Why aerate your lawn?
It is important to aerate (spike) your lawn as this process allows water and air to move more freely in the root zone. By creating tiny air channels in the soil, oxygen can circulate and beneficial bacteria will be increased. Bacteria plays a vital role in your lawn and maintains the health and the efficiency of the root system. A healthy root system will provide a healthy lawn. Soil naturally contains oxygen but over time lawns can become compacted, the natural air supply is then reduced meaning that the compacted soils are not able to sustain enough of the good microbes that are required for a healthy lawn.
Well aerated lawns perform better when under stress from droughts or waterlogging. It is generally only necessary to aerate your lawn every 2 or 3 years. Heavily compacted lawns and shady areas will require more frequent aeration due to the lack of air movement and heavy wear.
Aeration can be carried out using a garden fork, spacing the holes about 5 to 6 inches apart. You can also use a Hollow tine aerator, this machine extracts plugs of soil from the lawn. Once you have hollow tined the lawn you should remove the plugs and apply a top dressing for maximum benefit.