Lawn Aerating

Any homeowner with a front or back yard will find that their lawn requires several different practices of good maintenance. Watering and fertilizing, along with regular mowing, are only starters. Lawn aerating is another sensible procedure to practice on an annual basis.

This article covers the idea of lawn aerating, along with the various pieces of equipment necessary for doing it effectively, and the smartest techniques to use.

lawn aeration tips

Lawn Aerating Explained

Lawn aeration is the procedure of utilizing a liquid, mechanical, or manual lawn aerator in order to properly aerate the home owner’s lawn. This creating of numerous holes along the surface of the lawn, ideally twelve such holes in a given square foot of lawn, permits and encourages a deeper root growth, along with reducing the soil compaction level. Such a lawn aerating permits water, air, and nutrients to directly reach the root system.

More than simply yielding a more attractive lawn, lawn aeration encourages a deeper growing grass root and thickens up the grass itself through permitting the roots to expand their growth deeper in to the surrounding soil.

Holes created by the process contain water which will soften up compacted soil and allow clay soils a greater amount of room to both breathe and to expand. Besides this, there are several other lawn treatment procedures which go directly along with lawn aeration. Among these are fertilizing, liming, thatching, and over-seeding.

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Types of Lawn Aerators

  • Spike Aerators
  • Hand Aerators
  • Liquid Aerators
  • Towable Aerators
  • Plug Aerators
  • Rolling Aerators

Frequency of Optimal Lawn Aerating

The majority of experts suggest that a home owner aerates his lawn once every one to three years. For those who have kids who like to play outside frequently, pets who utilize the lawn, or hills on their property, this rate of aerating should be increased to two times per year.

The prime time to over-seed and fertilize a person’s lawn is immediately following the aeration procedure. If the lawn in question is a new lawn, then turf aeration is a critically necessary practice.

The majority of home builders inadvertently scrape away the topsoil of a property when they construct a new home. It can require literally years for the soil in question to become normal and healthy once more.

Utilizing a lawn core aerator is the most efficient means of swiftly improving the topsoil’s health. On top of this, in many regions of the country, newer lawns are typically put in on top of hard clay. Core lawn aerators are capable of increasing the speed of the soil integration via promoting grass and root growth.

For anyone who has poor soil, it is wise to aerate minimally one time per year for the first five years of home ownership. Even once a lawn has become well established, the majority of professionals still suggest that aerating a lawn one time every three years is a sensible and effective practice.

Best Time for Lawn Aerating

Generally, the most effective time to aerate any lawn is in the months of either April or late September. Those who choose to perform a spring lawn aeration will discover that the optimum window lies from March through the end of June. For a fall lawn aeration, the window lies in the months of from September to October.

If there is a perfect period to perform the lawn aeration, then it will vary from one location to another. When the ground proves to be overly soft, this is not the ideal time of the year. Should the ground prove to be too hard, one will have to first water it well for a good hour in advance of getting the most effective results from the lawn aerator.

Lawns that are aerated more frequently will generate better plugs. The lawn aerating procedure may be effectively performed utilizing either a hand aerator, a tow model aerator, a liquid aerator, or an coring aerator machine.

The Five Advantages In Aerating a Lawn

A variety of advantages are derived from practicing good core aeration on an annual basis. Core Aerating aids in maintaining a greener, healthier lawn. This literally reduces the expense of watering through the following five means:

  1. Reducing the compaction of the soil underlying the lawn in question
  2. Bettering the drainage factor along with decreasing the quantity of runoff present
  3. Alleviating the damage caused by droughts
  4. Limiting the development of thatch
  5. Permitting air, water, and nutrients to directly reach the grass roots’ system.

Following The Lawn Aerating: Fertilizing, Adding Iron, and Over-seeding

The majority of fertilizing brands give directions on how frequently a lawn should be fertilized. This is typically practiced from three to five different points in the year. The great majority of such fertilizing programs work quite well, if and when they are strictly adhered to.

The optimal time for fertilizing lawns lies in either the fall or the spring, at the points when the grass is most aggressively growing. A healthy concentration of lawn fertilizer includes twenty-five to thirty elements of Nitrogen content, six to ten units of phosphorus, and eight to twelve parts of potassium.

The very best time to fertilize is, once again, directly following the aeration of the lawn.

Liming, or adding iron, is also effective immediately following a lawn aeration.

Over-seeding is a final maintenance practice for lawns which should be done right after the aerating process is complete. Over-seeding involves concentrating on those parts of the lawn which are thinner or bare, to re-seed the area with grass.

When administered in concert, these three simple procedures will greatly enhance the effect of the annual lawn aeration.


  • Reply sharon September 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    We are new home owners and know nothing about gardening and lawn maintenance.
    Having a professional lawn care co is too expensive so we would like to do it ourselves. But we do not know what ar the basics eg. What kind of fertilzer to buy, what to do about weeds, when do we have to do the maintenance etc

  • Reply Scott October 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Aeration in Georgia is so critical. Due to the compacted clay soil, turf simply has a difficult time thriving without core aerating each year. For higher quality lawns, twice a year is vital. The golf courses aerate monthly in season, why not a home lawn?

  • Reply H Thompson May 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Should a lawn be watered as soon as possable after aeration ? Thx .

  • Reply Phil Cuchetti March 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    When is the best time to put anti grub treatment down. If you want to stop moles,get rid of the grubs. GrubX or some other material. When is best?

  • Reply Catherine Slaton March 7, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I am tending a lawn in an area with top soil over predominantly sandy soil. The lawn is several years old and showing signs of poor health. I know that it hasn’t been aerated in at least six years. How do I test whether or not it needs to be aerated?

    Thank you.

  • Reply Mike Allen April 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm


    Aerate twice a year. Either hire someone to do it or rent a plug aerator and do it yourself. Do not waste your time with the spike aerators. All they do is spread the soil a tiny bit, then the soil goes right back together in a day or two. You must remove plugs, which then crumble and break down, adding the to top soil level of your lawn. The holes created allow the compacted soil to loosen and they also allow water, nutrients and oxygen to get to the roots.

  • Reply Bill Crites January 11, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    We have moved into a house that the yard grasses are very sparse, and the small weeds are starting to come in. We live in the Northern Willamette Valley of Oregon.
    Can I aerate, moss control, and weed control at this time of year and can I do them all at the same time?

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