How to Aerate Lawns: 3 Common Ways


Aerating your lawn made simple! In this blog, you will learn about when, why and how to aerate. We break down the following:

  1. What is lawn aeration & when should you do it?
  2. How to aerate lawns, 3 common ways.

We all have that neighbor whose grass is perfect - that soft, plushy, bright green grass that makes you want to run around barefoot in the summer. My father-in-law is one of those people - I wouldn't dare park my car even close to a single blade of his grass (I can see him watching me park my car now…). 

What I didn't know is that his “grass secrets” are quite simple - he knows how to properly aerate his lawn as well as the right time to do it.

What is lawn aeration & when should I do it?

Holes are punctured into your lawn with lawn aeration tools to pull up grass, soil, and thatch to promote healthier grass growth. 

The end of summer through the beginning of fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn. This time is a sweet spot because critical nutrients, oxygen, water and fertilizer have time to reach your turf’s root system before the first frost. Your turf can easily build its strong root system to protect and prepare for the upcoming summer heat.

Benefits Include:

  • Critical nutrients, water and fertilizer can now reach deep into your soil and the roots below your turf
  • Simulate deep root growth to grow thicker, greener grass
  • Decrease your soil density and allow air to reach you root system - eliminating dead spots
  • Tills and loosens soil for seeding and overseeding needs

Now to the important part, how to do this properly.

3 Common Ways: How to Aerate Lawns

There are three common types of lawn aeration tools ranging in size.

1. Core Aerators

Traditionally used by professionals, core aerators remove ½” to ¾” “plugs” of soil from your turf (this is why core aerators are also commonly referred to as plug aerators). This is the most effective method used since they pull up the soil. You can leave the plugs that were pulled up on your lawn to dry out, they will break down after you mow. 

    Recommended Core Aeration Tool: The Badger Series Two™ Hitch Aerator

    This commercial-grade aerator is built to handle the toughest lawn and turf aeration tasks. Here are top features:

    • Core plug tines are semi closed for easier penetration and faster ground speed and heat-treated for longer life
    • Standard transport wheels feature heavy-duty pneumatic tires along with positioning levers for easy transport
    • Available in 3-point Category 1 Hitch Mountain System which fits all utility tractors with 3-point hitch systems
    • Compatible with standard drawbar pull behind mowers and other 3-point category 1 hitches, etc.

    This will connect to riding lawn mowers the average homeowner has.
    Click for more Core Aerators

    2. Slicing Aerators

    A slicing aerator tool is made up of sharp blades that puncture the soil but it doesn't actually pull up plugs like core aerators do. This tool is practical for home owners. Some models like the Badger SCARIFER™ Commercial Tiller & Aerator come with both the functionality of the aerator and a tiller.  


    This product features:

    • Complete 4-in-1 system dethatches lawns, Aerates soil for easy penetration of nutrients and water, Tills and Loosens soil for seeding and overseeding needs
    • Quick-Change system to alternate between Aeration and Tiller tines
    • Saves time by eliminating multiple passes for each process
    • Saves money with a single machine - no need of other equipment
    3. Spike Aerators
    There are many different kinds of spike aerators ranging from spike shoes to push spike aerators, rolling barrels, etc. Do you research before investing in a spike aerator, some do not puncture the soil deep enough to have any significant impact on your lawn.

      Investing in quality aerating tools will pay off in the long run. You can see direct impacts for lawn prep, lawn maintenance, garden maintenance, and commercial and recreational areas like soccer fields and baseball fields. Be the envy of your neighborhood!

      Questions? Our team is here to help.

      Contact us at (920)467-6167