How to Make a Homemade Aerator for Lawns
Lawn aerators foster healthy grass by softening the soil, allowing water to penetrate the ground and giving the roots room to grow. Professional lawn aerators actually pull plugs of soil out of the ground -- a very effective treatment, but it can be costly and it leaves temporary little tubes of dirt on the lawn. Aerating with spikes or large nails works well for do-it-yourselfers with limited budgets; manual aerators may be found as pitchfork-like tools, rollers you push and even spiked shoe attachments. Or, if you have a small lawn, you can make your own for the cost of a few small hardware store items.
Measure and mark every 2 inches along the long sides of the 6-by-12-inch plywood. Measure in 1.5-inch intervals along the short sides of the plywood.
Connect the marks to make a graph on the wood, using the ruler as a straightedge.
Place the plywood on a grass or dirt surface. Drill a hole through the plywood at each of the 12 points on the graph where the lines intersect with a 5/64 drill bit.
Drive a 4-inch nail into each of the drilled holes with a hammer. The nails will go all the way through the plywood into the ground.
Place a metal handle on the board, lining up the screw holes over areas of bare wood. Using the drill with a Philips-head bit, drive the screws into the plywood through the holes to attack the handle.
Pull the plywood straight up with the handle. To aerate the lawn, place the homemade aerator on a section of grass, step on it to push it into the ground, and pull it up. Repeat until you've covered the lawn.
Make two or more aerators to cover the lawn faster.
Wear safety glasses when drilling wood.
Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.