Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Water-jet lawn aerator

  [vote for,

Aerating lawns is beneficial for the lawn, but is a tedious and/or messy process. You can hire a big machine which punches out large (1cm diameter, 10cm long) cores of earth, but it leaves your lawn (temporarily) looking like a bad day in the Somme.

Meanwhile, we know that high-pressure water jets can cut steel (OK, they usually have abrasives in the water, but still).

Proposed, therefore, is a water-jet aerator. Using a very- high- pressure pump, it delivers a row of water jets which will slice through the soil. They can either operate continuously (effectively slitting the lawn at, say, 2cm intervals) or intermittently (thereby creating an array of tiny holes).

Each hole (or slit) will be much narrower than a mechanically- made hole, which will somewhat reduce their effectiveness. But the holes (or slits) will be much more numerous.

Best of all, if the pattern of holes (or slits) is dense enough, it will kill most of the chafer grubs or leatherjackets in the lawn.

MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2019


       // looking like a bad day in the Somme. //   

       You don't want to borrow the Krupp 5.9 again, then ?
8th of 7, Oct 04 2019

       Yes please, but only for the grouse. And only if you can sort out that recoil spring problem.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2019

       It's sorted ... to be fair, it's a genuine antique, over 100 years old, and we did tell them it wasn't designed for that, but Sturton just wouldn't listen - as usual.   

       To their credit, it did work perfectly; the flavour and texture were amazing, and the idea had quite simply never occurred to us.   

       The foliage may eventually grow back ...
8th of 7, Oct 04 2019

       The trick is to scatter a little corn just inside the muzzle.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2019

       It was the idea of sticking it on with hoisin sauce that was the stroke of genius.
8th of 7, Oct 04 2019

       That was no Hoisin sauce. That was Rentisham's. Please tell me you didn't...
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2019

       // it will kill most of the chafer grubs or leatherjackets in the lawn.// Isn't one of the major reasons why wildlife, (especially birds) is in terminal decline a serious rate of extinction of insects?
xenzag, Oct 04 2019

       No, I think it's the serious rate of extinction of birds that's the problem there. Clearly, if insects were in short supply, birds would eat them all and therefore they wouldn't need eradicating. Do try and keep up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2019

       The 2-4 Litres per minute has to go somewhere. It's not going to make muddy holes because the water can't get away fast enough , is it?
wjt, Oct 05 2019

       To an extent it will - the water will create silt in the holes, which will partially refill them. So each hole will be less effective than the large core taken by a regular aerator. But:   

       (a) We can make many more holes (or parallel slices)
(b) This will probably be doable with a domestic device; nobody owns a mechanical aerator; so it's more likely to get done more often
(c) It will be less uglifying to the lawn and
(d) It will kill the grubs that can kill a lawn, without using pesticides (or nematodes, which are very expensive).
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2019

       A hole is quite natural, ugly or not. A water hole is a different spectrum of environment. Though, if it changes the culture of the soil, it might be a good thing, The tilling worms will be annoyed into movement.
wjt, Oct 06 2019

       I knew who wrote the above anno as soon as I read the second sentence.
notexactly, Oct 07 2019

       Such ideas will gain you many plaudits at Buchanan Towers.   

       What about an icicle device ?   

       Water jets will only go to a limited depth, and tend to create mud.   

       We suggest a machine resembling a commercial ice-cube maker, but instead of cubes it produces tapered, pointed icicles of selectable length.   

       These icicles are then driven into the ground by a hydraulic mechanism.   

       The amount of water corresponds exactly to the volume of the hole created (in fact slightly less, because of the density change when water freezes).   

       Nutrients and fertilizers can be included in the icicle, as long as they don't unduly affect the freezing point.   

       And best of all, any moles on the receiving end of a sharpened ice stake can have their whole day ruined, at little or no extra cost or effort to the gardener.
8th of 7, Oct 07 2019


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