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The Basics of Lawn Aeration (Illustrated)

  • by
  • Gene Caballero
  • June 30, 2021

Aerating is a crucial part of developing a healthy lawn. In fact, it may be one of the most important lawn care maintenance practices short of cutting the grass. When combined with overseeding, lawn aeration can really turn a lawn around. 

What is lawn aeration exactly?

Aeration is a simple concept. It involves punching a punch of small holes into the soil of the lawn. This typically involves either a core aerator, or a solid tined aeration machine. But there are also manual aerators too.

Why is aeration important?

It’s simple, lawn aeration allows nutrients like water, fertilizer, and even air to reach deeper into the soil. This allows the roots to grow deeper too. This is because aeration also loosens compact soil. 

When should I aerate?

You should aerate at least once a year, although twice a year is even better. The best time to aerate is either spring or fall depending on your climate.

What is overseeding?

Often when you aerate the lawn you want to overseed. Which is basically what it sounds like. Overseeding is the act of seeding over your lawn so that it comes in thicker and healthier. 

What types of aerators are there?

According to this infographic on aeration there are 6 types of aerators which are; spike aerators, core aerators, powerful aerators, rolling aerators, aerating shoes, and a hand aerator. 

What is the best aerator?

Although all aeration is beneficial, core aeration is the best as it pulls the plug up to the surface rather than merely pressing down into the soil. Spike aerators can make compaction worse. 

What is a plug aerator?

Core aerators use hollow tines to plunge into the soil and pull up a plug of soil. This brings up the old soil and cycles it back through the soil. 


Aeration is a great way to spruce up the lawn this year. For more information on different types of aerators, check out Runyon Equipment Rental. In the meantime share this infographic with your friends and family so that they can improve the quality of their laws too. 

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