When and How to Aerate the Lawn

Aerating the lawn is one of the most important tasks in lawn care. It is necessary to make sure the turf is healthy and strong.

Aerating the lawn has become a major part of modern-day lawn care. Aeration is routinely used to improve the health of grass and soil, reduce compaction from use, and provide deep growing roots. Over time, both the soil and your grass will become compacted. This causes poor air circulation and reduces water absorption because it prevents air from freely flowing through your soil. This page will talk about when to aerate and how to go about doing it properly.

What is aeration?

Aerating your lawn means removing small soil plugs, or cores, from the ground. When you aerate your lawn regularly, it allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the root zone of the grass. When these materials are able to reach their roots more easily, they can grow healthier and stronger. This also helps reduce soil compaction that occurs over time due to wear and tear on the property’s lawns and gardens.

Your lawn is more than just a lawn. It’s a statement about you: a reflection of your lifestyle and interests, your character, and your taste.

When it comes to the lawn, aeration can be an easy and cheap way to improve the texture and appearance of the grass. And when it comes to improving the texture and appearance of the grass, there are a lot of ways to go about it.

The goal of aeration is to provide oxygen to the roots of your grass, so it grows strong and healthy. Simply removing six inches of topsoil from along the side of your yard or garden can improve drainage and aeration. You can also add an inch of compost or manure to your existing soil for even more beneficial effects.

Benefits of aerating your lawn

Aerating your lawn has many benefits, including:

  • A better drainage system. When the soil is compacted or covered in thatch (dead grass and other debris), it limits water flow to your lawn’s roots. When you aerate, you will have a better drainage system for the soil, giving it more time to absorb moisture before drying out again so that grasses can grow healthier and stronger over time without experiencing nutrient deficiencies because they don’t receive enough water.
  • Better air circulation throughout the root zones of turfgrasses leads them to become healthy and strong as well as promotes deeper rooting when there are no limitations from compacted soils blocking their ability to achieve maximum absorption rates via photosynthesis growth rates, which results in longer-lasting oxygen production. When oxygen production is increased, this will also help reduce any methane gas emissions coming from the soil as well.
  • Reduction of thatch buildup over time. Thatch is a layer of dead grass and other debris that can accumulate on the surface of your lawn’s soil. This happens when you don’t aerate your lawn frequently because the materials that make up thatch won’t decompose quickly when they’re trapped in an environment without air circulation. When you do aerate, it helps to break down these materials so they can decompose more easily, which reduces the amount of thatch that will build up over time on your property.
  • Healthier & stronger turfgrass plants. When you allow nutrients, water, and air to penetrate deep into the root zone of grasses, they will grow healthier and stronger. When you aerate your lawn regularly, it allows these materials to reach their roots more easily so that they can thrive longer without experiencing nutrient deficiencies because they don’t receive enough water or air circulation through their root systems.

How do I prepare for aeration?

  • Remove any objects from the lawn, such as toys, bikes, or furniture.
  • Mow the grass, then water it until it’s thoroughly soaked. When you aerate over dry soil, your lawn will have trouble absorbing the moisture and nutrients that help roots grow deep. You can also wait to aerate just after a rain.
  • If there are bare spots on your lawn, apply grass seeds or sod before aerating.
  • Using a leaf blower or rake, clear any leaves or debris from the lawn.
  • Plug your aerator in and start aerating. Walk across the lawn in straight lines, making sure to go over each spot at least twice. You don’t need to aerate the entire lawn – focus on areas that are compacted or where the grass is thin.

When should you aerate?

You can aerate anytime during the growing season (late spring or early fall). The best time to do it is when there’s no snow on the ground and temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit for at least one week straight because these conditions create good conditions for grass seed germination after seeding. This will ensure that new growth will occur more easily than if done otherwise. For example, during the winter months when frost kills off most plant life, leaving only dormant seeds behind to wait until warmer weather arrives before starting their growth cycle once again later down the road.

How should you aerate?

You can aerate your lawn using a manual or power aerator.

A manual aerator is just what it sounds like–a tool that you use to punch holes in the soil by hand. A power aerator uses a motor to do the same job, but it’s quicker and easier than using a manual aerator.

No matter which type of aerator you choose, make sure that you go over your entire lawn so that you’re evenly distributing the holes across the surface. You don’t need to go too deep; just a couple of inches will do the trick. When you’re done, be sure to rake up all of the plugs that have been removed from the soil. This will help aerate it even more by allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into your lawn’s root zone systems, which leads to healthier plants and greener grasses as well.

Professional tips for aerating your lawn

  • Before you start, make sure that there’s no debris or anything else obstructing the area where you’ll be working, so it doesn’t interfere with your job later on downtime; otherwise, this could lead to damage which would cost more money in repairs than what would have originally been spent preventing such issues from occurring at all.
  • When you aerate your lawn, you’re also removing weed seeds from the soil, so you should ensure that your lawnmower blades are sharpened before you aerate. This will help prevent excessive tearing and wear on your mower blades, which ultimately increases the risk of breakage or damage.
  • You should make sure that the blade on your mower is adjusted correctly before you start to run it over the lawn. You should have enough room between the height adjustment dial and the ground to allow for some level of side-to-side movement as well as forward motion. Once you’re done, check to see if the height adjustment dial is still set correctly. If not, adjust it to the correct height.
  • Once you’ve aerated your lawn, water it thoroughly so that the soil can settle and heal any tears or holes that may have been created during the process. Make sure to do this immediately following aeration because if you wait too long, the soil will start to harden and won’t be able to absorb water as well.
  • When watering, be sure to cover the entire area evenly.
  • When using an electric mower for aeration purposes only (without fertilizing), do not attach any attachments such as spreaders or rakes because these may damage sensitive grass and plants nearby.
  • Also, avoid running over mulch beds before starting this process as well; otherwise, too much soil could end up getting stuck underneath them, which wouldn’t allow for proper aeration.

When should you NOT aerate?

It is not necessary nor recommended that you aerate during times when there is high heat or drought conditions present because this would only exacerbate problems for your plants rather than improve them; therefore, do not try doing so under these circumstances at all.

When temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit with little rainfall or less than an inch per week over several weeks in a row, then skip out on any sort of lawn care tasks until cooler weather arrives again later on down the road instead, and wait for winterization tasks until then instead if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my lawn needs aeration?

If your lawn is growing slowly, has a lot of moss or weeds, or if the soil feels compacted, then it needs aeration. You can also test for compaction by using a screwdriver to poke into the ground – if the soil doesn’t give way easily, then it’s time to aerate.

Can you aerate your lawn anytime?

You can aerate your lawn anytime, but the best time to do it is early spring or fall. Avoid aerating during the heat of summer, as this can damage your lawn.

Can you use a regular garden aerator?

Yes, you can use a regular garden aerator. However, if you have a large lawn, it may be more efficient to use a powered aerator.

How often should you aerate your lawn?

You should aerate your lawn every two or three years, depending on the condition of your soil. If your soil is compacted or has a lot of clay, you may need to aerate more often.

What should I put on my lawn after aerating?

After aerating, you can apply fertilizer or compost. When applying fertilizer, use an organic lawn fertilizer that’s high in potassium and low in nitrogen – this will help your grass grow stronger roots. When using compost, make sure the soil is moist before spreading it over the lawn. If necessary, water the lawn first with a hose.

You can also apply a weed killer after aerating to get rid of any unwanted weeds. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and only use products that are safe for grass.


As you can see, proper aeration is an important part of taking care of your lawn to ensure it stays healthy. The more often you aerate, the healthier your lawn will be. Small holes are preferable as they encourage grass roots to grow deeper into the soil.

Aerating your lawn is beneficial on its own, as well as in conjunction with fertilizers and topdressing grass seeds. It will be able to grow stronger roots in time, making it overall more resistant to drought and other things that thrive in a damp environment.