You can choose to aerate your own lawn or hire a professional to do the
If you decide to do the work yourself, follow these steps:
- Soften the soil a few days before you aerate by watering.
- If needed, dethatch and remove the debris.
- Remove soil cores that are 1/4 - 1/2 inch in diameter, 4 - 6 inches
apart, and about 3 to 4 inches deep.
- Leave cores on the lawn. They will eventually break up due to watering
and mowing and return to the lawn as a topdressing material.
- Fertilize and irrigate as necessary.
It is more efficient to use tools that remove cores of soil, rather than
just spiking the soil. Aerifiers remove soil cores and leave them on the
For small lawns or localized areas, use:
A hand aerifier consists of hollow tubes on a stirrup that works by pushing
it into the soil by foot.
For large or extremely compacted lawns, two different kinds of machine-driven
aerifiers can be rented:
- Roller-type aerifier
- Piston-driven aerifier
A roller-type aerifier has tines mounted on a heavy drum. As it is rolled
over the lawn, the tines, seldom closer than 6 inches apart, are pushed
into the soil, removing a soil core. Occasionally, torn holes result as
the tine is lifted from the soil.
A piston-driven aerifier is a self-propelled machine that punches hollow
tines into the soil and removes a core without tearing. The tines can
be spaced at intervals of about 2 inches.
You may need to go over large lawns twice to make sure you have covered
the entire lawn.
A piston-driven aerifier