Should I core aerate my lawn? Or are solid tines ok?

Your aerating questions answered

What is aeration?

Perforation of the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots.


Why do I need to aerate my lawn?

Aeration helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Soil compaction limits the amount of nutrients and water to penetrate the roots of your lawn.

What is solid tine aeration?

Solid tine aeration involves the punching of holes into the lawn with solid metal spikes.










A smaller area of lawn can be aerated manually with aerating sandals (sandals with spikes that aerate the lawn as you walk) or a sturdy garden fork. Simply insert the fork into the lawn and wriggle it back and forth to fracture the soil profile. Aim for a spacing between the holes of around 8 – 10cm. In order to achieve adequate aeration, you may need to go over the area twice in a different direction each time.

You can hire specialised aerators if you have a large lawn. A spiked roller is also useful for lawn aeration for incorporating lime, gypsum, or coarse sand into the profile to improve drainage or pH.

Solid tine aeration does not involve the removal of soil, so if the ground is particularly hard and compacted, we recommend you look at core aeration.

What is core aeration?

Unlike regular aeration, where solid tines simply punch holes in the ground, core aeration removes a plug of soil from your lawn at the same time. Plug or core aerators do this by using hollow tines that puncture the surface and then pull the plugs from the ground on their way back out. The process of coring helps create more space in the soil for your lawn to breathe, absorb nutrient and increases soil permeability.

core aeration










Core aeration can be done with manual hand tools but is much easier to undertake with a specialised coring machine. The primary reason we need to undertake aeration, core aeration in particular, is to alleviate issues related to compaction. 

For core aeration, we recommend using the Reel Solutions 3 Tyne Aerator.

When should I remove cores from my lawn, rather than solid tine?

When there is a lot of compaction or soil improvements are required. If an area suffers from heavy wear and is consistently showing signs of stress, this is where core aeration can be ideal. This is why golf courses and sporting fields undertake core aeration sometimes a couple of times a year. With the high amounts of foot traffic and wear, coring allows groundskeepers to keep their turf surfaces much healthier by creating more room for roots to grow. This combined with topdressing, helps to achieve a nice smooth putting or playing surface.

If you are looking for that perfect finish for your home lawn, then core aeration is certainly something you should also consider as part of your lawn maintenance program during spring. After coring your lawn is a great time to top dress with washed river sand. The sand will fill the holes and enable air and water to penetrate due to its free draining, open structure.

What if the ground is too hard?

A good deep watering a few hours or a day prior to aerating can help soften the soil making it easier for the tines to penetrate. It can also be a perfect time to aerate after you have experienced rain.

Think before you aerate!

Always remember when using either a solid or hollow tine to make sure that you are not doing so in an area where you are likely to hit any underground piping or irrigation. If you have an Automower with guide wire for the parameter, these too need to be avoided.


As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.

Getting to know Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo lawns have played an important role in over 1,000,000 Aussie backyards. The household name has stood the test of time, continuing to be one of the best choices for Australian homes. This grass has thrived in the Australian climate with its drought tolerance, low maintenance, soft touch, and high wear.

But where did Sir Walter DNA Certified come from? Let’s find out…

The Sir Walter Story

Brent Redman is a second-generation turf farmer from here in the Hunter Valley, NSW, and is the owner of Buchanan Turf Supplies. Brent began turf cutting in the late 70’s. By the mid-80’s he had purchased 20 acres here in the rich river flats of Maitland.

At the time buffalo was just buffalo and Brent ended up trialling 5 different varieties within a 2-acre plot.

Many turf farmers were having struggles with their buffalo, but Brent realised he was not facing these same troubles with one of the buffalo varieties he had growing on his farm and offered some samples to trial for their farms.

As this buffalo continued to grow on Brent’s farm, a small area was found to be growing which was even better, maintaining a greener winter colour, a healthier root system and it was taking over the existing buffalo.

Brent noticed the potential of this new variety and began propagating the grass to protect the purity and integrity of the variety. A variety which would soon become known as Sir Walter.

Name Sir Walter

Where did the Sir Walter name come from?

This grass was named to reflect the qualities that the grass possesses. Initially the acronym ‘WALT’ was created, standing for ‘Winter Active, Low Thatch’.

It was also decided to add a reference to the significant environmental benefits of the grass, with the addition of the ER for ‘Environmentally Responsible’.

A grass this good needed to be anointed, with a symbolic ‘knighting’ and the Sir prefix added to honour the exceptional qualities of the grass.

W inter
A ctive
L ow
T hatch
E nvironmentally
R esponsible

The rest is history as they say, with it being expanded and produced right across Australia. Sir Walter today is an ‘Iconically Aussie’ brand and is undoubtedly the most successful commercial turf variety in Australian history.

As a result of this success deception and substitution by competitors has occurred. Many varieties over the years have claimed to be ‘just like’, ‘same as’ or ‘bred from’.

Sir Walter Buffalo grass maintenance

How do I know the Sir Walter I am buying is genuine?

Sir Walter supplied by accredited and licensed suppliers is now known as Sir Walter DNA Certified. This extension of the name was developed to provide the assurance to consumers that the Sir Walter they are buying is DNA tested.

This turf matches the original breeder Sir Walter plant material bred at Brent Redmans farm developed over 20 years ago. Only Lawn Solutions Australia turf producers can provide this ‘Original Breeder’ guarantee.

If you want genuine Sir Walter, validated by DNA testing, look for Sir Walter DNA Certified from accredited suppliers with the Original Breeder Guarantee from Mr Redman.


As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.