Do Pull Behind Aerators Work? (Towable Vs. Rental Models). Lawn mower aerator attachment

Get Bang for Your Buck: The Top 7 Best Aerator Attachment for Tractor

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Are you looking for ways to get more out of your tractor and make it work harder for you?

Look no further because an aerator attachment can help maximize your tractor’s potential in terms of productivity, as well as enhance the appearance of your yard.

Aerators are tools designed to loosen soil and enable improved air circulation, which helps grass grow better. In this post, we will take a look at the top 7 best lawn aerators attachments that can turn any tractor into a powerful aerating machine!

Read on to learn all about them and find the best lawn aerators!

  • Aerator attachments are designed to be used with lawn tractors to perforate the soil with small holes, allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the root zone of plants better.
  • Lawn aeration tools and aeration methods can help improve soil structure, reduce soil compaction, and promote healthier plant growth over large areas.
  • Some aerator attachments use spikes, tines, or coring action to create holes in the soil, while others may use slicing action.
  • What is an aerator attachment?
  • Benefits of using an aerator attachment on your tractor
  • Factors to consider when choosing an aerator attachment for your tractor
  • Types of aerator attachments for tractors
  • Top 7 best aerator attachment models
  • #1. Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator – Best pick
  • #2. Agri-Fab 40-Inch Spike Aerator – Runner up
  • #3. Brinly Tow Behind Spike Aerator – Best for deep soil penetration larger properties
  • #4. Brinly Tow Behind Plug Aerator with Universal Hitch – Best aerotor with universal hitch
  • #5. Craftsman 40-Inch Tow Plug Aerator – Best for efficient results
  • #6. Agri-Fab SmartLink Plug Aerator – Best plug aerator
  • #7. Strongway Spike Aerator – The best spike aerator
  • Which is better, a coring aerator or spike aerator?
  • Which is better, liquid or plug aeration?
  • Is a spike aerator better than nothing?
  • Is fall or spring aeration better?
  • How to attach an aerator to a lawn tractor?

What is an aerator attachment?

An aerator attachment is a device that can be attached to a tractor (or another similar machine) to aerate the soil.

The attachment usually has a series of tines or spikes that penetrate the soil to varying depths, depending on the type of attachment.

The attachment can help to alleviate heavy clay soil compaction, improve drainage, and promote healthy plant growth by allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate more easily into the soil.

Depending on the model, an aerator attachment can be used for a wide range of applications, from small residential lawns to large sports fields or agricultural land.

Benefits of using an aerator attachment on your tractor

Using an aerator attachment on your tractor has numerous benefits, including:

Improved soil health: Aeration helps to break up soil compaction and enhance soil structure, resulting in healthier soil with better water infiltration and nutrient absorption.

Enhanced plant growth: By allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil, plants can grow stronger, healthier, and more resilient.

Better water management: Aeration tool can help to promote better drainage, which can protect lawns and crops from excessive water buildup and decrease the likelihood of fungal growth.

Cost savings: By using an aerator attachment to improve soil health and plant growth, you may reduce the need for costly fertilizers, pesticides, and watering.

Increased efficiency: Aerating with a tractor attachment is faster and more efficient than manual aeration, especially for large areas of land.

Versatility: There are many different types of aerator attachments available for tractors, from heavy-duty tow-behind models to lighter, handheld versions, making them suitable for a variety of soil types and applications.

Factors to consider when choosing an aerator attachment for your tractor

Size and type of tractor: Best lawn aerators are available in different sizes, so it’s essential to choose one that’s compatible with the size and power of your tractor.

Type of soil and land: Different aerator attachments are better suited to specific soil types and land conditions. Heavy-duty models are typically better for compacted soil, while lighter models may be more suitable for sandy or loamy soils.

Depth and spacing: Make sure to choose an aerator attachment that can penetrate to the desired depth and spacing level. Some models can aerate up to 4 inches deep, while others can penetrate up to 8 inches.

Tine quality: The quality and shape of the tines or spikes on the aerator attachment will impact their ability to penetrate the soil and create holes.

Ease of use: Choose an aerator attachment that is easy to use and maneuver with your tractor. Some models can be towed behind your tractor, while others require manual operation.

Price and brand: There are many different brands and models of aerator attachments available, and can vary widely. Choose a reputable brand with a good track record, and consider your budget when making your selection.

Types of aerator attachments for tractors

There are several different types of aerator attachments available for tractors, including:

– Spike Aerator: This type of aerator has straight spikes that puncture the soil and create small holes. Spike aeration is better suited for slightly compacted soil and are more affordable than some other types of lawn aerators.

– Plug Aerator: Plug lawn aerators remove small plugs or cores of soil from the ground to create larger holes. This type of aerator is more effective for heavily compacted soil and can also help to reduce thatch buildup.

– Drum Aerator: A drum aerator is a heavy-duty version of a spike aeration that has a drum-shaped container filled with water that provides additional weight to help press the spikes deeper into the ground.

– Tow-Behind Aerators: As the name suggests, tow-behind aerators attaches to the back of a tractor and is towed along behind the vehicle. They are perfect for larger areas of land but may not be suitable for smaller, tighter spaces.

– Front Mount Aerator: Front mount lawn aerators are mounted on the front of a tractor and can easily access tight spaces, such as gardens, turf, and sports fields.

– Core Aerators: Similar to a plug aerator, a core aerator pulverizer removes soil cores from the ground but has a drum-like device that crushes the cores and spreads them back onto the lawn as fertilizer.

– Handheld Aerator: Handheld aerators are small, lightweight devices that can be used for small areas. They are perfect for spot aeration and hard-to-reach spaces. However, a handheld model requires more physical effort.

Top 7 best aerator attachment models

Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator – The Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator is a reliable and well-designed tool for lawn care enthusiasts. Its self-sharpening plug lawn aerator knives, weight tray, and flat-free pneumatic tires make it a high-performance lawn aerator that can achieve maximum effectiveness in aerating large or small lawns.

Agri-Fab 40-Inch Spike Aerator – The Agri-Fab 40-Inch Spike Lawn Aerator is an excellent tool for lawn care enthusiasts. Its simple-to-use design, easy transport, and high-quality spike disks make it a versatile and efficient tool for anyone looking to maximize their lawn coverage with ease.

Brinly Tow Behind Spike Aerator – The Brinley Tow Behind Spike lawn aerator is a durable and efficient lawn care tool that is designed to cover large areas with ease. With its patent-pending 3D tines, easy-to-use transport mode, and reinforced all-steel design, it is an excellent choice for anyone looking to maintain a lush and healthy lawn.

Brinly Tow Behind Plug Aerator with Universal Hitch – With a universal hitch design, the Brinley aerator can be connected to any lawn tractor, making it a versatile and effective option for lawn care maintenance.

Craftsman 40-Inch Tow Plug Aerator – The Craftsman 40-Inch Tow Plug lawn aerator is a powerful and efficient tool for aerating large lawns. With its 40-inch working width and 10-inch long steel plugs, it easily loosens compacted soil and promotes healthy plant growth.

Agri-Fab SmartLink Plug Aerator – The Agri-Fab SmartLink Plug lawn aerator is a highly efficient and easy-to-use tool for lawn care enthusiasts. With its universal hitch and flexible design, it can be easily attached to any riding mower to provide maximum lawn aeration results.

Strongway Spike Aerator – The Strongway Spike lawn aerator is an effective tool for lawn aeration and soil loosening. Its 42 in. working width and 12 spike wheels make it efficient and time-saving. However, it may be difficult to use by some users.

#1. Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator – Best pick


We are starting off the list with one of the best tow-plug aerators for tractors!

The Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow behind plug best lawn aerator is a well-made and dependable lawn care item. The weight tray on this best lawn aerator can hold up to 175 pounds. This function comes in handy when more soil penetration is necessary.

The machine also has 32 self-sharpening plug lawn aerator blades that efficiently penetrate the soil for the best results. The lawn aerator’s flat-free tires make transportation easier.

The transport handle, which can be accessible from the tractor seat, is one of the most practical features of the Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator. This innovation allows you to easily raise and lower the plug lawn aerator without dismounting your tractor. The plug-aerator’s universal hitch allows it to be attached to any tractor.

The Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Behind Aerator has three welded knife parts that rotate separately for excellent coverage even while turning. This function aids in the most effective aeration of a large or small lawn.

Overall, the Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug lawn aerator is a high-performing, efficient, and user-friendly piece of equipment that produces outstanding results. It is a must-have tool for anybody who is concerned about keeping their lawns, gardens, or sports grounds healthy and bright.

  • Heavyweight tray for optimal soil penetration
  • Good for a large lawn
  • The transport handle is accessible from the tractor seat.
  • The universal hitch fits any tractor.

Do Pull Behind Aerators Work? (Towable Vs. Rental Models)

When you have a large yard with compacted clay soil like I do, you need a way to aerate frequently without breaking your back or your book. Rental charges add up quickly and pushing a gas-powered core aerator around a large yard will turn your arms to jello. That’s what initially attracted me to pull behind aerators that attach to riding mowers. But you may be wondering if these are effective and really worth your money. I’ve studied up on these and learned quite a bit. I’ll share what I’ve uncovered but first, let’s deal with the most pressing question of all:

Do Pull Behind Aerators Work? When properly weighted and designed with spoons vs spikes, pull behind aerators can be very effective at removing cores of soil to decrease compaction and allow for backfilling with nutrient-rich matter such as compost. They are a great solution for large yards when attached behind a riding mower.

To fully appreciate the benefits of a pull behind aerator, as well as a few pitfalls, I’m going to outline the key features to look for and a couple of tricks to make sure you get the best results possible when using a pull behind aerator. But first, let’s get clear on why you should be aerating your lawn in the first place.

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Benefits of Core Aeration

There can be many benefits to aerating your lawn but the key benefits really come down to these three things:

  • Reduced soil compaction to improve deeper root growth
  • Improved drainage and saturation of water into the soil
  • Improved air movement to encourage beneficial microorganisms

When soil is compacted, it can restrict root growth (source). This impairs your lawn’s ability to thrive by limiting the depth of grass roots. Shallow roots make the grass more susceptible to disease, cold weather, and drought. The impact of this can vary depending on the type of grass you have. I have Centipede for example which is more drought tolerant than some grasses but still needs to be able to dig its roots in to really thrive (source). Remember this: the quality of your soil determines the health of your lawn.

By aerating, you are removing cores of compacted soil and giving the surrounding dirt room to expand. You can compound the effectiveness of aeration by backfilling the core holes with quality topsoil or compost. In fact, that is one of the key steps in my five-step approach to improving clay soil.

Here’s how aerating the soil can also help to improve drainage by improving that root growth. By allowing moisture to more easily soak deep into the soil, you improve the root health of your lawn by encouraging deeper growth. Shallow root growth is often the result of frequent, short waterings where the water does not effectively soak deeper into the soil. This is especially true of compacted soils like clay where water can be seen sitting on top of the soil after a rainfall. Core aeration can help with this by breaking up the compaction of the soil, allowing for better drainage through soil saturation. Aeration allows a way for the water to flow through the soil instead of just on top of it.

Another benefit to aeration is in the name itself. You see, heavily compacted soil does not allow for air that is necessary for worms and many beneficial bacteria that spend their days and nights working your soil and improving its nutrient quality. Aeration breaks up the compaction of the soil to allow air for these little helpers. Again, there is added benefit to backfilling those core holes with quality soil. In fact, by adding a quality soil or compost, you are introducing those helpful microbes into your lawn.

How Well Do Pull Behind Aerators Work?

Though often not as effective as a dedicated core aerator (more on that later), pull behind aerators can work very well to remove soil cores and reduce compaction. They are especially beneficial to homeowners with large yards or very rural areas where renting and using a gas-powered core aerator would be problematic.

This video from YouTube shows a pull behind aerator tool being used and the resulting plugs of soil on the lawn after use. The video is actually longer but I have it set to start near the end so that you can quickly see it in use and the results.

The key to how well a pull behind aerator really works comes down to two things:

Let’s explore each of these and why they are so critical for a pull behind aeration tool to work.

Why Is Weighing Down A Pull Behind Aerator Important?

Compacted soil can be very difficult to dig. In fact, it can be like digging in concrete if it is dry and has a heavy clay content. In order for any core aerator to work, it needs weight to press its spoons down into the soil. Otherwise, it would just roll over the top of the soil and tear up your grass.

Many pull behind lawn aerator tools like the Brinly PA-48BH (link to Amazon) are designed to allow you to place cinderblocks or sandbags on them to ensure proper soil penetration.

Spikes Vs. Plug Spoons For Lawn Aeration

There are basically two types of aeration methods that people use to reduce soil compaction: Spikes and Plug Spoons.

I’m sure you have seen those funny-looking shoe strap-ons that claim you can aerate your lawn by simply walking around it wearing these, right? Well, you can actually buy pull behind aerators that use spikes. But let me tell you why this is not the best option.

Spikes work based on the principle of poking holes into the soil to improve aeration. The problem with this approach is two-fold. First, by pressing into the ground to create a hole, you are actually causing an increase in compaction of the surrounding soil (source). And second, you are not actually removing any of the compacted soil from the ground. You are simply shifting the compacted soil and creating more problems.

Plug aerators, by comparison, have hollow metal shafts with a spoon-section at the bottom that allows the device to plunge into the ground and pull out “cores” or plugs of soil. This means that you are physically removing the substance from the ground, allowing for the actual expansion of the surrounding soil.

I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Spike aeration is not the approach that you need to take with lawn aeration. You can’t improve the compaction of soil by compacting it more. You have to remove some of the compacted soil and replace it with nutrient-rich dirt or compost that does not compact easily.

Pull Behind Vs. Rental Aerators

Dedicated core aerators are generally more effective than pull-behind models but they can be cost-inhibitive when you are having to pay a rental fee, arrange to pick up and return them and deal with any mechanical issues that come up while in your possession. Frankly, they can be a real pain. But they are a dedicated tool and if you have a smaller yard, they are not a bad choice as long as you live near a rental location.

But I hate having to rent equipment. Something always seems to go wrong. It won’t start or something breaks and it just brings my work time to a screeching halt. Waste one whole Saturday troubleshooting a rented core aerator and having it beat your arms to death as you walk it around your yard and you will find yourself with similar views.

But its not just about the hassles of renting equipment…

Whether you should rent a gas-powered aerator or buy a pull-behind model really depends on the size of your yard and the frequency that you will need to perform core aeration. If you have a small yard or really rich soil, you can probably get by with renting. But if your yard is big or you are dealing with heavily compacted soil like me then you may be better off just buying a pull behind that you can use as frequently as you want.

Which brings us to our next point.

How Often Should You Aerate A Lawn?

This depends a lot of the type of soil and grass that you have. Quality soil can often be maintained by aerating every couple of years while heavily compacted soil benefits from up to three times in a single year. The best way to determine how often to aerate is to evaluate the compaction and health of your soil. If it’s getting compacted or if you are seeing your grass beginning to brown from the roots being strangled and suffocated, then it’s probably time to aerate.

With a clay soil yard like mine, the lawn never really isn’t compacted. If that’s your situation, plan to aerate at least a couple of times a year. I’ve seen “experts” saying you should only aerate your lawn once every year or two but they clearly aren’t dealing with the same soil as I am. My point is this: your soil type will determine how often you need to aerate and your grass will show tell-tale signs when the compaction is restricting its growth.

What Is The Best Pull Behind Aerator?

There are several companies that manufacture pull behind plug aerators and “best” is a very subjective term. I will tell you that I usually recommend the Brinly PA-40BH for a smaller riding mower and the Brinly PA-48BH for larger mowers (these are links to Amazon). The first model has a 40-inch width and the second is 48 inches.

In both cases, Brinly uses 16 gauge steel for their plugging spoons that are designed to plunge up to 3 inches into the soil. Each has an enclosed weight tray to hold cinderblocks or sandbags and a lever to quickly lift the spoons when crossing driveways or sidewalks. They also include no-flat tires and I’m really partial to features like that. Nothing is more frustrating than getting up on a Saturday morning ready to get work done and realizing you have a flat.

There are other well-established brands that I would be comfortable purchasing including the Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch model (Amazon link for current pricing). Agri-Fab is a solid brand and I’ve met anyone who’s had a negative experience using their products.

Craftsman also makes a pull behind aerator that’s available on Amazon but I’ve grown less fond of the Craftsman brand over the past few years. Their name used to be synonymous with solid, well-built, and dependable tools but they haven’t kept that reputation up as well in the recent past. I’m sure their aerator is fine but I’m not comfortable recommending it at this time. My advice is to go with Brinly or Agri-Fab. Those are both solid manufacturers.


Pull behind aerators do work and can provide significant benefits for homeowners with large yards. Just be sure to go with a spoon plug model and to weigh it down so that it can really dig into that compacted soil. I’ve also found benefit in using a soil conditioner to soften the soil prior to aerating. These products are often called liquid aeration but I think they work best when combined with core aeration, not as a replacement.

Aerating your lawn can greatly improve the condition of the soil and while renting a stand-alone gas-powered core aerator is a good approach for some, those with a large yard or who don’t live close to a rental center can benefit from a pull behind aerator.

Paul has a two-acre yard on red clay soil in Southeast Texas. He knows exactly what the challenges are to nurturing a thriving yard in difficult soil.Paul takes a practical approach to yard improvement and enjoys putting best practices and “golden rules of lawn care” to the test.

Riding Mower Attachments (what to own, what to avoid)

pull, aerators, work, towable

If you have a riding mower you probably either own attachments or are considering purchasing some. In today’s article I’ll talk about some of the most common riding mower attachments and I’ll discuss which ones are worth owning.

The reality is that some equipment is essential and well worth the investment and the space it will occupy in your garage or storage shed, but other riding mower add-ons simply won’t be used often enough to justify the purchase (you can spend that money better elsewhere).

I’ll go through everything you need to know here so you can make the best decisions when upgrading your mowing equipment. is reader supported. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

First Thing’s First – Sizing Compatibility

Before you buy any attachments for your riding mower, make sure that they are compatible with the model you own.

You wouldn’t believe how many people email me asking why the attachment they purchased didn’t fit … well, it’s built for a different mower!

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Why Upgrade Your Riding Mower with Attachments?

One of the main purposes of getting attachments for a riding mower is to help the mower do more than just cut grass.

But more generally, we buy lawn equipment to make our life easier, and to accelerate the pace at which we can complete lawn care projects around the house.

Less time working on the lawn, more time enjoying the lawn. That’s the goal, right?

There are many different functions your mower can fulfill if you have the right attachments for it.

In many cases, whether an attachment is worthwhile for you will depend on the size of your property (how large it is). For example, a lawn sweeper will probably only be useful if you have an especially large area. If you don’t, it probably won’t be worth the cost and the trouble of having to store it.

Keep in mind that many of these attachments are quite large, so unless you have unlimited storage space, you will usually need to pick and choose, purchasing only the attachments that are specifically best for you.

If you have a zero-turn riding (ZTR) mower, you will find there is a more limited selection of attachments available than you might find for garden tractors and lawn tractors.

Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Riding Mower Attachments

Here’s a list of some of the most popular and useful attachments for riding mowers (in no particular order).


You can get aerator attachments for your riding mower that will give your lawn the aeration it needs.

pull, aerators, work, towable

Aeration helps prepare your lawn for fertilization and reseeding. It is process in which small holes are put in the ground, allowing for better air circulation and water and fertilizer penetration. This will make your grass roots stronger and healthier.

Buying an aerator attachment for your mower is a good investment in most cases. It will mean you always have an aerator on hand whenever you want to aerate your lawn during the course of the year. And the ability to purchase this attachment is one key advantage to riding mowers (it’s not an option on a walk-behind mower).

Aerator attachments vary in size, with between 40 and 48 inches in width being very common. Keep this in mind when planning where you will store it in your garage.

Aerator attachments for riding mowers can vary quite a bit in cost. They generally range from around 100 or 150 to 750. I like and recommend this model from Agri-Fab. It’s 48 inches wide and does a nice job.

In this article I compare spike vs plug aerators, to help you determine which style tow-behind aerator may be best for you.


A bagger is a very common mower attachment. This is a useful attachment, as it makes collecting lawn clippings very easy.

pull, aerators, work, towable

You can get baggers in different sizes, including 9-bushel triple baggers and 6-bushel twin baggers. When deciding on what size of attachment to get, consider the size of your lawn.

Bagger attachments can be rather large. For example, it may be about 42 inches X 46 inches. You will need to find storage space for this, so plan this out before making your purchase.

These attachments can sometimes be quite expensive as well. In some cases, they can be as much as 500 or more, and in my experience many people are frustrated by the capacity of the leaf baggers they get from the manufacturer … it never seems like enough.

When a Simple Bagging Attachment Isn’t Enough

I have large maple trees on my property which drop a ton of leaves, and while I usual mulch and bag with my self-propelled Honda mower, I borrowed my dad’s rig one year and he has a large lawn tractor leaf bag like this one on Amazon which fits over his factory leaf bagger attachment. It allowed me to clear my front and back yard of leaves in a snap.

As long as you’re strong enough to muscle the full bag, it’s a great way to super-charge your leaf clean up, and I recommend looking into something like that if leaf clean up is a big job at your home.

If you don’t have a very large lawn, buying a bagger attachment is probably a waste of money for you – you may be better served by investing in a quality leaf blower that will take up less space (and is much more fun to use).

There are a lot of good backpack blowers on the market, but I’ve only used my PB-770T from Echo (Amazon link) because it has never given me reason to use anything else. I can recommend that model if you’re in the market for a backpack blower and are having trouble choosing one.

Lawn Roller

A lawn roller attachment is useful for getting your lawn back into shape after the winter. It will even out any parts of the ground that have been damaged in the cold weather.

The roll of a lawn roller is filled with sand or water to give it the necessary weight to press down and level your lawn as you drive across it. I generally recommend using water as you can empty it out when you’re finished (making the roller lightweight and easy to handle as you put it away.

If you ever need to put down sod, you can use the lawn roller to get your ground prepared and even for this process. You can also use it for tasks such as pressing seeds you have planted deeper into the soil to ensure good soil-to-seed contact for optimum germination.

There are lawn rollers available with different abilities and in different sizes. I use this one from Brinly by pushing it across my lawn, but it has a tow option as well. I love that it will work as a walk-behind roller or as an attachment for your riding lawn mower. There are always some areas of your property that are tough to get to on a riding mower while towing a piece of equipment.


A dethatcher attachment is a fantastic attachment to have if you ever need to dethatch your lawn.

Dethatching is a process in which you remove matted grass and other kinds of debris from your lawn. This is essential for new growth to take place, and when you dethatch just prior to overseeding you’ll see great results.

Using a dethatcher attachment will make the dethatching process easy and a lot less effort than it would be otherwise. You will be able to get rid of barriers that are stopping your lawn from getting all the nutrients, water, and air it needs.

A dethatcher attachment is quite large (for example, about 40 inches wide), and it’s a bit unwieldly because of its design, but there are a few options which are better than anything else you’ll find out there.

Check out my list of the best lawn dethatchers – there are three tow-behind models that stand out as being great options.

Disc Harrow

A disc harrow is ideal for getting your garden beds ready for replanting. You can also use it to break up hard ground to begin a new garden.

Having a disc harrow attachment will come in handy when you want to prepare your garden beds for replanting. It’s also useful for breaking up hard ground when you want to start a new garden, or complete a lawn renovation by killing your existing lawn and starting over.

Truth be told, this isn’t an attachment you’ll want unless you have a very large garden area, but it’s worth including in the list because it can save time and prevent you from wrestling with a rototiller.


We should all regularly fertilize our lawns in order to keep them healthy and beautiful. If you have a large lawn (which you probably do as you have a riding mower), it might be a good idea to buy a spreader attachment (you can see my favorite one right here).

An example of a spreader attachment is a tow-behind broadcast spreader. Using a spreader attachment will make it much easier for you to fertilize your lawn whenever you do so during the year. You can also spread good seed over your lawn, spread lime, iron, and other soil amendments with this attachment, making it a solid investment.

Spreader attachments come in different sizes, some of which are smaller than other kinds of riding mower attachments. Agri-Fab makes a good one.


If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow in the winter, it might be worth your while to get a snow blower attachment for your riding mower. This will make it easy to plow through all the snow that collects on your property.

You will be grateful you have this the next time you need to clear a driveway or pavement, and this is one attachment that can really extend the value of your riding mower, making it a year-round asset to your property.

Snowblower attachments are just as large as many other riding mower attachments, and they can be quite heavy, but if you live in a northern climate and have a large driveway it’s worth the cost and the space in your garage.

I can say from experience that if you’re buying a plow kit or snow blower for your lawn tractor it’s a good idea to invest in some snow chains for your tires as well. Most tires on riding mowers aren’t built for snow, and you’ll be frustrated with your investment unless you can get good traction. It’s worth the extra money. Measure your tires before you order, but these ones on Amazon will work for most riding mowers.


If you have a large property and spend long periods of time outside doing mowing, think about getting a canopy. A canopy attaches to your mower to give you shade from the sun, and usually can be attached to any mower with a roll bar.

The canopy attachments for many riding mowers are collapsible, so they don’t take up too much storage space, and if you leave it on your mower it doesn’t increase the footprint of your mower at all.

Most manufacturers will sell you a canopy and roll bar that’s made to fit with your mower, but there are third-party universal canopies like this one that may work for you as well.

Attachments I would Only Consider for Large Properties

The attachments below are usually only worth buying if you have quite an expansive property. Buying them if you only have a small lawn will most likely be a waste of money.

Trail Cutter or Trail Mower

A trail cutter or trail mower is really only worth considering if you have an extensive property.

This attachment will reduce the amount of time it takes to mow your grounds. You can also use it to clear paths through saplings and brush.

If you have any places that need heavy cutting power, a trail cutter or trail mower is a good investment. Swisher makes a solid one, which you can see demonstrated in the short video below from Piney Life:

A lawn sweeper attachment will gather leaves, pine needles, pine-cones, acorns, and other types of debris in your yard. You can also use it to sweep up grass clippings after you mow.

When the lawn sweeper gathers this debris, it uses a rotating sweeper brush to put it into a hopper bag. When you see that this bag is full, simply empty it.

You can find lawn sweepers in different sizes, but they do tend to require a decent amount of storage space.

The cost of a lawn sweeper can range from 150, for example, to 700. It’s probably not worth your while to buy a lawn sweeper if you don’t have a very large property.


Many riding mower owners like to have a cart attachment. You might call this a utility trailer or dump cart. You can use this kind of attachment for tasks such as hauling soil or garbage, garden tools, or mulch in your garden.

If you have a large property and do a lot of garden work, a cart attachment might be a good investment for you, but if you already have a wheelbarrow and don’t mind using it, you probably don’t need one.

Some carts are quite large and they have deep containers, meaning it might be challenging to store if you don’t have a large garage. If you’re interested in a good one, my dad owns the Agri-Fab 45-0101 (pictured), and he likes it.

Which Riding Mower Attachments Are Right for Your Lawn?

It depends.

It’s clear that the types of attachments that you should consider getting for your riding mower depend on the size of your property.

The type of soil that you have will also play a role, however.

If you have a sandy lot, you may not have to invest in an aerator. You may be better off investing in a spreader to easily top-dress with compost.

If your lot is heavy clay, than an aerator will be essential.

Big trees? Get the lawn sweeper – you’ll thank me every fall.

Another factor you need to consider before you purchase any riding mower attachment is storage space. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have more attachments than you have places to put them. And be sure that you leave room in your garage to comfortably maintain your mower every spring (even if there isn’t room to park your car in there).

Nobody likes having a garage they can’t use.

by Sarah The Lawn Chick

Sarah’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When. Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

thoughts on “ Riding Mower Attachments (what to own, what to avoid) ”

I was reading your April 2020 blog about Milo and Ironite….I couldn’t find anywhere to comment on that article. I wanted to ask you a question….in the article you say “I use Milorganite 4 times per year on my yard, and I supplement with a different iron supplement called Dr. Iron (Amazon link).” I was wondering HOW you supplement with Dr Iron….I do the same as you with Milo so WHEN and how much do you use Dr. Iron? Thank you….from one woman to another! Patti

Hi, Patti! Sorry about the comment situation – I’ll look into that and get it resolved this week. To your question – I do a soil test every spring and let those results guide me toward whether I need to do an Iron application in the spring (I usually choose to once every other year or so), and then I typically do one mid or late June because I have people over on the 4th of July and I want my lawn looking its best (that gives it time to take effect). Beyond that I might do it when my lawn starts to look a little tired, or if I’m having a party or gathering I apply it a few weeks beforehand to give it that nice dark green. There have been some years when I’ve just applied Dr. Iron with my Milorganite on every application and that has worked well too. If I’m applying that often I’d suggest using 1/2 the recommended quantity of Dr. Iron and just adjusting your spreader settings to reflect that and still get nice even coverage. If I’m doing the application at the same time as Milo I do them in two separate passes so I get nice even results and I don’t get clumps of Iron coming out here and there by mixing the two products. Hope this helps, and best of luck with your lawn this year! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the chick behind

I’m glad you decided to visit and I hope you find the tips and advice about lawn care and maintenance that I this blog helpful.

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Seven of the best lawn aerators, from manual to combination machines

pull, aerators, work, towable

A perfect lawn needs a bit of TLC. Read our comprehensive guide to lawn care and browse our pick of the very best aerators, from manual to electric.

A lush, green lawn is source of pride and joy for many gardeners but it’s often where all the action takes place in the garden. The focal point for gatherings with friends and family, it can suffer from overuse and too much wear and tear. Terrific turf needs a good lawn care regime to achieve it and while regular mowing and watering will take you so far, there are a couple of additional tasks for your to do list, which will help keep your lawn in tip-top condition.

Regardless of how often you cut your lawn, over time the soil underneath the turf becomes compacted, while above ground a thick, impenetrable layer of thatch and organic debris develops around the roots. This undesirable combination prevents air, water and nutrients from reaching deep down to the grass’ root system and ultimately weakens its growth, leaving the plant susceptible to pests and diseases. Scarifying your lawn will help remove thatch and debris, but if you need to relieve compacted soil underneath the turf, it’s best to aerate it. Aeration is the process of making air holes in the lawn to create ventilation. In small lawns a simple garden fork can be used, in either the spring or autumn, to push holes into the ground but you can also buy manual aerators, either solid or hollow tined, which require the same effort as a fork. However, if you have a lot of lawn and not much time, other types of aerator are probably the best option. Whether you’re pushing a roller covered in spikes, or using a powered machine, these aerators are a labour-saving version of the trusty garden fork, mechanically making a series of holes in the lawn.

The best time to aerate the lawn is after rainfall, when the ground is damp and soft, otherwise it can be quite hard work. While it sounds very hands on, doing it once or twice a year will make a big difference and help keep your lawn healthy.

We reviewed the most popular aerators on the market, putting them through their paces to bring you a list of the best aerators, both manual and powered.

Each model has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to ease of use, handling, performance, and value for money. Each aerator has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can buy with confidence.

Best lawn aerators to buy at a glance

Time to show your lawn some TLC? Check out our round up of the best lawn scarifiers and expert tips on how to improve your lawn in 12 weeks. You can also keep edges looking neat with our pick of the best lawn edging.

In additoin to aerators and scarifiers, we’ve tested a range of lawn mowers, including the best cordless lawn mowers, the best robotic lawn mowers and the best electric lawn mowers. For those with small lawns, our guide to the best hand push mowers will be helpful. For other help with lawn care, take a look at our reviews of the best strimmers and the best aerators, or check out our guide to the best lawn edging.

What is a lawn aerator and what does it do?

Aerating your lawn is part of a spring and autumn lawn care regime and there are two different methods of aerating your lawn:

  • Spiking – this involves using solid spikes to create holes in the lawn, which are a couple of millimetres in width and several centimetres deep, to help relieve compacted soil.
  • Hollow tining – as it sounds, hollow tines are pushed into the ground to remove cylindrical plugs of turf, around a centimetre wide and a few centimetres deep. Depending on the soil type, you may wish to fill these holes with a sandy mix or leave them to let the soil expand and close the holes, which helps with waterlogged clay soil.

Types of lawn aerators: the different ways to aerate your lawn

There are four types of aerator, each with their own pros and cons:

  • Spike shoes. these are cheap and easy to use and most effective on soft – but not soggy. ground in small gardens.
  • Manual aerators. although these are useful tools, which can do specific jobs (see above), using them requires a lot of effort as it gets tiring, even on a small lawn. But they’re cheap, and a great idea if you’re after a workout.
  • Manual Rolling Drum Aerators – these are time and labour saving, as you simply walk across the lawn pushing the roller
  • Powered Aerators – the obvious advantage of using these is that they’re labour saving. They’re also almost always available as part of a 2-in-1 combination machine that scarifies as well, so you get two jobs done for the price of one. However, it’s important to note these mechanical aerators don’t aerate in the same way that a manual aerator does. they use metal blades rather than spikes or tines. These blades create shallow slits rather than deep holes, and although they will help maintain a healthy lawn, by allowing air and water to move through this top layer of soil, they won’t improve your lawn if it’s compacted or you have heavy clay. Mechanical aerators are quite an investment too, as you’re using them twice a year at the most. even if they’re a 2-in-1 combination of aerator and scarifier – and they require more space to store than the other alternatives.

When it comes to choosing whether you go for an electric, cordless or petrol aerator, consider the pros and cons that are associated with each type:

    Electric corded aerators: Lightweight, quiet and often at the budget-end, these are best suited to small and medium-sized gardens with a power supply. Most come with a collection box, which is a useful, time-saving feature, but the cord length can be restrictive as well as potentially hazardous.

How to choose the best lawn aerator

Depending on the type of aerator you’re going to choose, there are several key features to look for:

  • Manual hollow tine – look out for strong, solid tines that will cope with compacted turf, a decent tread to prevent your foot from slipping, and a soft-grip handle for comfort.
  • Manual rolling drum – ideally you want a good number of metal spikes on the drum to create plenty of holes – as a guide, 27 spikes will give you about 180 spikes per square metre. The spikes should also be at least 5cm long to ensure they penetrate the ground deeply.
  • Mechanical aerator – go for strong, good-sized blades and a collection box. If storage space is an issue look for handles that fold down and a collapsible collection box rather than a solid one.

Browse our review of the best lawn aerators below.

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