How to Aerate Your Lawn?


The point of aerating is to punch the holes in the soil so as to let more water in deeper and help with air flow to the roots of the grass. It loosens up compacted soil, which will benefit any grass type.

Bill Martin

Learning how to aerate your lawn will go a long way toward having the best turf on your street. You may never beat old man Wilson down the road who spends 82 hours a week on his yard. But you will get close.

Aerating is one of the simplest yet most helpful tasks you can do for your lawn. It is simple to do and not that hard in most cases. You will be using an aerator of course. You can use a pull behind type or a motorized machine. Each type has spikes or tines that roll as the machine goes over the turf. These tines punch holes in the ground as it moves along. The aerators with the spikes just punch holes, where as the tines will punch a hole and pull a plug of soil out as it moves. The tines are better for the turf.

How to Aerate Your Lawn Depends….

How to aerate your lawn depends on the property size. If your yard is big enough with not too many tight spaces, you can use an aerator that you tow behind your lawn mower or even a four wheeler. Just be careful not to tear up the yard with tight turns. The weight of the aerator makes turning different than without a load behind the mower or four wheeler.

The motorized aerators are made to walk behind like a push type lawn mower. These aerators are self propelled and you just have to guide them. Of course you want to be careful not to put your foot in the way of the tines as you walk along. Most people would say these type aerators are more effective than the pull behind variety. I would agree, but it is much easier on the body to use the pull behind type aerators. You can get to more tight areas with these walk behind aerators and on a small yard you won’t save any time with a pull behind. If your yard is really tiny, you can also aerate using a simple pitch fork or rent a aerator machine at e.g. Home Depot.

How to Aerate Manually?

How to Aearate Using a Pull Behind?

Just Do It Your Way!

Before you start aerating, you will need to mark any sprinklers that may be damaged by the tines or spikes. You can mark them with little lawn flags or plastic forks are a good option that you are more likely to have on hand.

There is no specific technique for aerating. You can go back and forth or in a circle. Whatever floats your boat. Just be sure and go over the entire yard. The more holes in the lawn the better. Going over the yard twice is fine, as it will make sure you got as much aerated as possible. Be careful doing this when using a pull behind aerator. You could be mashing many of the holes back down with soil as your mower or four wheeler tires run over the turf again and again.

Lots of Holes

After you get done, you will see lots of holes in the lawn and if you use the plugging type tined aerators, there will be lots of soil plugs on the lawn. This will appear weird, but it is normal. After a few days, those plugs will dry up and crumble away. If the sight bothers you or more importantly the wife, you can use one of my old tricks to make them disappear quicker. Grab an old square of carpet big enough to be about ten pounds. Then drag it over the lawn to break up the soil plugs left from the aerator. Drag the carpet by hand or with your mower.

You have no excuse not to aerate your own yard now. Laziness is not a valid one! But if you would rather avoid the work, just keep a look out for lawn crews doing aeration in your neighborhood. You might get a discount if you can get them while they are already on your street. Gotta keep up with old man Wilson you know!

Like Always, Happy Mowing!

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