I think it is about time for an update on mechanical aeration versus the liquid aeration. Daron has indeed updated me on the results of his attempt at chemically (liquid) aerating his lawn. The results are not good. According to him (and me by observation), there is no difference in the lawn; no improvement and no worsening of the compaction of his soil. The lawn is still struggling, and what grasses Daron has growing in his lawn are not doing any better than they were before he used Liquid Aerify.
That being said, can I say for sure that mechanical aeration would have worked better? We shall see on his lawn this fall because Daron and Nancy purchased a mechanical aerator and have aerated their lawn on my advice. They then reseeded it and did not overseed this year.
I use mechanical aeration on my lawn and I can tell you that I still stand by this method of reducing compaction in lawns and improving the lawn's growing conditions. Why you ask? For me the plugs that are removed when the lawn is aerated add good top soil on top of the lawn AND the holes left behind by removing the plugs enables amendments to reach further into the soil. Additionally, my cool season fescue lawn requires re-seeding fairly frequently to stay looking good, the holes hold the seed in place in order for them to take hold and grow. Liquid aeration cannot do this. This is the big difference between liquid aerify and mechanical aeration. Can you see the removed plug above? No-this is NOT doggie doo! And the hole left by removing the plug? This is where the seeds and fertilizer will fall into and reach the roots of the grass much quicker than if they are just spread on the surface of the lawn with no plugs removed. Do not overseed and fertilize at the same time. Most fertilizers have additives that prevent germination of seed, this includes grass seed!
Liquid aerify, while it will not hurt the soil, cannot reach down far enough to allow other amendments and even itself to get to the deep roots of the lawn grasses. When I say deep, really most lawn grasses growing in clayey soil have roots that only reach about 2-3 inches deep. This is not deep at all, but without the removal of plugs, most amendments will work down to this area only after many years.
My suggestion to viewers is to save your money, mechanically aerate your lawn and apply a good top dressing of compost instead of liquid aerify. In life we know the easy way is not always going to work and most always never works. Go ahead and make the investment of an aerator (about $200) and you'll be set for at least 20 years, if not more if you take good care of your aerator.
Do any of you gardeners out there have experience with Liquid Aerify or a personal opinion of the effectiveness of it over mechanical aeration?
in the garden....