Turf becomes compacted over time, making it difficult for grass roots to access the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow. Traditional turf aeration involves the process of punching holes in the ground and removing a portion of the soil. This method of coring creates openings in the root zone that allow for air and gas exchange—but there are many other ways to achieve the same effect.

  • Hollow tines use a vertical action to remove cores of soil. They force the tines to penetrate or “punch” holes in the soil surface to a depth of 3 to 6 inches. Larger units (often called deep-tine aerators) offer optional cutting or spiking tools that can penetrateup to 11 inches.

  • Deep-tine coring, spiking or drilling has gained a lot of popularity over the past few decades but must be performed with great care to avoid damaging underground utilities, drainage and irrigation systems. The good news is that by penetrating deeper into the soil profile, you gain all the benefits of traditional aeration but at a greater depth.

  • Soil-shattering units are unique in that they make use of solid tines forged using a combination of angles. When in use, these units penetrate to a depth of about 11 inches and create a twisting action with very little damage to the soil surface. As a result, cleanup is as simple as a couple of mowings performed in opposite directions. These units are designed specifically for use on golf-course fairways, roughs, parks and sports complexes.

  • Spiking and slicing equipment penetrates the soil with solid metal blades. This process is known for its ability to sever the lateral stems of bluegrass and bentgrass to encourage lateral root growth and thicken the turf. Slicers and spikers can also accelerate drying of persistently wet soils. The benefits of spiking or slicing are short term but surface disruption is minimal. In light of this, the procedure can be done frequently during the season with little concern about surface playability.


Equipment options:

  • Toro ProCore 1298
  • JD 1500 Aercore
  • JD 2000 Aercore
  • Gill Aerator PL-72
  • Aeroway Slicer