Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
Aeration is the process of punching small holes in the soil and removing small plugs of soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots.
Aerating your soil can be done with one of two different tools — a plug aerator or a spike aerator.
Both types of aerators are available in two common types — walk behind aerators, (also known as a push aerator), and pull behind aerators.
A push aerator, just as the name would suggest, requires you to walk behind it and push it to aerate your lawn, which may be a daunting process if you have a medium to large sized lawn.
Pull behind plug aerators contrarily can be very effective at reducing soil compaction, and improving your soil’s overall health, without putting in too much effort.
Best Plug Aerator Picks At A Glance;
- Best Plug Aerator Picks At A Glance;
- Agri-Fab Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
- Brinly PA-40BH Pull-Behind Plug Aerator
- Agri-Fab 40" Tow Behind Lawn Aerator
- Brinly Plug Aerator Tow-Behind 48" Model
- Craftsman 40” Tow Behind Plug Aerator
- Brinly 40 inch Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
- Craftsman Tow Behind Lawn Aerator
- Pull or Tow Behind Aerators Buying Guide
- Why Do We Need Soil Aeration?
- When Does Your Lawn Need to be Aerated?
Buying the best tow behind aerator however, can be a bit tricky, owing to the myriad options available. But we’ve perused this space, and rounded off with 7 best pull behind plug aerators you can use to produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
Agri-Fab Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
All steel construction
Universal hitch will fit any lawn tractor or riding mower
Coming in at the #1 position on this list of the best lawn aerators is a model from the Agri-Fab hangar.
It measures a large 48 inches (1.22 m) and is fitted with 32 self-sharpening aerator knives that can pull through hard packed soil up to 3-inches deep.
Further, the Agri-Fab 48-inch plug aerator features three different knife sections that rotate independently to reach a larger area even while turning.
The deck and the draw bar of this 48” aerator are made from robust heavy gauge steel, so you can expect a long service life.
This lawn aerator arrives factory fitted with 9 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ flat-free tires, which collectively make it easy to transport the tool, and reduce maintenance.
Adding to this, this tow behind plug aerator by Agri-Fab is equipped with an easy-to-reach transport lever handle, which can be accessed from the seat of the tractor, and makes it easy to raise and lower the tool.
This lawn aerator comes with a 140 lbs capacity loading tray for enhanced soil penetration, and features a universal tow hitch, making it compatible with any tractor.
It is easy to assemble with the detailed instructions in the included user guide, and is backed by a three-year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
- 32 self-sharpening aerator knives
- Deck and the draw bar made from heavy gauge steel
- 9 3/4” x 2 3/4” flat-free tires
- Easy to reach transport cantilever handle
- 140 lbs capacity load tray
- Universal tow hitch
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Cannot be pulled by hand
Brinly PA-40BH Pull-Behind Plug Aerator
All Brinly lawn aerators are of steel construction
Hitch will fit any lawn tractor
The Brinly tow-behind plug aerator is in a league of its own with its 40-inch working width, and a total of 24 heat-treated plugging spoons, made from 16-gauge steel, which work collectively to penetrate the compacted soil.
The aerator knives of the Brinly tow-behind plug aerator can dig three inches deep, which allows water and other nutrients to easily reach the roots.
The knives are narrower and feature sharp ends, which makes it easier to penetrate the soil without adding much weight. Speaking of which, the Brinly aerator boasts a highly durable all-steel construction and comes with a 150 lbs weight carrying tray for optimal soil penetration and depth.
It is equipped with flat-proof, large treaded wheels, making it easy to transport, and haul around areas where you may have tree roots protruding above the ground level.
Adding to its long list of features is its onsite single transport lever, which can be used to engage the semi-pneumatic rubber tread tires.
The Brinly aerator can be used safely on turns and uneven terrain, thanks to its welded and independently rotating tine sections that minimize turf damage, and help provide consistent penetration, even in clay soil.
The Brinly aerator features a universal towing hitch, which can be attached to any lawn tractor, and most ZTRs and ATVs.
Additionally, it is easy to maintain, with each plugging spoon being individually serviceable, and easy to assemble right out of the box.
- 24 heat-treated aeration spoons
- Highly durable all-steel construction
- 150 lbs weight carrying tray
- Flat proof wheels
- Independently rotating tine sections
- Universal towing hitch
- Assembly may be a bit challenging for some users
Agri-Fab 40″ Tow Behind Lawn Aerator
Another hit from the Agri-Fab stable, this model features a 40” width, and is fitted with a total of 24 galvanized and sharpened plugging spoons. It is equipped with 9 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ flat-proof tires, making it easy and cost-effective to maintain.
Further, it comes with a heavy-duty steel deck, and a welded drawbar, which provides great service life. It features a single lever cantilever handle for easy raising, lowering, and storage, and a universal hitch that fits any tractor regardless of the brand.
Made in the USA, the this 40” tow aerator comes with a large 140 lbs load tray for easy penetration of the toughest soils and is backed by a three-year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
- 40” width
- 24 galvanized and sharpened plugging spoons
- 9 3/4” x 2 3/4” flat-proof tires
- Heavy-duty steel deck, and welded draw bar
- 140 lbs carrying tray
- Single lever cantilever handle
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Limited to 1 color option
Brinly Plug Aerator Tow-Behind 48″ Model
All steel construction
Hitch will fit any lawn tractor
The Brinly plug aerator features a bigger 48” width than the other Brinly model mentioned on this list. It is equipped with 32 heat-treated plugging spoons carved out of stainless steel and can remove up to three inches of soil plugs from compressed soil.
Further, the plugging knives of the Brinly 48” aerator feature an improved design, where the new iteration is narrower with sharpened ends, making it easier to penetrate the soil, and with a lesser amount of weight.
In terms of build quality, the Brinly 48-inch aerator leaves no room for disappointment with its all-steel robust construction. Adding to its rich set of features is its integrated fully enclosed tray design, allowing you to add additional tray weight up to an impressive 200 lbs for maximum soil penetration and depth.
The Brinly 48” tow-behind aerator is easy to haul around in rooted areas and rugged terrain, thanks to its onsite flat-free semi-pneumatic rubber tread tires. Each welded section of the tines of the Brinly aerator rotates independently, which greatly reduces the chances of lawn damage, and consistently penetrates uneven ground.
The Brinly 48” plug aerator comes with a universal hitch pin design, making it easily attachable to lawn tractors allowing effortless use, also can be towed with lawn tractors, ATV’s, etc. Made in the USA, this 48-inch tow behind machine from Brinly is easy to maintain and comes with a single lever cantilever handle to easily raise and lower the tool.
- 200 lbs load tray
- 48” width
- Welded tine sections rotate independently
- 32 heat treated stainless steel aerator spoons
- Single lever cantilever handle
- Quality of arm used to raise the plugs could be improved
Craftsman 40” Tow Behind Plug Aerator
- 24 galvanized Steel coring points pull plugs from your lawn up to 3 in. Deep
- Prepares soils for spring or fall planting
Craftsman is one of the leading names in the lawn care tool segment, and the CMXGZBF7124213 40” model is yet another hit addition to the company’s vast product portfolio. It features a large 40-inch width, and is fitted with 24 galvanized plugging spoons, which collectively breathe new life into your lawn.
Further, the CMXGZBF7124213 40” plug aerator comes with a durable deck and welded bar — both made from stainless steel. Adding to this, it is equipped with a single and easy to use cantilever transport handle, which makes it easy to raise and lower the tool.
The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124213 40” tow behind model comes with a wide 140 lbs maximum support weight loading tray, which easily penetrates hard packed soil. It features an easy to store design and arrives with a universal fit hitch that connects with any lawn tractor.
- 40” aeration path
- 24 galvanized plugging spoons
- Stainless steel durable deck and welded bar
- 140 lbs load tray
- Easy to store design
- Universal hitch
- Handle can’t be removed for storage
Brinly 40 inch Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
The Brinly tow behind spike model is equipped with 10 tine stars, which measure 8-inches in diameter, and are topped with 12 spike tips each that penetrate soil up to 2-inches deep. Each star in the Brinly aerator rack is crafted from galvanized mild steel, making them resistant to rust, and offer long service life.
The Brinly pull behind aerator features a 40-inch width, and an all-steel design. It comes with a 110 lbs capacity weight tray for excellent soil penetrating and depth. The aerator is fitted with nylon spacers, which are set between each star for optimal strength and durability.
Each star rotates independently, which saves you time in passing the same area again, and prevents missed areas. The Brinly aerator comes with a universal hitch, which connects easily with any ATV, ZTR and tractor. Made in the USA, the Brinly 40 inch (1.02 m) tow behind comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.
- 10 tine stars and 12 spike tips
- 40-inches width
- 110 lbs capacity loading tray
- Universal hitch
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
- 110 lbs weight carrying tray may be less for some users
Craftsman Tow Behind Lawn Aerator
The Craftsman tow aerator features a large 36-inch lawn aeration width, so you can aerate more lawn in less time. Further, it boasts a robust construction, complete with an extremely durable 10-inch steel frame.
The tow model by Craftsman comes with an enclosed weight tray that can hold up to 80 lbs weight, making it quicker and effective to penetrate compressed soil areas. It comes with an adjustable hitch, which can be lowered or raised to connect with different tractor heights.
The Craftsman is fitted with a total of nine star shaped spikes, and comes with a heavy-duty steel deck, and welded draw bar. Adding to this, it is equipped with just one easy to use cantilever transport handle for easy raising and lowering the tool.
- 36-inches aeration width
- 10-inch powder coated steel frame
- 80 lbs capacity weight tray
- Adjustable hitch
- Nine star shaped blades
- Single cantilever transport handle
- Does not come with transport wheels
Final Thoughts On Tow Behind Aerators
Aerating your lawn is an important lawn care practice that helps essential nutrients reach the roots. There are several ways to aerate your lawn including with your hand and a spading fork.
But aerating manually, even using the best manual lawn aerator, can take a toll on your body, and if you’ve got a tractor-trailer or even an ATV, a pull behind aerator can help you to plug aerate your lawn without breaking a sweat.
When on the shopping trail for the best pull behind aerator, you will be spoiled for choice given the many options available. But the seven models mentioned on this list showcase excellent build quality, come with a universal tow hitch, and super sharp aerating spoons to penetrate even the toughest soils.
Pull or Tow Behind Aerators Buying Guide
Plug vs. Spike Aerators — as mentioned earlier, there are two common types of lawn aerator — a plug aerator and a spike aerator, so which one’s right for your lawn? Spike aerators basically poke and leave holes in the ground.
Plug aerators, aka core aerators, do the same thing as the spike version, but dig into the soil as well as pull out solid plugs of grass and soil.
Plug type aerators are considered better for aerating compacted soil, and can cause less damage to your soil as they remove plugs. If aeration is something that you will not often do, then lawn aerator rental may be an option to consider.
Spike aerators are great for really small hard soil surfaces but may be less effective, and in worse cases may cause additional compaction around the area of the holes when used on large size lawns.
Aerator width – if you have a large property, buy a pull behind aerator that offers a large aeration width, so you can aerate in fewer passes. A small width tow behind plug aerators is great if you have a small property or one that has a lot of tight spaces.
Number of core aeration spoons — spoons are the sharp metal shafts that plunge into the compacted soil, and extract soil plugs, and the more you have, the better. Wide aeration width models generally come with numerous spoons, hence they remove more soil cores with each pass.
Core depth — the main goal of aeration is to improve nutrient and water penetration in the soil. Core depth is how far deep the spoons can reach into the soil, where 3-inches core depth is great for most compacted areas.
Tray weight capacity — your tow behind plug aerator will likely come with a weight tray, which holds a certain amount of weight, (you can use concrete blocks as additional tray weights), to help push the spoons into the soil. For most compacted areas, a 100 lbs tray weight capacity will get the job done, but you may need to step it up a few notches with a higher capacity weight tray for harsher clay soil areas.
Pneumatic vs. flat-free tires — traditional pneumatic tires are filled with air, therefore can go flat especially when using the aerator over rugged terrain. Flat-free tires are not prone to deflation, and are generally more expensive compared to pneumatic tires.
Why Do We Need Soil Aeration?
There are a few things you need to do to achieve and maintain a healthy, lush lawn. These basic lawn care practices include employing regular and proper mowing, fertilizing, watering, and weed control techniques.
Along with the aforementioned lawn maintenance practices, it is also important that the soil beneath the grass receives essential organic nutrients in order to promote healthy root growth for healthier grass.
Your lawn may be used for several things — may be an area where your kids practice for their next basketball finals or as a staging area for that antique Chevy you’re looking to sell. This heavy traffic and even the pounding of heavy rains can take a toll on your soil, resulting in compacted soil.
If you only have a small area of turf that needs aerating, then you may like to use a more labor-intensive method that involves walking around the lawn wearing a pair of lawn aerator shoes. They only cover an area slightly larger than your foot, but they do work very well for smaller areas.
The area of compaction prevents water, nutrients, and air from reaching your plant’s root system, which gradually results in turf thinning and damage, at which point weeds can take over, (you can kill weeds with white vinegar — details here).
But that’s not all. Compaction can also cause thatch to build up faster than it can decompose. That would be a good reason to consider that it may be the best time to dethatch your lawn, with either a power rake or dethatcher.
Thatch, if you didn’t know is a fancy word that describes a natural layer of both living and decomposed leaves, roots and stems that accumulate between the leaf blades and soil.
Thatch, however, isn’t always bad for your soil, but can indeed prove highly beneficial, because a thin layer of thatch can replenish the soil with organic matter and nutrients.
But too much thatch buildup will block water from the roots and prevents fertilizers from penetrating the soil, resulting in weakened root systems, onset of fungal diseases, etc.
When Does Your Lawn Need to be Aerated?
There are several signs that indicate when your lawn needs aeration. If you notice puddles on your lawn, then great chances are that your soil isn’t receiving the nutrients it needs. A tow behind plug aerator can help to rectify this problem, and lead to a truly healthy lawn.
Patches in your lawn or thinning grass generally occur due to soil compaction, and aerating helps regain grass density. We trust that you have found our best pull behind aerator article to be helpful in your search.