DIY lawn core/plug aerator for very small amount of grass?

Cambridge, MA

I've never seen a lawn core/plug aerator, but as far as I can tell looking at pictures the non-rolling ones are kinda like a pogo stick - you press down and pipes go into the ground, friction keeps the cores in the pipes, spring puts pipes back up, then you press again to get the plugs out of the pipes.

I have a super-small lawn, 2' x 5', so spending $30 on a tool seems silly. Not so inexpensive. Want something cheap. I really need to overseed (I messed up and vigorously raked out a bunch of thatch and dormant grass), and from everything I've read it really helps to aerate before doing that.

I'm thinking it might work to just get something like "10 ft. x 1/2 in. EMT Conduit" from Home Depot for $2.30, sharpen one end with a dremel, cut down the other end to make it a more reasonable length with an angle grinder, and use that one hole at a time. Might be able to just blow into the other end to remove cores, otherwise maybe a dowel or smaller PVC pipe with an endcap, or a shop vac's exhaust. Or maybe "1/2 in. x 2 ft. Copper Type M Hard Straight Pipe" for $4.98 would make more sense, as the wall is thinner and smoother.

Any reason that wouldn't work? Has anyone else done do-it-yourself aerators?

Thumbnail by danjcla Thumbnail by danjcla
Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

It will take a good sharp edge to do this.
Thinwall EMT sounds good, but I would weld on a cross piece, like a T as a handle.
You won't be able to blow the plugs out, so get a dowel (wood is fine) to ram them out. Do not let too many accumulate before cleaning them out.

Look for a soil sample probe, too.
This is about 12" - 18" long (they come a lot longer, too), sturdy, has a cross piece, and a slotted hole to view samples, and for easier access to remove them.
These will probably be more than you want to spend, too, but the style is exactly right for what you want to do.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

You could walk around in golf shoes... ;-)

It would be nice to have some means of pushing it into the ground to cut through the compacted soil and roots... here's a simple design. The tops of the tubes are open to allow the soil plugs to be pushed out by the next plug.
http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=73105&cat=52&ap=2

This message was edited Aug 5, 2015 5:10 PM

Los Angeles, United States

Hey!
I had tried to make aerator myself, but it was not good experiance. I spent a lot of time and maybe money like if I would buy new aerator. Of course, You can try, but I don't recommended. Better I recomended you good inexpensive aerators. Here on this blog https://grass-killer.com/reviews/best-lawn-aerators/ with their reviews you can find that you need.

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