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Lawn aeration, the secret lawn care professionals use to guarantee beautiful turf grass

Updated on January 15, 2015

Key Secrets to having Beautiful lawn grass

First time homebuyers, families that have outgrown their current home, and empty nesters all agree, the only thing more important than location, location, location, is curb appeal. All the unique features that distinguish one property from another, dramatically affect property values. Like a person’s choice in clothes, generally effects how we feel about that person. The overall landscape design, and how the lawn looks, drastically effects what we feel a property is worth. It quite simply does not matter how many lovely rose bushes, Japanese maple trees, or other beautiful plantings there are in a landscape design. Turf grass that looks like it is dead, or dying a slow death makes the whole property look less attractive, uncared for and subsequently less valuable. Continue reading this article and you will discover why Lawn Aeration is the key secret used by Lawn Maintenance professionals, to ensure a beautiful lawn.

Pulling plugs is extremely important

Core aeration is most important for heavy clay soil types
Core aeration is most important for heavy clay soil types

Is your grass a bit stressed, or showing it's age?

Over time, our lawn and its turf grasses start to show their age, due to the forces of nature, heavy foot traffic from the kids playing, pets and wildlife doing what it is pets and wildlife do, and oh yes let us not forget, the occasional vehicle traffic on the grass. All these forces play a significant role in our lawns soil compaction problem, which makes it impossible for the grass to develop a healthy root structure, witch supports the nutritional requirements of our turf, making it possible for our grass to grow, and if the grass cannot grow, our lawn and landscaping is not going to look so good.

Proper lawn aeration promotes healthy grass

Lawn aeration is a lawn maintenance process that involves removing small plugs or cores of soil from the lawn. Basic manual powered hand aerators are available for use in small or hard to reach areas, but most homeowners and landscaping professionals prefer to use a gas-powered aerator or a model they can tow behind a lawn mower or ATV.

Premium model gas-powered aerators use a set of hollow tines or spoons attached to a steel disk or drum mounted to a rotating shaft.

As the name implies, a core aerator, or lawn plugger removes a series of 3/4 inch diameter cores / plugs of soil from the lawn. These cores / plugs when removed create aeration holes. These holes, are generally 1 too 6 inches deep, depending on how damp and soft the soil is at the time of aeration, and spaced 4 too 6 inches apart.

Beware of the so-called aerators, the type that just pushes solid spikes or tines into the soil. Without removing a core / plug, these are not as effective. They more often than not, simply contribute to the underlying cause of many lawn care problems, soil compaction.

Tow lawn aerator works great behind a riding mower or ATV

Benefits of lawn aeration outweigh the cost

Lawn Compaction makes it difficult for your turf grass to breathe, and survive the hot dry summer days. Your lawn’s soil being compacted reduces the available air space. You see, your grass must get oxygen, nutrients, and water to its roots before it can grow.

In addition, compaction is a physical barrier. When the soil is compacted to the point where the plants roots cannot penetrate the soil, the grass plants cannot breathe or take in nutrients and life sustaining water, resulting in your grass starving to death.

Aerating your lawn will also increase the activity of the microorganisms in your soil that helps to break down the thatch barrier.

Fertilizers are expensive lawn care products. When applied to compacted soils a large percentage of them simply run-off when your lawn receives, a heavy rainstorm, or frequent irrigation. Aeration absolutely ensures the lawn care products you use on your lawn, penetrates deeply into your lawn’s soil, where it will promote a healthy root structure, a great looking lawn, and everyone knows, a healthy, good looking lawn is what we all want.

The Best Time to Aerate a Lawn


The best time to aerate cool season lawns of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass is in late summer and early fall, around late August through mid September. These types of grasses are coming out of their summer dormancy brought on by the heat of the dog days of summer, and begin a period of vigorous growth; witch makes this a great time to reseed. The cool season grasses will recover quickly with the help of lawn aeration and far less competition from weeds during late summer and early fall.

Warm season turf grasses, such as Bermuda and zoysia benefit greatly when aerated during June and July, as this is the time of the year when the conditions are ideal for these grasses to have a period of rapid growth and development of a healthy root structure.

Rent or Purchase a Lawn Aerator

Aerators can be rented from local tool and equipment rental centers that carry in lawn and garden maintenance equipment.

Local nurseries, garden and landscaping supply centers are generally a great source for finding out about local lawn care professionals that specialize in lawn aeration.

Be sure that the aerator you use has hollow tines or spoons that will pull the plugs out of the soil. Look for heavy weighted machines with long hollow tines. The aeration machines with heavy weights centered over the tines / spoons provide better penetration into the soil.

Rental centers are the busiest around spring and fall weekends, making it a good idea to get an aerator reserve ASAP, or make your plans on doing your aeration on a weekday when demand is not so high.

Power aerators are large heavy gas powered machines that require a large delivery van or pickup truck to haul them.

For those of us with neighbors that like to work in their yards, consider coordinating with them, share the cost of the rental, and aerate several lawns on the same day, lowering the overall cost.

When choosing to rent a lawn aerator, keep in mind, as a value added service, most rental yards with the homeowner’s needs in mind, will provide useful operating instructions that make operating the machine a lot easier, on you, and your neighbor.

Your local ARA member rental store that rents aerators is also a good place to purchase an aerator. Many times, you can get a good deal on a used machine, or if you rather have a new model, simply ask them if they can order you a new machine. They will know all about the machines they rent, how to service them or provide you with any maintenance parts you will need from time to time.

Create the landscape and lawn of your dreams. Mike

The author of this publication, Mike Teddleton owns the copyright to Lawn aeration, the secret lawn care professionals use to guarantee beautiful turf grass.

The rights to publish this article in print or online can only be granted by contacting me the author in writing. You may use the intro and link back to the article directing the reader back to my post here at HubPages where they may find the story in its entirety


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    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      htodd, you are quite welcome. Lawn aeration will help improve the health of a lawn.

    • htodd profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great hub,These tips are really great..

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      ClaireHaley I do agree, it looks funny however, aerating your lawn grass makes it all worth the time and jokes from our neighbors.

      When you have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood set back and enjoy the show, your neighbors trying to not be outdone.

      Thanks for taking the time to add your comment.

      Best wishes and happy gardening. Mike

    • ClaireHaley profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      Since we started aerating our lawn the grass has improved greatly in condition. My husband has some spikes on boards that he can starp on to his shoes and then walks all over the lawn. Its hilarious to watch but does the trick!!

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      fdoleac enjoy your exercise while you aerate your lawn, both you and your turf grasses will look and feel better, and most importantly, be healthier.

      Thanks for commenting on my hub Discover Why Lawn Aeration, Is the Key Secret Lawn Maintenance Professionals Use to Ensure Beautiful Turf Grass.

    • fdoleac profile image


      8 years ago from Hollis, New Hampshire

      Thanks for the advice. I purchased a two prong aerator and getting great exercise.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      wilderness, thanks for reading my hub, Discover Why Lawn Aeration, Is the Key Secret Lawn Maintenance Professionals Use to Ensure Beautiful Turf Grass.

      Aeration really helps turff grasses recover from a long hot and dry summer. thanks for your comment...

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      8 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      My lawn has grown a bit scraggly the last couple of years, and I've wondered about aerating it. Thanks for the hub - I think I've decided to.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Katie, you are welcome, now get outside in the yard and areate your lawn and watch the turff grasses grow, with a little help from mother nature.

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      After the harsh summer we had the lawns here in Ohio are suffering bad. Everyone will need aeration as it is key secret lawn maintenance. I feel good in the knowledge I learned here today to better prepare my lawn for recovery and a great winters rest. Thanks for the secret lawn maintenance professional advice to insure beautiful turf grass. I appreciate you tips and advice on lawn care.


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