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How To Aerate Lawn Yourself

How To Aerate A Lawn By Hand

How To Aerate A Lawn

Large stretches of turf require gas-powered aerator tools, but if you have a fairly small patch of grass, a handheld aerator will work. There are several types of manual aerators.

  • Aerator shoes have sharp spikes on the bottom. Just strap them on over your regular shoes and walk across your grass, making multiple passes in different directions to thoroughly penetrate the turf. If you’re looking for one of the least expensive and most popular aerator tools, consider getting lawn aerator shoes with strong metal buckles like Punchau shoes .
  • Handheld aerators come in a variety of configurations but most somewhat resemble a pitchfork. Most are spike aerators, but there are versions that remove plugs. Using a handheld aerator is simple but tiring: Stab the spikes deeply into the grass, pull out, and repeat, taking care to cover the entire lawn. If you have a smaller yard with tiny patches of grass, consider investing in a aerator with a foot bar for extra leverage like the Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator, .
  • Manual drum aeratorssometimes called lawn spikersare a spike- or blade-covered heavy drum with a long handle. To use, push a drum aerator like the Agri-Fab Push Spike Aerator, across your lawn, making at least two complete circuits in different directions. Most manual drum aerators are spike lawn tools, but some are plug aerators.

Lawn Aeration Guide: Lawn Care Professional Or Diy Aeration

Lawn aeration is an essential step in keeping your lawn healthy and thriving. If you have been fertilizing, mowing, and watering your lawn, but it is still dying, then it is time to aerate. When lawn aerating, it is better to hire a lawn care professional or DIY? Lawn Aeration Guide: Lawn Care Professional Or DIY Aeration to keep your lawn thriving, check out these must-knows about lawn aeration:

What Is Lawn Aeration

If your soil has become compacted, its time to aerate. Dense and tightly packed, compacted soil inhibits root growth by cutting off access to nutrients. Soil compaction also encourages weed growth and makes lawns more vulnerable to drought. Here are some factors that might increase the likelihood of soil compaction:

  • High clay content Clay soils are more likely to become compacted than sandy soils because theyre heavier.
  • New construction If your lawn was established as part of a new home, its topsoil may be buried, and construction workers may have stepped on and compacted the subsoil.
  • Foot traffic Lawns that get a lot of foot traffic may become compacted.
  • Sod and soil layering If you have a sod lawn, you may have soil layeringmeaning the sods fine soil was placed on top of coarse soil when it was installed. These inconsistent layers can reduce drainage, which can cause compaction and make it difficult for root systems to grow.

If youre not sure, simply pull out your toolkit and perform the screwdriver test. If you can easily slide your screwdriver several inches into your lawns soil surface, youre good. If youre met with a lot of resistance, you have compacted soil.


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Leave Aerating Your Lawn To Neave

Neave Lawn Care can examine your soil to see whether lawn aeration services are needed. We have the tools, the professional staff and the know-how to do the job right.

Neave Lawn Cares specialists take the time to analyze and inspect your soil quality each time they visit, so they know the best time to aerate your lawn.

If youre a homeowner in the Hudson Valley, call us at . If youre in Westchester County, call from Connecticut, dial . Or, fill out our contact form, and well contact you about setting up your free consultation.

Lawn aeration can be a laborious task, especially if you have a large property. Weve got the professional staff and cutting-edge aeration tools to handle any job.


Benefits Of Aerating Your Lawn

Do It Yourself Lawn Aerator

There are several benefits of lawn aeration. Lawns with a thick build up of thatch that is more than an inch deep can suffer from disease and insect problems. This deep layer of old material harbors pests and disease pathogens, such as fungal spores. The thatch also minimizes the amount of nutrients and moisture that the roots need to grow.

The benefits of aerating your lawn also include stimulating root growth by providing a more porous and easy to navigate soil texture. Lawn aerating is not always necessary annually on low thatch varieties of grass, but it cannot really hurt to increase the movement of water to the roots.

Lawn aerating is also important for earthworm activities, as it loosens the soil so they can perform their important composting activities.

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Why You Should Consider A Professional Like Lawn Doctor

If you want a professional and quick job done, it is best to seek help. A Lawn Doctor will know how to aerate your lawn in only a few hours and do it properly. Professionals have the experience to do the job right. They know how deep to go and where. This will help because of the least amount of damage to your lawn. A professional will also be able to get your lawn aerated in the shortest amount of time. It may be harder than you think, especially if you are a beginner and not used to this kind of work. A professional can get it done in a short period and reduce stress on your lawn.


Aeration is a way to loosen compact soil by punching holes in it. The result is that air and water can more easily enter the soil, which promotes healthier soils and grass. It also creates spaces for good microbes to grow. The best way to aerate your lawn is with a professional. There are many aeration services in the industry that can help us get proper aeration and make your lawn look great.

How To Aerate A Lawn With A Manual Core Aerator

In our opinion, a manual coring aerator is the best way to aerate a lawn by hand. Unlike other manual aeration methods and tools, a core aerator lifts and removes small sections of soil, instead of pushing them to the side. This method reduces the chance of further compaction since the extra soil is completely removed.

To use a manual core aerator, simply grip the handle with both hands and push it into the soil. Most have some type of foot bar for leverage to make it easier to penetrate the dirt.

As you lift upward, the aerator will pull out two cores of soil. You can leave these in the grass they will disintegrate within a week or so and shouldnt disrupt any lawn growth.

Move forward approximately six inches and repeat the process until the entire lawn has been aerated. Its helpful to keep a screwdriver or other small pole handy to clean out the tubes if they get clogged.


Here are a few manual core aerators we recommend:

Photo via Ann’s Entitled Life

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How To Aerate Your Lawn Without Machines

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If your lawn is small, or if you have plenty of time on your hands, then aerating your lawn with a machine aerator is unnecessary because you can complete the task with hand-operated tools. Aeration breaks up compacted soil by creating holes in it, helping grass grow vigorously and reducing thatch, moss and other lawn problems. A hand aerifier, which has a set of hollow tubes on a stirrup, or a spading fork, which is a garden fork with flattened tines, can be used to aerate a lawn effectively. The timing for aeration depends on the kind of grass. Aerate a lawn with warm-season grass, such as bermudagrass or centipede grass , in late spring or summer, and aerate a cool-season grass lawn in fall. Bermudagrass is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9 and centipede grass in USDA zones 7b through 11.

Understand The Need For Lawn Aeration In New York And Connecticut

How To Aerate your Lawn EASY – CORE AERATION

Over time, soil and the underlying thatch of your lawn can become compacted, which can seriously affect your lawns ability to thrive.


Whats thatch? Its a loose, intermingled layer of roots, dead and living shoots and stems that develops between your green turf and the soil surface. Thatch build up begins when turf produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down.

As soil compaction starts to happen over time and thatch builds up, your soil cant breathe. That means the roots of your grass wont be able to absorb nutrients or water from the soil. So slowly, over time, your lawn dies.

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How To Aerate A Yard

This article was co-authored by Keith Souza. Keith Souza is a Home Improvement Specialist and the Owner of Vaulted Hammer Handyman Services. He specializes in home repair, home automation, and yard maintenance. Keith holds an AAS in Electronics Technology from Heald College.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 265,311 times.

A lush and thriving yard requires the right amount of air and water penetration to allow vital nutrients to enter the soil. Yards comprised of firm, compacted earth do not allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach grass roots. Yard aeration helps to break up the soil to promote unobstructed air flow and water absorption. It will also help to break up the thatch layer that may also be preventing water and nutrients from getting into the soil. Determine if the turf needs a good de-thatching because even if you are using a bagger when mowing, it will still eventually build up and create an impregnable layer.


The Difference Between A Spike And Plug Aerator

We refer to aeration as poking or plucking because depending on the tool you use, a spike aerator or a plug aerator, you perform one of those two actions. The difference, you might ask? A plug aerator removes a small plug of grass and soil from the lawn, leaving behind a small hole, whereas a spike aerator simply pokes holes into the ground using a tine or fork.

Pro Tip: Poking holes can be less effective and potentially cause additional compaction in the areas around the holes. For the best results, use an aerating tool or machine that removes plugs of soil.

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How To Diy Liquid Aerate Your Lawn

You only need two things: a good liquid aeration solution, such as Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Soil Loosener, and a hose-end sprayer, such as the Ortho Dial N Spray Hose End Sprayer.

The best time to liquid aerate your lawn is in the spring or fall. This is usually when grass is growing the most, which allows the lawn to recover quickly. Spray according to the directions, then thoroughly water your lawn afterward and for the next two weeks. Your lawn should start looking better in a few weeks.


Do I Need Equipment To Aerate My Lawn

Why Lawn Aeration is Key to a Healthy, Green Lawn

There are different aerating tools that you may consider for aerating your lawn:

  • Hand Aerator : This aerating tool has long spikes at the end, which you push into the soil. These spikes cause small holes when made into the surface. This tool can be quite strenuous and requires much effort from your hands to work the aerator into the soil. These aerators are not recommended to use on a large lawn because they can cause fatigue, strain, and is very time-consuming. These tools will cost anywhere from $25 to $50.
  • Aerator Shoes: These shoes are worn over your regular shoes and have spikes on the bottom. The tips on the boots create holes in the lawn surface, but the points are too thin and do not puncture your lawn far enough. These boots are not the best aerating tool because they tend to push the soil to the side and down when they enter the yard, compacting the ground even more. These aerator shoes will cost anywhere from $20 to $35.
  • Rolling Aerator: Similar to a lawnmower, this aerator creates holes in your yard as you push it along in rows. These aerators width covers a fair amount of lawn space and is small enough to maneuver around corners in your yard. Rolling aerators will range from $50 to $300.
  • Tow-Behind Aerator: A towed lawn aerator is the only reasonable choice to consider if your yard is large enough to need a riding lawnmower. Tow-behind aerators will range from $150 to $800.

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When Is The Best Time To Aerate My Lawn

The best time to aerate warm season grasses, such as soft-leaf buffalo, couch, kikuyu and zoysia is during spring and summer while they are actively growing. When you see the first sign of growth after winter and you have some compacted areas, do not delay in getting out in your aeration sandals!

You can aerate at any time of the year, but keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to expose your aerated lawn to cold winter weather without the protection of new growth. Most lawns will be dormant during winter and you wont see any new growth until spring or summer in some locations, so hold off until the time is right for your lawn. If youre not sure about local conditions, just touch base with our Coolabah Turf team.

A helpful tip is always try to aerate at the same time you are fertilising or carrying out any other major lawn care practices such as dethatching or top dressing. After rainfall is also a good time, as it will make the perforation process much easier.

For cool season lawns, such as fescue and ryegrass, the same principle applies. With proper care and a lot of water, cool season lawns can grow all year so you can aerate all year round. Again, keep in mind the absolute best times are when you fertilise, dethatch or top dress and also following rain, when soil moisture levels are high.

Free Landscape Care & Maintenance Guide

It feels good to tackle a home improvement project yourself. Its good for self-esteem, can save you money and gives you something to brag about when you have the neighbors over for a cookout.

Maybe youve been thinking about renting one of those lawn core aerators to spruce up your lawn. Fall is a great time to aerate, to rejuvenate your lawn for spring.

First, you get points for knowing your lawn needs aeration. Its a crucial part of keeping a healthy lawn.

But this is one of those jobs best left to the lawn care service team. To get it done right, well, the process is far from a walk in the park.

With that said, lets take a closer look at lawn core aeration, why its important for your lawn and why the pros have a leg up with this particular chore.

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What To Do After Aeration

After you finish aerating your lawn, let soil plugs or extra soil dry where they fall. They’ll break down in rain or crumble the next time you mow, adding beneficial soil and organic matter to your lawn surface.

Right after aeration is a perfect time to overseed with premium Pennington Smart Seed and fertilize your lawn or do simple lawn repairs. Seeds and nutrients have direct contact with soil through the openings your aerator created and roots have fresh pathways for the things they need. The combination can help put your lawn on the fast track for quick seed establishment and thicker, lusher growth.

By adding aeration to your annual task list or doing regular compaction tests to check for need, you help ensure your lawn can reach its full potential for thickness, health and beauty. Pennington is committed to providing you with the finest in grass seed and lawn care products to help you achieve your lawn goals.

Pennington and Smart Seed are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc.

Signs Your Lawn Needs To Be Aerated

How To Aerate Your Lawn

There are several indicators of compact soil, such as puddles and areas of grass that appear wet after watering but quickly dry out soon after.

Grass that has thin patches, yellow or brown sections, or is experiencing slow growth overall probably isnt getting the water, air, and nutrition it needs to grow. You might think that watering more is probably the answer to most of your lawn problems, but aeration is the first step you should take in rehabbing your lawn.

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Benefits Of Lawn Aeration

Aeration is particularly useful for lawns that undergo a lot of foot traffic. The more a lawn is used, the more compacted the soil becomes.

This significantly reduces the spaces in the soil that would typically hold air.

Due to the decreased flow of air within the soil, compaction can negatively affect root growth. Roots need oxygen from the air to grow and absorb water and nutrients.

Risks Of Diy Lawn Aeration

We sometimes have homeowners ask us the best way to aerate this lawn in the spring and fallshould they use a professional, reliable lawn care service, or should the try to aerate themselves?

This is what we tell them: Aeration provides several important benefits that will keep your yard green, thick, and healthy. Having a Pittsburgh lawn care service perform this service:

  • Creates air in compact soil. When soil is compacted because of either its make up or because of foot and car traffic pushing the soil down, there is little room for the things that your grass needs to stay healthy. Air, nutrients, and water cant easily seep into the soil to be delivered to the plant by the roots.
  • Reduces thatch. Thatch is dead grass that forms a layer on top of your soil. Thatch forms a barrier between the nutrients, water, and fertilizer that your grass needs to stay resilient during the summer and fall. It can also harbor disease and insects.

Most lawns require aeration in the spring and the fall to maintain the health of the grass plants. Some homeowners choose to try to aerate their lawn themselves. Without full knowledge of your grass, soil, and other factors, it will be hard to determine what is necessary to create a resilient lawn.

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