Neil from Messick's here, out to do a little bit of tractor therapy today. I'm out in my cool tractor driving Crocs, my favorite 25-year-old pair of cargo pants, a stained shirt, and my work tunes.
Today, we're going to show you a little bit about this aerator. My yard is mostly clay. It has been extremely hot and extremely dry here for the last two months or so. I feel like every time you look at the radar and there's rain coming our way, it somehow like parts right around us every time. The whole area has been dry, but our area in particular has been bone-dry.
My clay-based yard is rock solid. We're going to do a little bit of aerating today, explain to you some of the benefits, talk about some of the features that you might want to look for in an aerator for your tractor.
Aerating lawns is something that many people seem to skip over. You don't get that immediate result that you do get from something like fertilizing. You can take some chemicals, dump that on your grass and make things look nice and green, but aeration is one of those things that's an investment in your lawn over the long term. Maybe many of the benefits that you're going to see in the next growing season here.
I'm aerating in the backside of summer, going in the fall. It'll really be spring before I see some of the benefits from what I'm going to do today, but I can see the clear need in having to do it. My ground is rock solid. Now, when you drive around with the aerator and you punch those holes in the ground, there's many things that you're trying to achieve by putting those holes in there, when it does rain, the ground is going to soak that water in more effectively than if it were just to hit the lawn and run off.
You're also creating areas there in the ground for air and oxygen to be able to work its way down into the root system of the grass. The long-term goal of aeration is really to help the grass develop a better deeper root system, help the grass be able to fill in these areas right here. Now, I've done some work here recently, this needs over seeded again. It looks terrible. By going through and letting the grass develop those deeper root systems, it's going to fill in these areas a little bit and clear up some of the patchy areas.
The aerator that I'm using here today is a Land Pride CA2572. CA being Core Aerator, 25 telling you this is out of Land Pride's mid-range of implements. It's up for the little bit bigger utility tractors like this MX, and 72 being 72 inches wide. This is a six-foot implement. These things often mean something.
What we're going to have here is a Core Aerator. Now, aerators can be had in two different styles. Core or spike. Core is generally more expensive. Spikes are just going to have simple, literally spikes on them that are going to push down into the ground.
The core style is going to take a core out of the grass and create those plugs and stuff that are going to come up out of the cores as you drive. Generally, the cores are regarded to be the better of the two styles. The spike aerator is going to compact as it pushes down into the ground. The cores are going to create those cores. It's not going to pack the dirt in as much as you're driving over top of it. It's going to do a little bit better job for you.
Now, one thing you do definitely want to look for in an aerator after that core and spike consideration is weight. It takes a lot of weight on top of one of these things to push down in into the ground and get those legs there to push down in and create that nice core as it comes out. Now, I'm going to struggle here today. I don't have the water ballast tanks that typically are going to sit on top of this unit.
I'm going to find some things around my garage here to load this thing up a little bit and get a little bit more weight on it. That's something you definitely want to look for. The weight of the unit itself and also the ability for you to be able to add more weight on top of it because these things need the weight in order to penetrate the ground.
Another thing that's a little unique on this implement is the four parking stands. Now, you sometimes will find a parking stand on a three-point hitch implement, but not usually four. There's a couple of reasons why it's good to look for an aerator that's set up this way. The real goal of these things is because you've got this round assembly on the bottom, it needs a parking stand to keep from flopping over so that you can attach it to your tractor.
I prefer the style here that has four of them so that you can drop all four to the ground and keep the weight off of the roller assembly underneath of here so that you're not, say, pushing those tips down into the asphalt, or anything like that. It gives you a much more sturdy platform for this thing to rest on by having all four parking stands instead of maybe just one here in the front to keep it from flopping over.
You can see here from our first couple of passes, in the absence of some extra weight on top of the aerator, it doesn't penetrate super well. What we're doing here is grabbing a couple of things from around home here and trying to load this thing down a little bit more. I've got about 180 pounds of concrete and then probably about another 180, 200 pounds of wood to put a good 400 pounds or so on top of this to help the thing penetrate.
Now, this is janky, right? Most of the time, when you're ordering one of these, you're going to have the option of additional ballast like liquid ballast tanks to fill up with water to really give yourself a way to get a lot of dense weight on top of this. You could also do a lot more with iron weights or chains or ways to get more weight on top of here but this is what I've got laying around the backyard. We're going to give this a go now, make a couple passes, and see if we can penetrate a little bit better.
You can see here after a couple of passes, now we're starting to actually be able to see some results. With the ground this hard, as much as you'd like to see these things really poke down into the ground, it's just not going to happen. However, you could see as these things go over top, they take this, what is basically a road here. My kids run four-wheelers back and forth here. It starts to break up. It's not just all solid. You actually have some penetration happening here in the top, loosening up that soil so grass and stuff can start to grow there.
I'm going to spend some time doing my whole yard with this, making a lot more passes back and forth, and hopefully, it's going to pay us some dividends here come next springtime in this hard clay, sandy soils.
Now, I don't usually do this, but I wasn't totally happy with a lot of the filming that we were doing before. The ground was so hard. We were literally in a two to three-month-long drought that we had had. I just really wasn't happy with the results that we were getting from the aerator at all. I actually left the tractor sit for about two or three weeks and we were lucky enough to get a good solid two days of a good soaking rain.
I'm back out again now running this a second time, and the results that I'm getting are now completely different. You'll see here this little core of dirt. This is what you're looking for as this thing runs as that aerator goes and pushes down into the ground and cores the dirt. If we look here at the results on the ground itself, you can see the penetrations and stuff from the implement as it goes.
If there's anything to learn here it's that like many implements, conditions, application, and everything are important, you need to use this thing at the right time, and the middle of a drought is not it. Going out at the time with the grounds a little bit of soft maybe after it's rained, is really going to help it penetrate. I'm getting vastly better results today than what I was two weeks ago.
If you're shopping for an aerator for your property, we can help. If you have parts of service needs for machinery, you've already got, give us a call here at Messick's. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at Messicks.com.