your lawn every year as an ongoing practice, solid tines are usually the best option to maintain the general upkeep of your lawn. Whereas if you have a lawn that suffers from considerable compaction issues and it has not been regularly aerated in the past, then hollow tine aeration is the best treatment.
Do I Need To Aerate My Lawn?
If you have trouble maintaining the quality and appearance of your lawn then you might want to consider using a lawn aerator to aerate your lawn. The best time to aerate your lawn is during the growing season. Spring or early autumn are the best seasons to aerate as the conditions are more suitable. In summer the ground can become too hard and dry for aeration. Similarly, frozen and hard ground in winter is not ideal for aeration - and as the grass is not growing in winter, your lawn will not have the chance to recover following the treatment.
How To Aerate A Lawn
Now you know the difference between solid tines and hollow tines, and when you would use which method, you will need to know how to actually aerate your lawn. Using a lawn aerator to aerate your lawn is actually a very simple process...
Prepare your lawn for aeration by mowing it prior to the treatment. If your lawn is in particularly poor condition, you might need to dethatch or scarify it first. Aeration works best on moist ground. The best time to aerate is the day after rainfall or after you have suitably watered the lawn.
You can aerate your lawn by hand, but it is a labour intensive and time-consuming job. Motorised lawn aerators that can be fitted with both hollow tines or solid tines are available for hire nationwide and they provide a quick and effective alternative.
Start up the aerator machine and squeeze the operating handle to engage the tines. Lower the tines on to the lawn using the lever on the machine. The wheels on the machine will then engage and you can begin to walk forward at a steady pace, ensuring consistent aeration throughout the lawn. Work in straight line strips, just as you would with a lawn mower. Once you reach the end of a strip, raise the tines, turn the machine around and reposition it next to the strip that you have just aerated. Then lower the tines again and carry on walking to complete another strip. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire lawn. One pass with a petrol powered aerator machine should be enough to effectively aerate the lawn.
Following Aeration Treatment
Allow any cores that have been removed from the ground to dry so that you can remove them or break them down by hand, or using a mower or a rake. Next, apply fertiliser or a lawn dressing and allow it to settle. In the following weeks you should continue with normal lawn maintenance tasks like regular mowing and watering for the best results.
Lawn Aerator Hire
High quality lawn aerator machines are very expensive and as aeration is only really carried out once or twice a year, it is best to hire a lawn aerator in order to get the job done properly without the huge cash outlay. We have lawn aerator hire available nationwide at great rates. Our lawn aerators are professional standard petrol-powered pieces of equipment and you can choose whether to hire one with solid or hollow tines. You can book a hire easily online or over the phone and then either collect from your nearest depot or we can deliver it to you!
Are you tackling more jobs in the garden this year? Check out some more of our popular blogs and guides - How To Use A Turf Cutter; How To Use A Lawn Scarifier; How To Use a Rotavator; How To Aerate a Lawn.