Solid-Tine or Hollow-Tine Aeration

What it is & When it Works


You may have heard aerating is good for your lawn—especially if it’s compacted—but did you know there are two different ways to do it? Learn more about solid-tine and hollow-tine aeration and when to use each process.

What is Aeration

During the aeration process, you’re allowing air to circulate through the soil, reach the roots, and help revive your lawn. This is done with tools designed to puncture the surface, creating these important air passages. There are two main types of tools: solid-tine and hollow-tine aerators.

Solid-Tine Aeration

What is it? One of the simplest ways to refresh a lawn and combat compaction. You punch holes in the surface of the grass with solid metal spikes. These holes can be up to six inches deep. No soil is actually removed, so the holes naturally fill back up quickly.

When to use it? It’s best to save solid-tine aeration when there’s not a lot of compaction. It’s more of a temporary fix for areas that need a quick pick-me-up—usually right after a backyard event or hot, dry spell.

Hollow-Tine Aerator

What is it? This process involves more specially designed metal tubes driven into the surface. The three-inch holes are not as deep as solid-tine results, but a core of turf and soil is extracted and should be removed from the grass. Almost like opening your pores to help improve your skin, this process helps create more space in the soil for your lawn to relax and breathe.

When to use it? While this process can be used on any lawn, it’s most suited for heavily compacted areas that receive regular wear. Hollow-tine aeration has a longer-lasting effect since the empty holes can stay open for weeks after treatment. This allows the roots to stretch out and flourish; therefore, leading to a thicker, healthier lawn.

If you still have questions about solid-tine and hollow-tine aeration or are unsure about the best way to maintain your lawn, contact Cardinal Lawns for more information and a consultation.

Fall Recovery Guide

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Summer’s extreme conditions can take a toll on your grass and its health. Take some time to learn how to bring your lawn back to life. This handy guide teaches you what needs to be done for a full fall recovery.