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Cost to Aerate Lawn

There’s nothing quite like a lush lawn. Not only does it add beauty and value to your home, but deep green, healthy grass and bare feet are a classic pairing. However, as your lawn ages and grows, buildup of turfgrass can hinder the growth of the lawn itself, leading to shallow roots and weeds that’s anything but a pleasure to walk through. For some homeowners, aeration is a regular maintenance procedure that should take place twice per year. For others, it’s an occasional task that can add new life into a lawn. Whether it’s part of your professional yard maintenance schedule or a DIY weekend project you want to tackle, understanding the costs associated with lawn aeration is important.

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National Aerate Lawn Care Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 295 cost profiles


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National Aerate Lawn Care Costs
Average reported cost $143
Number of Cost Profiles 295 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $54
Maximum reported cost $400
Most homeowners spent between: $92 to $144

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Table of Contents

  1. Lawn Aeration Cost
  2. Why Aerate A Lawn
  3. When to Aerate A Lawn
  4. Should You Rent A Lawn Aerator?
  5. Advantages of Lawn Aeration
  6. Disadvantages of Lawn Aeration
  7. How to Aerate Your Lawn
  8. Find A Pro

Lawn Aeration Cost

The cost to aerate your lawn varies according to the size of the lawn along with other factors such as labor (if you’re hiring a pro) and whether or not you fertilize at the same time, which is a common add-on.

Professional Aeration Costs

The cost to hire a landscaping professional to aerate your lawn varies according to factors such as a prior relationship or service contract with the landscaper and coordinating services such as fertilizer application. Most pros charge for aeration by the square footage of your yard at around $0.10 – $0.35 per square foot, rather than labor hours. As such, average costs range between about $75 and $200. However, many lawn care professionals can include aeration in their regular service packages at no extra cost.

DIY Aeration Costs

Aerating your lawn as a DIY project is considerably less expensive than hiring a pro because it only involves renting an aerator from a local tool shop. This rental cost is usually between $40 and $80 per day, depending on whether you choose a manual or automatic aerator.

Fertilization Costs

Adding fertilizer to your lawn aeration can increase final costs but also save money over having the jobs performed separately. Fertilizer is sold by the bag and designed to cover a specific amount of square footage. Lawn fertilizer generally costs between $15 and $25 per 5,000-square-foot bag.

Why Aerate A Lawn

Why Aerate A Lawn

Lawn aeration is an important maintenance task that encourages healthy growth and stronger turf. The process, which literally places holes throughout your yard’s soil, works to deliver water, air and other nutrients to the turf more effectively. As a result, roots grow deeper and weeds are pushed out. In addition, breaking up tight turfgrass and compacted soil allows for more vigorous, lush lawn growth to take place. Aeration is therefore more appropriate in a lawn that receives a lot of foot traffic, was established by sod or is part of a new home build where the topsoil was stripped out during the construction process.

When to Aerate A Lawn

Ideally, lawn aeration should take place twice per year in high-traffic environments: once in the spring and again in the fall. However, in general, these two seasons are the best choice for lawn aeration in any environment because they’re the times when your lawn is moist and in a growth stage, as opposed to the winter when the lawn is dormant or the summer when full growth is in effect.

Should You Rent A Lawn Aerator?

Renting a lawn aerator offers substantial cost savings over having a professional complete the job. However, the other side of this cost savings is the time investment required to aerate your lawn on your own. Most pros have attachments that go on riding mowers to make quick work of the task, and they have experience in the aeration process. On average, professionals take around an hour to aerate a 5,000-square-foot lawn. On the other hand, rental units usually resemble push mowers and require several passes over your lawn to be effective. This process can take an entire day to complete if you’ve never done it before.

Advantages of Lawn Aeration

Lawn aeration encourages healthy, lush growth, which leads to stronger, more aesthetically beautiful grass. In addition, the perforations that the aeration process creates lead to more water absorbing into the soil surrounding your home. This can reduce the presence of standing water on the lawn and facilitate drainage.

Disadvantages of Lawn Aeration

If you don’t complete it properly, the aeration process can invite weed growth into your lawn and dryness can take over if you don’t water sufficiently following the procedure. For this reason, be sure not to aerate your lawn during a drought or other dry period in your climate. On new lawns, refrain from aerating until roots have grown, or you risk killing the grass. Wait at least a year after planting or seeding to aerate in these cases.

How to Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your own lawn is a doable DIY project that you can complete in a day. It requires the rental of an aerator appropriate for the type of soil in your area. Ask a local pro or someone at the tool shop where you rent the unit about which type of aerator — spike aerator or core aerator — is more appropriate. Then, follow these steps:

Prepare the Lawn

Approximately two days before the aeration, thoroughly wet the lawn down with at least 1 inch of water from your sprinkler. It’s absolutely essential that the lawn is moist prior to aeration because this helps the aerator to perforate the ground and can facilitate the removal of soil cores (if you’re using a core aerator).

Aerate the Lawn

Walking in a grid pattern, run the aerator over the entire area of the lawn once for a core aerator or two to three times for a spike aerator. Mechanical aerators complete this process much faster than manual aerators, but they may cost more to rent.

Apply A Top Coat

Now’s the time to apply grass seed, fertilizer or compost to the top of the lawn to facilitate growth. Sprinkle it across all areas of the lawn, including inside the holes. The spikes or holes break down naturally in about a month.

Find A Pro

If you lack the time or desire to aerate your lawn on your own, many landscaping pros can do the job instead. Many even include this process in their seasonal cleanup and maintenance packages. Connect with a pro in your area today by using our free lead generator.

Last updated on Sep 14, 2016

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