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How to Aerate Your Lawn

By Ed Ball | Published on May 12, 2023 | 1 min read

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Maintaining the health of your lawn is important.

Is your lawn is thin and brown or subject to heavy foot or vehicle traffic? Yes? You should consider aerating your lawn.

Over time, grass and soil can become compacted due to heavy recreational use, active pets, heavy foot traffic, and even lawnmowers. This can lead to thatch–a combination of slowly decomposing grass stems, roots and debris that gradually accumulates at the soil surface and makes it difficult for air, water and nutrients to penetrate the soil. Aeration will help the soil support a healthier root system and stimulate microbes to decompose thatch.

Aeration involves making holes in your lawn to loosen the soil underneath. This allows oxygen, water and nutrients to reach the roots so that your grass can become green and healthy. If your lawn receives heavy foot traffic, you should aerate it every 1-2 years.


Steps to aerate your lawn


  1. Prepare and water the lawn before aerating

Rake up any fallen leaves or debris. Water your lawn a day or two before you plan to aerate it. Plan to apply at least one inch of water to your lawn. 


  1. Mark the lawn

Use marking flags or chalk to mark the location of sprinklers or other hidden objects like tree stumps.


  1. Aerate the lawn

 You can aerate the lawn using your favorite aerating tool. Spike aerators punch holes in the lawn while core aerators remove plugs of grass and soil. Work your way back and forth across your lawn similar to mowing the lawn and concentrate on any problem areas. Make several passes in different directions to ensure optimal coverage. You should leave any soil plugs on the lawn to decompose.


  1. Fertilize the lawn

Once the lawn has been aerated, you should fertilize it and spread grass seed on any bare patches.


  1. Resume regular lawn maintenance

You can return to your regular lawn maintenance schedule.


Summer is the perfect season to aerate warm-weather lawns. Adding aeration to your lawn maintenance will keep your lawn green, lush, and healthy for seasons to come.