How Often to Aerate Your Lawn

A little aeration—such as once a year—can go a long way toward creating a beautiful, healthy lawn. Your soil, its compaction and what type of grass you have determine when to aerate your yard grass.

How Often to Aerate Your Lawn

There are some variables to consider when it comes to aeration. The time of year as well as the type of soil you have all play a part in scheduling core aeration.

Here are those variables:

  1. Soil type: If you have clay soil, then you’ll need to aerate your lawn once a year or once every other year.

Sandy and loam soils don’t need regular core aeration because the soils already have oxygen circulating through them. Plus, if you aerate your sandy or loamy soil too often, you’ll weaken the soil.

Clay soils, for example, need aeration every year or every few years depending on how compacted the ground is. Clay soil holds in water, but can’t easily circulate oxygen for plant health.

  1. Soil compaction: If you tend to park cars on your yard or there is a lot of foot traffic, you probably have compacted soil. You can test the soil by walking on it. If it’s rock solid, there’s a good chance that your soil needs aeration this fall or next spring.

Read more: 12 Reasons Why You Need a Lawn Sweeper This Fall

  1. Your turfgrass’s health: If you have bare or thinning turf throughout your lawn, then you need to aerate your soil as well as reseed your yard. Aeration opens up the soil to release carbon dioxide as well as taking in oxygen, light, and moisture.

Core aeration also prepares your soil for receiving grass seed. If you use a slit seeder, the grass seed goes down deep into the ground. This deep planting helps the grass plants to develop deep root systems.

  1. How often do you need to dethatch your lawn: The same rule applies for dethatching as it does for aeration. If you’re using smart lawn care techniques, you should only need to dethatch your lawn once a year.

When you’re aerating your lawn, you’re also dethatching it. Remember, your lawn only needs dethatching if you have more than a half an inch of thatch in your lawn grass. If you’re consistently getting a lot of thatch in your yard, then you may be fertilizing it too much or using the wrong grass seed.

  1. The time of year and grass type: When you aerate your lawn depends on what kind of grass is in your yard. For example, if you have cool season grasses, such as fescues and Kentucky blue varieties, then you aerate your lawn in early fall—ideally in September.

Cool season grasses grow best in cooler temperatures. However, warm season grasses are the opposite. They grow best in warm weather—such as late spring and early summer.

Warm season grasses including Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, centipede, and Bahia grasses do well in areas with warmer summers and winters.

Cool season grasses need aeration and overseeding done in the late summer and early fall. Conversely, warm season grasses need aeration and reseeding in late spring and early summer.

Learn more: 10 Ways to Go from a Synthetic Lawn to an Organic One.

  1. Your plans for overseeding: If your lawn is thin or you haven’t reseeded your yard in five or more years, then it’s time to overseed it again. You want to fill up your lawn grass’s seed bank instead of weed seeds accumulating in the ground.

Again, cool season grasses do well when planted in the fall. The cooler temperatures allow the turf seeds to develop deeper root systems and to grow in before the ground freezes.

Likewise, warm season grasses do well when they’re planted in the late spring or early summer. Warm season grass seeds develop deep root systems too as well as mature before the brutal summer heat begins.

How to Aerate Your Lawn

You know when and how often to aerate and dethatch your lawn. Now, you need to know which lawn care attachments will help you get the job done.

At Brinly-Hardy, we manufacture aerators and dethatchers so your lawn will look its best all year long. We make both spike and plug aerators to meet your yard care needs.

For that season or year that you’re not aerating your lawn, use one of our dethatchers to get rid of the heavy grass build-up.

You can buy your Brinly lawn care attachment at one of these online retailers. If you have a questions about your Brinly lawn care attachment or any of our other garden attachments, call our customer service at 877-728-8224 or fill out our contact form.


SFGate, “Do I Need to Reseed Grass Each Year?, “How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn?