How to Aerate Your Lawn


Aerating with a core aerator is an important yearly routine for the optimal looks and performance of your lawn. Aerating takes cores or plugs out of the soil thus creating multiple, small air pockets - that's why it's called "aerating." The air pockets allow for movement of air, water, and nutrients into the root zone. It's an essential technique in relieving compacted soils and keeping soils healthy, aerobic, and alive. Don't forget that healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn.

Why spread compost? It's organic lawn care! Our Soil3 compost is OMRI Listed for certified organic gardening. It contains nutrients so you won't need the spring application of fertilizer on your lawn. Plus, Soil3 contains beneficial microorganisms to keep your soil thriving. An added benefit is that compost has been shown to suppress fungal diseases on lawns. Read more about organic lawn care with Soil3.

The video above explains why you need to aerate your lawn and demonstrates how to do it. It wraps up with why you should then spread Soil3 organic compost over your lawn and explains two ways to handle the spreading.

Aerating is EASY!

  • Push the aerator back and forth across your lawn, making several passes.
  • Spread compost 1/4" to 1/2" thick using a shovel or a compost spreader.
  • If using a shovel, then you'll need to rake the compost into the root zone.
  • If using a compost spreader, you won't need to do any raking.
  • The final step is watering your lawn to finish pulling the compost into the root zone.

Keep in Mind:

  • You will probably need to rent an aerator from your local "rental station." Be sure to ask for a "core aerator" or "hollow tine aerator" because some aerators only puncture the soil and that's not good enough. They need to take out cores/plugs.
  • Plan ahead and order organic compost delivery ahead of time - our Soil3 organic humus compost has proven results in homes and sports fields. Read more about: Topdressing Sod with Soil3
  • For most lawns, it will probably only take half a day for the whole project.
  • The project can be split into two days with aerating one day and compost spreading the next.
  • It's great exercise and teenagers are great at spreading compost.
  • Some of our stores have the compost spreaders shown in the video for sale and for rent.
  • Seasonal timing is very important. Read: When should I aerate?
  • Do not aerate newly laid sod; wait until your lawn has an established root system.