How to build a pull behind lawn aerator

How to build a pull behind lawn aerator

If the idea of a powerfully built homemade pull behind lawn aerator appeals to you right now you should take a close look at the tutorial we’ve put together below to help you build your own lawn aerator.

As unlikely as it may appear, our DIY lawn aerator – constructed primarily of low-cost materials – performs just as well as the “premium” brands that are every homeowner’s dream.

The good news is that it isn’t as difficult to make as you might think.

Scroll down to learn how to build a pull behind lawn aerator for your large yard right now!

How to build a pull behind lawn aerator 

The spike DIY tow behind lawn aerator is literally and conceptually based on a standard five-gallon oil drum and standard pipe holdfasts, which will give us tapered spikes about 3-inches long.

We will essentially rework the drum – and fix the desired number of spikes based on the circumference of the drum – into an easy-rolling lawn aerator that allows water, nutrients, and air to reach the grass roots for a lusher, more beautiful lawn.

Instead of the drum, any other large enough metal cylinder can be used; all we need is towable aerating equipment that is sturdy and long-lasting.


5 gallon oil drum (use a drum that is still in a fairly good condition and without dents).

Pipe holdfasts can be purchased from an ironmonger.

Enough with the gloom and cement- it all depends on the circumference of your drum.

(Fine) granite chippings or gravel

A copper pipe that is long enough to serve as an axle.



A practice run

Step-by-step instructions for building a pull behind lawn aerator:

Preparing the drum

Skip to the next step if your drum has an opening. Keep in mind that you want the hole to be large enough. But how big is it? If the space allows for your hand, you’re good to go.

In the absence of a hole, either completely remove the end of your drum (simply melt the solder) or cut a large enough hole.

You can, for example, drill a couple of small holes, arrange them in a fairly large circle, and then use a cold chisel to knock through the small pieces that separate them.

Obtain the spikes

Sorry, I can’t tell you how many spikes you’ll need because it depends on the size of the cylinder you’re adapting.

It is critical to have an adequate number of solid spikes -3 to 3 12″ long to be clear- to effectively pierce the ground and remove soil compaction.

A semi-circular loop (at the other end of your tapered spikes) is essential for holding the pipe when it is knocked into a wall, for example.

Installing the spikes

After you’ve prepared the spikes, the next logical step is to install them.

You must complete the following procedures to complete this task:

Step 1: Make a mark on the drum

The first step is to mark the holes where the holdfasts will go. Mark the location of each spike with chalk on the outside of your drum.

Keep in mind that your spikes will be arranged in rows, and the ideal spacing is 4” apart (in the rows).

Similarly, leave a 5 inch (or so) gap between individual rows.

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Step 2: Drill the holes

Now it’s time to create the openings.

Simply take a holdfast and use it as a punch. Simply drive the spike through (from the outside) until it reaches its widest point.

Furthermore, because the spike of holdfasts tends to be wider than the thickness, the holes should be rectangular in shape.

The longest side will be parallel with the edge of the drum this way.

Step 3: Attach the holdfasts

Next, place the drum on its end—you can use a soft surface or even two bricks—so that the end of the axle-carrying pipe protrudes about 2 inches when you put it in step 4 down.

Insert your holdfasts – you’re doing this from inside your drum – and lightly tap them through. When the curved part comes up against the inner side of the cylinder, stop tapping.

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Step 4: Fill the drum with water.

To fill the drum, do the following:

Combine an appropriate amount of cement and sand. One part cement, one part sand, and three parts clean gravel or fine granite chippings are the recommended proportions.

Check that the mixture is sufficiently moist, and if so, place the pipe in the center and ensure that it runs through to the other end (until it protrudes as described earlier), then begin pouring the cement mixture in.

Use a cane or a regular stick to gently press the cement.

The entire point is to see that the mixture has been firmly pressed between the curve of the holdfasts and the inner side of the drum.

When you’re finished filling the drum, leave it standing on its end until the mixture hardens.

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Step 5: Add a handle for pulling.

If you have an old lawnmower, you can modify the handle and thread it through the pipe to pull the aerator.

The good news is that your options are limitless, and you can adapt the handle to hook up to the hitch on your lawn tractor or ATV with a little imagination.

If you’re aerating a large property, this is undoubtedly the most practical way to tow it.

This is not set in stone, so feel free to experiment and find ways to incorporate additional features.

A lift mechanism, for example, can be useful for transportation and row end.

Weights may also be required if you are working with a poorly compacted yard.

Now, if you’re feeling creative, you can play around with the above design and come up with a way to add some weights.

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Bottom line:

Aerating your lawn helps revive your property’s damaged turf, and if you don’t have extra cash lying around, this DIY pull behind lawn aerator can make all the difference.

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