Highly compacted soil within overly thick thatch mixes unhealthy lawn with uneven growth & bare patches of soil.
The solution to this problem is proper ground maintenance.
Detaching and plugging aeration opens the soil, which lets water, air, and nutrients go into the soil for a healthy and beautiful lawn.
That is why, in order to make ground maintenance convenient and affordable, you should have the best pull-behind plug aerator.
If you are planning to buy a pull-behind plug aerator you might get confused because there are many plug aerators available, among them, you don’t know which one is best and which one is value for money.
In the post, I am gonna tell you everything you need to know about aerators and also will review the 6 best pull-behind plug aerators.
So, don’t go anywhere else without completing reading this post.
Let’s get started…
However, if you are in hurry.. you can check out this comparison table and choose your best pull-behind plug aerator.
Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator
Agri Fab 45 has been one of the most popular and well-reputed aerators in the market for a long time. If you are searching for an ideal big machine for you, this tool is going to be a significant choice.
Whether you have thoughts of turfs or uneven ground this tool is able to handle this effectively and efficiently to give you value for money.
By the way,
you can connect easily the cantilever transport system of the aerator with your ATV or Lawn Mower very quickly without having any tools to do this.
24 Galvanized Knives is something that makes it special, these 24 Galvanized Knives are sufficiently strong to penetrate almost any kind of soil and are durable to work long life.
You might be wondering what is this special thing exactly and how is it works.
Well, this tool opens compacted soil and penetrates thatch by removing plugs from the ground to allow air and moisture to reach your lawn’s roots. As you are here, you definitely know why moisture and air are crucial to reach the lawn’s roots to make your lawn healthy.
Air and moisture both are very important to make the soil kind of healthy that every lawn owners want.
You can operate its rust-free spikes from the driver seat via its ergonomically installed transport handle. It has 48 inches weight tray to guarantee efficient soil penetration. This tray is able to hold up to 175 lbs of weight. This weight creates pressure on the spikes so that it penetrates even further and harder turfs.
You can adjust the aeration depth up to 3 inches according to your needs. It has 10 inches by 4 inches pneumatic flat tires which makes sure smooth movement even on the rough surface and it’s gonna work well for a long time without requiring maintenance.
This tool is a superior choice for you if you want a tool that will lose compact soil efficiently, and gives you the ease of use and longevity. And by the way, it comes with 3 years of warranty.
Let’s check out the Pros and Cons of this amazing tool:
- The knives are galvanized making them stronger.
- Flat-proof tires.
- Easy to assemble.
- Made using strong materials
- The lever is sufficiently strong
The knives wear out relatively fast
Brinly BS-38BH Sleeve Hitch 38 Inches Tow Behind Box Scraper
Well, here is another great aerator tool for you that gonna promises to its buyer it can do all-around garden tasks for landscaping, yard work, and gardening. If you are searching for a tool that can be effective to do different kinds of chores then this is for you.
Due to its versatile attachment, ease of operation, and great level of efficiency, it can remove roots, and debris, leveling yards, and spread gravel and topsoil or backfill holes. So, it’s almost an all-in-one tool for a gardener.
However, whenever we use a tool like this we take into consideration whether is it easy and convenient to use.
Well, this tool is quite easy to use as removing its scarifier bar and side plates is simple and easy. Moreover, if you remove these you can make it a rare blade that you can use perfectly for backfilling grading or moving dirt, sand, snow, and gravel.
This aerator needs a sleeve hitch to work effectively. It doesn’t come with the product, you have to buy this sleeve hitch separately from the manufacturer.
This tool is the value of money in terms of durability, effectiveness, and all-around garden services it offers. It won’t be a bank-breaking purchase for you.
Let’s check out the Pros and Con of this product:
- Offers all-around garden services.
- A very effective tool.
- Very easy to maneuver.
It doesn’t come with a sleeve hitch.
Brinly PA-40BH 40 Inches Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
Do you need a tool like “Fab” that I have reviewed first, but smaller with quality results?
Yes, there is another top aerator here that is slightly similar to “Fab”. Since it’s smaller it can’t handle as much weight as that big one. But does a great and effective job. If your surface isn’t uneven then this tool won’t be a bad choice for you.
Now the real question is how this does a great job.
Well, it’s 24 solid plug spoons that are able to penetrate up to 3 inches of compacted soil. It’s strong enough to decompress the turf and breaks via tough thatch to allow water, air, and nutrients to penetrate the lawn’s root.
Another appreciable feature of this tool is the 3 independently rotating parts that contain 24 main points made of 16 gauge steel. Moreover, in order to ensure efficiency, it comes with a durable and fully enclosed heavy-duty frame hopper with 150 pounds capacity which is perfectly sized for 2 concrete blocks. As a result, it’s able to guarantee you further and harder penetration.
As I said, it comes with an enclosed tray which means it can ensure that weight doesn’t fall off when moving on high speed or uneven surfaces.
Over and above, every 16 gauges are rust-resistant and you can replace them individually in case one gets damaged. It’s quite affordable to replace.
In addition, its 10 inches two flat rubber tires ensure easy movement, it also comes with a universal hitch by which you can easily attach it to your Lawn Mower or ATV, and it’s very easy to maintain. The only down thing about this product is it takes more time to assemble than other tools.
However, check out the Pros & Con of it:
- Penetrates hard surfaces.
- Very sturdy construction.
- Moves through sidewalks and driveways easily.
It takes time to assemble.
Brinly SAT-40BH 40 Inches Tow-Behind Spike Aerator
So, here we have the number 4 best pull-behind plug aerator for you. It is Brinly SAT-40BH which is worth every penny.
Let’s talk about some common features first,
Its spiked tool is able to penetrate your desired length even in compacted soil though it’s mainly designed for minor and moderate soil compaction but still does a good job in compacted soil.
Another citable feature of this is its 11 galvanized tine stars. Bing galvanized means it’s rust-free and strong enough to penetrate harder and further.
In addition, rust-free ensures the long-lasting life of this tool.
Furthermore, it’s gonna help you out in spring and fall if you are having problems with seeding or fertilizing.
It doesn’t matter if you have a rough ground or plane ground it’s efficient wheels will ensure the smooth movement of the aerator.
This tool also comes with a tray made of durable steel. You can put an additional 100 pounds of weight to penetrate harder and deeper.
By the way, this tool is able to penetrate up to 2 inches deep. While aerating, the aerator is made with a handle that will keep the raised spikes in that position as you move across the hard areas of your lawn.
The SAT-40BH comes with great design and packaging, is easy to assemble, and comes at very affordable prices without breaking your bank account.
- Very easy to operate.
- It can work without wheels.
- Perfect for aerating before seeding.
Wheels fall off
Brinly SA-40BH 40 Inches Tow-Behind Spike Aerator
So, this one also offers you penetrating by spreading granular materials like fertilizer, lime, or seed into the surface very efficiently without washing away.
Let’s talk about its build quality. It is made of durable tubular steel material and drawbars that ensure it lasts for years. Like other tools, we have reviewed before it also has a tray which able to take 100 Lbs of weight for efficient and effective penetrates.
Moreover, 18 gauges of all-welded material are used to construct to minimize flexing and twisting when loaded.
It also has galvanized tine stars which are rust-free, sharp, and penetrate up to 2 inches to allow air, water, and fertilizer to reach the grass root.
Another notable feature of this tool is the flow control by which you can adjust the spread pattern to ensure no waste.
Things that you will love about his machine are the tow tube design and solid tine shaft which provides maximum reliability.
- Durable drawbars and tubular steel framing.
- Very easy to assemble.
- The 2-in-1 design aerates the lawn and drops fertilizer or seed.
The top lever needs improvement.
Agri-Fab 45-0474 SmartLink plug Aerator
This tool is pretty good and comes very affordable price without compromising quality.
The only down thing about this product is, it comes with poor packaging otherwise everything is fine.
This tool offers you proper plugging which means more effective and efficient penetration at the root level of the grass. And that’s how the grass will get enough air, water, and nutrition to be healthier. If you are looking for a product that will enhance air circulation then this can be a great option for you.
Moreover, the best thing about this it doesn’t require assembling or disassembling. You can attach it to any master platform anytime. Its rust-free aluminum galvanized spikes ensure it’s gonna last longer.
Another main feature of this unit is that it is recommended for loosening compacted soil and by the way, it comes with a three-year warranty.
- 3-year warranty.
- Galvanized aluminum.
- Improves air circulation.
- Not as effective as Fab 45.
- Poor packaging
Our Recommendation for Tow Behind Aerator
After considering different kinds of tow-behind aerator buying factors, I would say Agri Fab 45 is the best tow-behind aerator you can have for your lawn.
But why I am recommending this one?
Well, it has some great features that make it different from other tools such as its 48 inches large size, ability to penetrate compact soil, 32 galvanized spikes, a durable tray that can take up to 17 lbs weight, and its pneumatic flat tires.
What is Aeration?
Aeration is one of the best things you can do to keep your lawn green and healthy. It relieves soil compaction which can literally switch the life and breath out of your lawn.
Compaction is the result of downward pressure on the soil from foot traffic, play, and different heavy machine movement on the lawn. It could be your car also.
In fact, compaction is a layer as thin as ¼ of an inch that can block the flow of water and nutrients and restrict the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen all vital to plants.
Aeration loosens compacted soil penetrates patches and opens entryways to the root for water and nutrients to flow.
Aeration enables carbon dioxide to escape from the soil and oxygen to enter allowing plants to breathe. Most importantly aeration helps strip grassroots stay healthy and grow.
And the fact is a lawn with long healthy roots below are beautiful, green, and amazing above.
If your lawn is cool-season grasses like bluegrass the best time to aerate is when temperatures are cooler and weeds less active in the fall at least four weeks before the first hard Frost or in the Spring if you have a one-season variety like Bermuda grass the best time to aerate the mid-spring to early summer when the grasses are actively growing but before it gets to hurt and dry.
Signs that You Need a Pull-Behind Aerator
So, how do you know whether you need a pull-behind aerator or not? There are some signs to make this decision:
- Your lawn is flooded with water after a downpour
- You regularly drive your car on the lawn.
- It’s hard to stick something on the soil, like a pencil.
- You have clay soil and it’s hard.
- You see bare in the lawn.
Choosing the Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator
No one wants to invest money in crap. Your investment and hard work matter. The same thing happens when you decided to buy a pull-behind plug aerator.
Since you don’t buy it daily and weekly, of course, you don’t know what to take into consideration when you gonna buy an aerator. Such as you need to consider the features and factors of the aerator tools to get the best one.
So, here I am gonna let know you some factors and features you should take into consideration while buying an aerator.
Here come a lot’s questions that you need to answer. For example, what is the perfect size of an aerator for your lawn? What is the right size for the spikes; depth and diameter?
There won’t be a 100% right answer according to your lawn characteristics but eventually, your conclusion will lend you to our recommended best tow behind the machine. Because it will cover the board area and finish tasks within the shortest time possible.
Ease of movement
Another way to call movement is maneuverability. It’s very important that is your machine able to move across your lawn easily or not. Of course, you need to move it across your lawn to do your task effectively and get desired results.
You must consider the design of the wheels of aerators; this is something you should not ignore since wheels will help you to move them. Find the answer to these questions; can the machine be able to move via narrow spaces, and can it do its work with ease in sharp corners?
Definitely, we don’t buy this kind of machine to use once or twice. Besides, it takes a great amount of money to buy it. There is no value for your money if a machine doesn’t last for a long time. So, you should buy a machine that features a firm body like steel; reinforced or galvanized equals durability.
For many days cost has been a determining and important factor when anyone making buying decisions. However, here our concern is, would you buy an expensive or cheap one?
Too much price doesn’t mean the best quality as well as too cheap doesn’t mean good quality.
So, basically, you have to consider other factors with the price.
Money-back guarantee and warranty
Most of us don’t think twice while buying a machine, especially when get an affordable one. But, keen buyers don’t compromise with any buying factors they always ask or check if there are any warranties available with the machine or not.
Well, pull behind aerator offers warranties that are sweet in all essence.
Of course, warranties give benefits to buyers.
First of all, there won’t be any worries about design and manufacturing faults for almost 3 years.
Second of all, you don’t need to spend any penny on the repair. The seller, supplier, or manufacturer will take responsibility for the repair and its costs.
However, in terms of the money-back guarantee, you will 15 to 30 days trial period. In this period of time, you will know if this machine is suitable for your lawn or not and also if there is any problem with your machine or not. You can return it during this period if it’s not meet your needs or if you find any fault in it.
Well, I said in the reviews part that, extra weight helps tow behind aerator machines to penetrate deeper and harder. Which is important for healthy soil.
You need to see how much load that machine can able to take, does it have enough space for this load, is the weight tray designed in a way so that the weight doesn’t fall out.
Benefits of Lawn Aeration:
1. Improves turf health. The major benefit of aeration is it will improve the overall health of your grass. Core aeration works to reach the water, air, and fertilizer at the root level of the grass. Access to these elements at the root level of grass greatly improves the health of the turf and as a result, you get deeper and more extensive turfgrass roots.
2. Reduces thatch build-up. Accumulates thatch layer isn’t good for your lawn. The thicker it is, the more problematic for your grass. Because it robs the necessary rain and nutrients that basically supposed to get grass.
As a result, grass becomes unhealthy for a lack of water and nutrients. But the aeration helps to manage that build-up thatch by introducing thatch-decomposing microorganisms from the soil to the top of the thatch layer
3. Relieves soil compaction. Is it possible to get air, water, and fertilizer at the root level of grass if the soil is compacted? Definitely not! Because compacted soil prevents all these elements to reach the root level.
As a result, you see dead spots, patches, and/ or thinning. Aeration helps to loosen the soil, and soil density is decreased, thus relieving compaction.
4. Benefits of pH modification. You can modify the pH of your lawn after completing aeration and then applying lime or sulfur. It helps to promote the change of pH deeper into the soil profile. This will let nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone to become available to the turf.
5. Benefits overseeding operations. It is helpful to core aerate before and after seeding into an existing lawn. Soil cultivation enhances seed-topsoil contact necessary for germination and creates a moist, protected environment optimal for seedling growth and development.
6. Reduced water runoff and puddling. If you find your yard has runoff or puddling problems after rain, aeration could be the fix you need.
Lawn Aerating Tips
1. If you experience heavy traffic then aerate your lawn once per year, otherwise, you can aerate every 2nd year – which is sufficient.
2. The great time to aerate the lawn is during the spring or fall growing season. For warm-season grass, you should aerate spring or summer, and for cool-season grass in autumn or spring.
3. A lawn grown from turf installation can benefit from regular aeration to break up tough layers.
4. Two behind aerator is great as it removes plugs 2 to 3 inches deep and 0.5 to ¾ inch diameter.
5. In order to get the best result, you better keep your tool on moist soil if you had rainfall or watering.
6. Overseed after aeration to fill any patchy areas of grass. Follow up with fertilization and watering.
7. Consult an expert to arrange a regular lawn care timetable as well as aeration treatment.
The Dos and Don’ts of Soil Compaction
First the Dos:
- Before aeration ensure soil is compacted. You don’t need to do aeration on the uncompacted soil.
- Measure friability and content by digging the hole before aeration.
- In order to get the best aeration result use narrow, sharp, and long blades.
- Change the depth of penetration by adjusting weights or removing weight.
- Work about 5 cm below the bottom of the compacted soil.
- Ensure that the leading discs are in line with time legs to prevent sward tear.
- Don’t aerate in extremely wet soil as it leads to damage and smearing of soil.
- Don’t aerate in extremely dry conditions as tines won’t penetrate effectively.
- Don’t Go above a 5-10 degrees tine offset as it will damage the sword.
- Don’t travel fast. 1-2km/h is an ideal speed for aeration.
- Don’t use over 6 cm sward heights as this will damage the sward.
- Don’t use it on soil with no drainage system.
Lawn Aerators FAQs
Q: Is it necessary to dethatch?
A. Yes, of course! Thatch has inorganic and dead materials on top of the surface that block the flow of water and nutrients.
You can remove these deposits by dethatching which will ensure the minerals access the root level of the grass. However, don’t detach below 2 inches.
Q: Which one is better; plug or spikes?
A. Both do pretty much the same work. Plug brings soil from the surface and makes holes besides, the spike just makes the hole in the surface. Therefore, people prefer plugs and I also recommend it.
Q: What is the difference between aerators and a scarifier?
A. A scarifier looks like a spike aerator because it has spikes. It basically does “Dethatch” by removing organic material from the top of the soil. On the other hand, an Aerator digs holes in the surface to give access and enhance the flow of water, air, and nutrients.
Q: How can I keep my pull-behind aerator in top shape?
A. This is all about servicing and maintaining it. You can DIY or can hire a professional to do it for you.
Q: What should I do before I aerate my lawn?
A. Before starting pull behind the tool on your lawn prepare your surface. Make sure there is no obstacle that might hinder the smooth movement of our aerator. By the way, if you are having a weed problem in your lawn check this out. https://backyardbro.net/best-weed-torch-reviews/
If your lawn is in bad condition or unhealthy, and it needs to be aerated just go for recommended the best pull-behind plug aerator.
However, if you have any questions regarding the best pull-behind plug aerator or any questions regarding gardening then let me know by leaving a comment below.