9 Best Lawn Aerators For All Yard Sizes

If your garden is losing its luster even after watering it regularly then the main culprit is – compacted soil. Compacted soil prevents the water, air, fertilizers and nutrients to reach the roots, thus affecting the growth of grass. Aerating once in a while will resolve this issue. Lawn Aerators work by putting holes in the soil so that water and other nutrients can reach the roots. In this article, we will see a list of some of the Best Lawn Aerators you can buy online.

Before choosing the best lawn aerator for your garden needs, you have to consider few factors. We have mentioned them below.

  • Plug Aerators Vs Spike Aerators: Spike aerators are designed to punch holes in the soil. They are manual devices which are only suited for light aeration process. Plug Aerators specially designed to punch holes and remove the debris and soil. It is suitable for heavy clay and compact soil. Plug aerators come in battery operated, electric and gas powered models. You can choose based on your preference and requirements.
  • Lawn Size: For small lawns, manual aerator or push unit is the right choice. For large properties, two plug aerator is the right choice.

For more information on how to choose lawn aerator we recommend to read our “Buying Guide”. Apart from that, we have also provided best lawn aerator products that work best in aerating your lawn.

Best Lawn Aerators

Lawn AeratorsType / Power SourceSuitable for AreaBuy Now
GreenWorks Lawn AeratorCorded Electric Larger LawnsCheck On Amazon
Yard Butler Lawn Aerator 6CSelf-propelled Small Old LawnsCheck On Amazon
Sun Joe Lawn AeratorCorded ElectricMedium to Larger lawnsCheck On Amazon
Jumbo Varieties Lawn Aerator ShoesSelf-propelled Small lawnsCheck On Amazon
Abco Tech Lawn AeratorSelf-propelled Small lawnsCheck On Amazon
Jumbo Varieties Lawn AeratorSelf-propelled Small lawnsCheck On Amazon
Agri Fab 45 – 0299 AeratorBattery PoweredLarger YardCheck On Amazon
Yard Butler Lawn AeratorSelf-propelled Small Compacted soil
Check On Amazon
Mantis Power Tiller AeratorBattery PoweredMedium compact clay soilCheck On Amazon

Best Lawn Aerators: Reviews

1.GreenWorks 27022 10 Amp 14 Corded Dethatcher / Scarifier Lawn Aerator

GreenWorks 27022 10 Amp 14 Corded Dethatcher / Scarifier Lawn Aerator

Type – Corded electric. This GreenWorks 27022 14″ 10A corded dethatcher  is powered by a precision built electric motor that has to be connected to a power supply of 120 volts, 60 Hz AC. It also ensures a zero carbon footprint.      

Body and Material – It has an adjustable handle with an ergonomic padded grip that adds user comfort while you remove the thatch from the lawn. It also contains adjustable tine depth of 3 positions which provides greater control by removing matted layers. The sharp stainless steel tines will provide reliable performance and it also includes full set of replacement tines for a total of 18. It is also recommended to have a wire gauge size at least 14 for an extension cord 50 feet length or less to prevent a drop in line voltage that may result in overheating or loss of power. It weighs 25.92 lbs. with dimensions 25.3″ x 18″ x 12.5″.

Working Mechanism – The only thing is that you have to purchase some heavy duty power extension cable (as it works with electricity) to use this device in your lawn. Push on the button given on the side of the device and just slightly pull it on the way you want to aerate and dethatch the lawn area. 


  • Suitable for medium to large sized lawns
  • Cost effective and time saving
  • No pollution (air or sound) which in turn improves the health and appearance of you and your lawn
  • Easy to use and highly effective (works like aerator and dethatcher)
  • 4 year warranty
  • Easy to assemble


  • Need to buy a power extension cable
  • Some users say that the handle will break after a few usages of this dethatcher (as it is made of plastic).

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2. Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator 6C

Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator 6C

Type – Manual Coring Aerator. The Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator is a manual lawn plug aerator and dethatcher that reduce the compaction and thatch of the soil and thereby let the air, water and fertilizers down to the root zone. Although, it works best for small lawn areas but it strengthens drought and heat tolerance in the turf. 

Body and Material – The heavy duty powder coated steel handheld lawn corer is built for a lifetime of use. It enables you to extract a 2 ½” x 3 ½” area to reduce the amount of soil compaction, encourages turf growth and promotes vigorous root growth. 37″ tool height is designed to reduce the back strain and thereby eases you to aerate the whole yard. It weighs 3.72 lbs. (lightweight) with dimensions of 1.8″ x 8.8″ x 36.5″.

Working Mechanism – Simply place your foot on the foot platform of this aerator and apply pressure to drive the aerator deep into the ground. It enables you to experience extra leverage as it takes off some of the pressure from the arms and shoulders. 


  • Easy to clean and store this light weighted aerator
  • Durable, safe and convenient product
  • Ease to use – no assembly required
  • Cost effective
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • More physical exertion and time consuming
  • Tines get clogged

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3. Sun Joe AJ801E 13 in. 12 Amp Electric Scarifier + Lawn Dethatcher

Sun Joe AJ801E 13 in. 12 Amp Electric Scarifier + Lawn Dethatcher

Type: Corded Electric. Let your lawn breath with this Sun Joe AJ801E electric scarifier and lawn dethatcher. It is powered by a robust 12A motor that make the dethatcher rakes a 12.6″ wide path in a single pass. This aerator comes with a scarifier and scraper which make you easier to reseed scraped areas of your lawn. 

Body and Material – There is a 5 position depth control knob that tailor the raking depth from –0.4″ (10 mm below the soil) to + 0.4″ (10 mm above the soil)  that depends on the lawn’s scarifying or dethatching needs. The spring steel tines works on air boost technology for maximum thatch pickup. It weighs 27 lbs. with dimensions of 21″ x 23″ x 41″.

Working Mechanism – This aerator / dethacter is very easy to assemble within a couple of minutes. It also contains a hatch bag to clean the area and collect the grass. This electric dethatcher Joe starts with the push of a button and gets its job done quickly without polluting the air with toxic carbon emissions. Use the scarified function to cut the grass roots for thicker growth and thereby healthy lawns. The detachable thatch collection bag makes it easy for grass disposal.


  • Picks up thatch efficiently
  • Suitable for larger lawns
  • Powerful engine and safe to use
  • Dethatcher and scarifier are easy to swap
  • ETL approved and comes with 2 year warranty


  • Changing the dethatcher for the scarifier requires a 10 mm wrench.

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4. Jumbo Varieties Lawn Aerator Shoes

Jumbo Varieties

Type – Spike Aerator Shoes. These Jumbo Varieties spike shoes suits perfectly for aerating small-sized lawn. They simply dig the ground to make sure that water, nutrients, and air will reach deep into the soil and thus keep the grass grow healthy.

Body and Material – The aerating sandals are made with a sturdy plastic base and have 26 industrial rust-proof stainless-steel spikes (of 2.2″) that allow you to reach deep-rooted soil. Additionally, the shoe has a non-slip durable metal buckle will ensure a tight fit to have a comfortable walk around the yard. It is lightweight (1.95 lbs.) to wear and aerate the lawn effectively. 

Working Mechanism – To offer a flawless experience, these grass aerating shoes comes with a fuss-free single strap design to ensure a tight fit and save your time. Its sturdy spikes will let you aerate effectively whereas its anti-slip metal buckle will prevent any messy accidents. All you need is to wear these spike shoes and start walking to make it more fertile.


  • Lightweight and Comfortable to wear 
  • 2″ spike will penetrate deep into soil /roots.
  • Made with a sturdy plastic base and heavy-duty spikes.
  • Offer a stainless-steel shovel for your gardening needs.
  • Smart one-strap design with non-slip metal buckle for a comfortable walk.
  • Aerate the lawn to reach air, water, and other nutrients into the soil.


  • Its strap design is not up to the mark. 
  • Soil and grass get attached to the shoe’s bottom and makes you unable to walk properly.
  • Time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

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5. Abco Tech Lawn Aerator Shoes

Abco Tech Lawn Aerator

Type – Aerator spike Shoes. The Abco Tech lawn aerator spike shoes are suitable for small sized yard with its professional grade aeration. These shoes look simply like a sandal but have spikes that dig the ground to reduce compact on the soil’s surface. It makes you to reach the most difficult areas of your lawn. 

  • Material & Body – This abcosport lawn aerator shoes are made of a sturdy plastic base with an excellent heel support. It has 13 heavy duty metal with 48 mm spikes on each sandal. It also has 3 adjustable straps with strong buckles that are designed to be highly durable and anti – corrosive. It fits easily, stay firmly on the feet and hold the shoes tightly for proper functioning. The feature dimensions of this spike shoes are 11.8″ x 5″ with nail length of 2″ each and weighs 2.5 lbs.
  • Working Mechanism – Simply strap these shoes below your own shoes and tie the three straps. The sharp spikes of these shoes will effectively dig the soil as you walk to make it more fertile. It acts as an effective core aerator.
  • Installation – Abcosport aerator shoe yard tools will come with a free small wrench used to install it easily. Once it is done then you can simply strap it over any of your strong shoes. 
  • Time Saving – Wearing this lawn aerator spike shoes and walking around your lawn will save your time by performing both tasks of walking, mowing and aerating the lawn.
  • Cost Effective – Abcosport lawn aerator shoes are the best alternative over the professional lawn aerating tools that comes at an affordable price.
  • Longer Life – Buying these shoes are a one-time investment which goes for several cycles of yard aeration and also costs less for its maintenance. If maintained properly, then it even works for lifetime. 


  • Made of superior quality and risk free product
  • 2″ spike penetration that allows air, water, fertilizer and nutrients to seep into the roots. 
  • Comfort to wear and easy to assemble
  • Best alternative to many other machine aerators


  • If not adjusted properly then you feel slipping and may cause puncture to your shoes (thinner sole shoes). 
  • Time timing and requires physical exertion
  • Small straps which doesn’t suit for many people.

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6. Jumbo Varieties Lawn Aerator

Jumbo Varieties Lawn Aerator

Type – Spike Aerator Shoes. These Jumbo Varieties spike shoes suit perfectly to aerate the small-sized lawn. They dig the ground to ensure that air, nutrients, and water reach deep into the soil and thereby aid in the healthy growth of the grass.

Body and Material – The heavy-duty lawn aerating shoes are made with a sturdy plastic base with 26 industrial rust-proof stainless steel spikes of 2.2″ long that let you easily reach deep-rooted soil. With its non-slip durable metal buckle, the shoes fit tightly for a comfortable walk all around the yard. It is lighter weight at 1.95 lbs to wear and aerates the lawn properly to allow fertilizer, and rain to penetrate easily for green, healthy, thick lawns.

Working Mechanism – These grass aerating shoes are self-propelled that offer a flawless experience with their fuss-free dual strap design. Thus, it ensures a tight and comfortable fit and saves a lot of time and effort. Here, its sturdy spikes will allow you to aerate effectively, whereas its anti-slip metal buckle deters causing any messy accidents. So, wear the spike shoes and start walking around the lawn to make it more fertile. Also, a stainless steel shovel is provided along with the pack to remove the mud from the aeration spikes.


  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Spike of 2.2″ for deep penetration into roots/soil
  • Made with a sturdy plastic base and heavy-duty spikes
  • Offer a stainless-steel shovel for your gardening needs
  • Smart one-strap design with non-slip metal buckle for a comfortable walk
  • Aerate the lawn to reach the air, water, and other nutrients into the soil


  • Its strap design is not up to the mark
  • Attached grass and soil to the shoe’s bottom will make you unable to walk properly
  • Labor intensive and time-consuming.

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7. Agri Fab 45 – 0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator

Agri Fab 45 – 0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator

Type – Tow plug Aerator. This Agri Fab 48″ tow style plug aerator is suitable for medium or large sized lawn (or heavy compacted soil) which experiences heavy foot or transport traffic. It works well in bringing back life to the dry and hard soil by making it fertile.

Material and Body – The Agri – Fab plug aerator is designed and assembled in the U.S.A with some imported materials. It has a durable heavy gauge, rust proof steel deck and welded drawbar that are attached to ride-on mowers or tractors.  It has 48″ wide working width (has a weight tray of 175 lbs. capacity for increased soil penetration), 32 galvanized and sharpened plug coring knives with flat free transport tires. It weighs 86 lbs. with feature dimensions of 53″ x 17.5″ x 7″.

Working Mechanism – All you need is to attach this aerator to ride – on mowers or tractors and drive the on the lawn area. The eight spools of aerator knives will dig the ground to provide a high level aeration and dethatching performance. It has simple to use cantilever transport handle that allows you for easy raising and lowering.

Cost – This plug aerator is a bit pricier than some lawn aerators but works best for large sized lawns and has longer lifespan.


  • Strong, powerful and best tow plug aerator model
  • Heat treated aeration knives
  • Cantilever transport handle
  • Time saving
  • Suitable for land that has uneven terrain and heavy compacted soil.
  • 3 year limited consumer warranty is available for this product.
  • Works as a detacher by simply removing the layer of dead organic material build up on the lawn.
  • Universal Hitch


  • Assembly may take a little bit time – not like manual or spike aerator.
  • Hard to turn in tight corners

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8. Yard Butler M – 7C Lawn Spike Aerator

Yard Butler M – 7C Lawn Spike Aerator

Type: Manual Aerator. Is your lawn gasping for oxygen? Then simply use this yard butler spike aerator which has sharp spikes that easily slip into the ground to loosen the soil. The lawn receives the necessary hydration, air and nutrients by this aeration to stimulate the regrowth of the grass roots.

Body and Material – The four 3″ spikes are a heavy duty fork that will penetrate and loosen the compacted soil. It works in various conditions such as rocky lawns, highly compacted ground and sticky soil. It comes with dimensions of 37″ x 10″ x 1″ and weighs 2.25 lbs.

Working Mechanism – All you need is to exert the right amount of pressure by inserting the foot into the foot hole to dig your lawn. It has powder coated resin finish that makes it rust – resistant.

Less Cost – This china lawn spike aerator costs less when compared with other manual or expensive lawn aerators. It has a comfortable vinyl grip handle and works ideal for small lawns.


  • It comes with lifetime warranty and guarantee against any material or manufacturing defects.
  • Works well in rocky soil or the soil with high clay content. 
  • Easy to clean and store 
  • Low in maintenance and last for a longer time 
  • Durable and lightweight


  • Not suitable for aerating large areas of lawn
  • Soften the hard soil before aerating to prevent the breakage of spikes if used in densely compacted soil. 
  • Time consuming and labor intensive.

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9. Mantis 5222 Power Tiller Aerator

Mantis 5222 Power Tiller Aerator

Type – Aerator/Dethatcher attachment. The Mantis 5222 power tiller aerator is a perfect lawn tool to use in compact, clay soil. It is quite useful to maintain a green, healthy lawn. You get this tool comes in a combo pack to be used as a dethatcher and aerator.

Body Material – This aerator comes in a set of 4 tempered steel blades which help for proper punching of holes in the soil. It provides 60 strong, flexible spring steel picks that help to dethatch a 15″ swath in one pass to pull up weeds and thatch gently. This power tiller has dimensions of 15″ X 8″ X 9″ and weighs around 17.5 lbs.

Working Mechanism – Here the aerator digs into the soil and the dethatcher quickly removes thatch. So, you will get flexibility and the best performance from this combo to maintain a clean and healthy garden.

Time Saving – Performing both aerating and dethatching at a time will save a lot of time and aid in maintaining a healthy green lawn area. So, detach the lawn in fall and spring regularly before fertilizing and feeding.

Cost Effective – You will get both dethatcher and aerator at a single cost, which adds value to your product and make you feel like a cost-effective product.


  • Performs both aeration and dethatching
  • Dethatch a 15″ swath in a single stroke.
  • Offers a lifetime guarantee on tines and 2 years warranty on the product


  • Some people find it difficult to install
  • A bit difficult to handle this equipment and get proper balance upon its usage.

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Best Lawn Aerators – Buying Guide

To maintain lush and healthy landscapes or lawn, aerators are one of the important garden gear to invest. But with so many options, it can be quite a tenacious task to shortlist a single product. To help you out, we have provided information you should consider while purchasing the lawn aerator.

What is Lawn Aerator?

It is a simple device that brakes up the compacted soil and allows air, water, fertilizers and nutrients to flow to the roots and improve the growth of grass or trees.

Different types of Lawn Aerator

Based on their style and design, lawn aerators are categorized into four types – plug tow, spike tine, push style and spiker aerator shoes. We have shared detail information of these types below. Read thoroughly to understand which one suits you better.

1. Tow-Style Plug Aerator

Also known as tow-style core aerator, it is suitable for people with large lawns or multiple yards. They come in different sizes from 40″ to 48″. Heavy-duty steel is used for making these devices.  

A towing bar is provided along with this device – which is compatible with most of the tractors and ride-on motors. Some of these aerators also come with a tray that can hold around 150 to 175 lbs. of weight. Adding weight to this tray helps the aerator to reach deeply into the soil. This is suitable for severely compacted soil areas where aeration hasn’t been done for years.

They have large pneumatic wheels which makes them perfect for operating in uneven terrain and moist soil. Some of these aerators also come with dethatching process – which lets them dig 2.5″ to 3″ into ground and remove any plug of soil.

Using action handles, you can engage or disengage the tool from driver’s seat. Some of the aerators also let you adjust the height according to your lawn requirements.

2. Push-Style Roller Aerator

It looks like an old manual style roller lawnmower and suitable for small to medium-sized yards rather than large-sized lawns. It is made from tubular steel with two sturdy plastic wheels. It comes with a tray that contains steel sharp spikes to dig into the soil up to 1″ depth.

It is meant for a quick and easy tool for maintaining your lawn. So, they are not suitable for a heavy compacted soil or uneven terrain. These aerators are suitable for elders and people who want easy lawn maintenance tool.

3. Spike Aerator

It is also called as tine aerator or step aerator. Its design is much similar to a fork with 4 or 5 strokes which should be push down into the ground for loosening the compacted soil. While using the spike aerator, you have to place your foot on the foothold and push it down in order to reach deep into the ground. Then pull it out and repeat the same process throughout the lawn.

This aerator version is suitable for small lawn without any major landscaping issues. For large to medium sized yard, it is not suitable as it cannot handle the more effort.

4. Spike Core Aerator

This spike core aerator works well for an older lawn which is densely compacted soil and has a lot of debris and thatch. It looks like a garden fork with two sharp tines which measure around 9″ apart. They penetrate into densely compacted soil to remove 3″ cores of thatch. It also stimulates the grass root growth.

5. Spike Aerator Shoes

For people who need to mow large yards or gardens, spike aerator shoes are an affordable and reasonable choice. Though it feels a bit strange to use them at first, they provide straightforward and quick way of aerating the lawn.

To use the, you have to wear them just like shoes and use them to walk around doing your normal chores in the garden. Spikes present on the shoes are sharp so they will poke into the grass and soil. However, make sure to use them very carefully as the spikes are very sharp. Remember to keep them away from pets and children.

How to choose a Lawn Aerator?

In order to choose the best lawn aerator, you have to consider certain factors. We have mentioned them below for your reference.

1. Lawn Size

This the first and foremost factor to consider while purchasing a lawn aerator. People who have large or multiple land plots, we recommend to choose large aerator. Tow style aerator is capable of handling large yards which require more effort. For small lawns, aerator spike shoes and spike tine aerator are the right choice.

2. Width of the Blades

To spend less amount of time on lawn aeration, you have to choose the aerator blades with proper width. The width of the blades depends on the type of soil.  Check out how much area it can cover in a single pass. For example, an aerator with 4 feet width will aerate 33 percent more soil when compared with a unit measuring 3 feet wide aerator.

3. Knives

Some aerators have needles and while others have spikes to pierce the ground. Also, there are some other aerators that contain special knives to clean the old grass and weed. So, choose the best one based on your requirements.

4. Body Material

Lawn aerators are made up of either plastic or metal. Plastic ones are light in weight and corrosion free. But they are less durable and don’t last much long. Metal lawn aerators are strong, durable and last very long. But they are prone to corrosion.

5. Grass Collection Bag

Cutting and cleaning the lawn after aeration is tedious tasks. That is why, some people prefer to have a grass collecting bag. You can use the grass for making compost to use a fertilizer.

6. Ergonomic Handles

Whether you’re using manual, electric or petrol lawn aerators, ergonomics plays an important role in buying the aerators. The finish on the models should be smooth to avoid straining your back or getting blisters. The quality of the wheels and handles (well positioned) is essential for the overall durability of the product.

7. Price

We already know that lawn aerators are used twice or thrice a year so that wise decision is to buy pocket-friendly aerators. The size of the yard which has to be aerated will decide the type of aerator to be purchased and thereby its price. 

Usually, you can get aerator shoes for about $20 and it can be cleaned or stored quickly. Handheld manual aerators cost twice then the aerator shoes whereas the large aerators (lawn tractor or tow models) cost $150 to $200.

8. Warranty

Just like most of the garden equipment, this lawn aerator has warranty given by the manufacturer’s. Although they don’t cover any damages that caused to the equipment due to natural wear and tear or any user error. These aerators mostly come with 2-year warranty and thereby cover flaws in the manufacturing process or materials.

How to use a Lawn Aerator?

It depends on the type of lawn aerator you choose. However, the preparation method you have to do before aerating the land is similar no matter which lawn aerator you choose.

Ideal conditions to aerate make the whole difference to complete the task successfully. Poor ground conditions can make the aeration useless and damage the tool as well.

To aerate the soil properly, you have to mow the lawn as low as possible. It is better to complete this process before the day. Moist soil is the perfect condition to aerate the lawn. If the land is too wet, then it can become a messy job. Aerating wet soil will close the holes you made and air and water will not be able to get to the roots.

Aerating too dry soil is not recommended as it can cause the soil to crack. So, the soil has to be in moist conditions. A day or two after moderate rainfall is the perfect time to aerate. Or else, you can manually water the land and aerate in the coming days.

While aerating, take multiple passes over the area and concentrate more on areas where the soil is more compacted. If you are using a plug aerator, we recommend to wait for a couple of days until the plugs are dry completely. Then you can break them up either by hand or lawn mower. If the plugs are still present even after a week, then you have to rake the into the lawn. After that, you can mow, water and fertilize the lawn. And re-aerate the soil regular as required.

When does your lawn require Aeration?

The soil in your lawn will show some signs which indicate the need of aeration. We have provided some signs below for your reference.

  • Does your grass appear brittle, dull and lacks lush green color, even if you are watering regularly?
  • If your grass feels spongy then you press it down, then it means that there is an extra build-up of thatch. Just dethatching alone can cause stress to the lawns. So, aerating along with it is the best process.
  • If your lawn gets a lot of traffic like – kids/pets running around, cars or boat parked on the lawn, then soil gets compacted.
  • Did you purchase a newly constructed home? The top soil or grass can be stripped off and the soil may have compacted due to regular traffic of construction materials.
  • If you want to add sod in your lawn, we recommend to aerate the soil before doing it. Because, sod contains fine soil particles while existing ones can be a bit harder – causing a mismatch in the soil density. Aerating will help to blend the layers together which makes it easy for roots to establish.

Why is it important to use a Lawn Aerator?

We know that soil become dry and compact, particularly in the hot and humid climate which makes the soil unable to absorb air, water and other nutrients. To prevent this, it is important to use lawn aerator. Using this tool, gardener or landscaper can…

  • Alleviate the soil compaction, increases the uptake of oxygen, water and other nutrients.
  • Removes the build-up of organic debris on the soil’s surface.
  • Strengthens the roots of the grass and thereby it helps for proper and healthy growth of grass or plants.
  • Prevents water logging issues and removes patchy or bare grass along with making the land more fertile to reseed the lawn.
  • Create more heat and drought resistant lawn. It reduces the water runoff which is caused due to heavy rains.
  • Strengthen the roots of the trees, grass and shrubs.

How often should I re-aerate my lawn?

It is recommended to aerate the lawn for twice a year, especially for compacted soil or the soil with clay content to loosen the soil and make it absorb the water and nutrients. 

  • The best time to aerate the lawn is during the growing seasons (before seeding).
  • For warm – season grasses, aerate the lawn in late spring or early summer.
  • For cool – season grasses, aerate the lawn in early spring or early fall.

How to maintain a Lawn Aerator?

Maintenance is very essential to keep any equipment clean, safe and to ensure a long life span. At the end of the usage, clean the equipment thoroughly and apply oil all the metal parts lightly. Here are some tips that you have to follow after every usage of this lawn aerator to make it clean and durable.

  • Rinse dirt or mud off the lawn aerator by using garden hose
  • After finishing your work, remove any tiny soil cores that remain in the lawn aerator.
  • Whenever the plug points lose their edge then it has to be sharpened individually with a small grinder.
  • Oil the lawn spool, shaft and wheel hubs as needed to protect it for a longer time.

What to expect after aeration?

After completing the aeration process, the land may look at bit odd. Plugs of dark soil can be littering in the yard. But don’t worry, this is completely natural. After a few weeks, the plugs will break down and get mixed with the soil.

After a week of aeration, take peek inside the holes made by the aeration machine. If you see the growth of white roots, then it represents that oxygen, water and nutrients are reaching them properly.

Every time after you aerate, you may observe water retention increase in your lawn. Because – soil is now less compacted and land will take more water, resulting in healthier and luscious lawns.

Plug Aerators Vs Spike Aerators

While choosing an aerator, you have to decide whether you want to make indentation in the soil or to remove plug from the lawn.

Some landscapers believe that just spiking the soil isn’t effective – as the compacted soil will have nowhere to go and will only get compacted in another direction. The process of plugging will remove the soil cores, providing more room for soil to breathe. Some people find spike aerators effective while others like plug aerators. So, it all comes down to your preference.

If you are choosing plug aerator, go for a machine that takes out plugs of 3 inches deep and 0.5 inches wide. For optimal aeration, you should maintain 3-inches distance between the plugs.

One of the drawbacks users always complain about plug aerators is that – sometimes soil gets stuck in the hollow spikes. It has to be emptied out manually before using it again for plugging. This problem doesn’t occur with spike aerators.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which one is best – Hand Pushed or Tractor Powered?

We already discussed that for small sized yard, you can use the aerators that are designed manually (uses muscle power to operate) which are less expensive. Also, there are lawn tractors designed for large yards to clean and fertilize the soil.

2. Difference between Plug Aerator and Spike Aerator

Lawn aerator works by removing the plugs or cores of soil and creates opening in the soil with its spikes to make the land fertilize. Basically there are two types of aerators – plug aerator and spike aerator.

Plug / core aerator contains hollow metal tines that open up the holes, removes thatch and reduces compaction for better absorption of oxygen, water and other nutrients into the soil. It also removes cores of soil when it moved across the yard.
For best results in longer run, experts suggest us to use plug aerators. Spike aerators contain solid metal or plastic tines that used to puncture the ground. The wedge shaped tines are major drawback of these aerators why because they cause additional ground compaction in the area which is surrounding the punctures. Spike aerators vs. plug aerators – Spike aerator is used widely for seeding a brand new lawn but whereas for already established turf, plug or core aerators works well.
3. Is it best to aerate the lawn before seeding?

Yes, definitely it works best to aerate the lawn before overseeding why because aeration reduces the soil compaction, allows better absorption of moisture, air and other nutrients for root development and thereby helps for the healthy growth of the plants or grass.

4. Dethatching Vs Aerating?

Dethatching is used to remove a dead layer of roots and stems where as aerating helps to open up the hole in the land by using spikes or pulls soil cores. Although, they are used differently but serve for a similar purpose (allows oxygen, water and key nutrients to fertilize the soil).

5. Does mowing right after aeration is good for lawn?

The best time to mow the lawn is right before aerating but not after aerating. The reason is that mowing the lawn up to a height of 1.5″ to 2″ before aeration will make the land more fertile and thereby helps the grass to get recovered before going for another mow. Also, avoid rake after aerating the lawn to prevent the loss of soil microorganisms and organic matter.

6. How deep should I aerate the lawn?

It completely depends on the thickness of the thatch layer and the amount of soil compaction. In general, aerating to a depth of 2″ – 3″ is preferred for the thatch less than 1″ thick. If the lawns are heavily compacted or having a thick layer of thatch, then you can go for the depth of 4″– 6″ under the proper guidance of professional.

7. What will happen if I don’t aerate my lawn?

If you don’t aerate the land regularly then the soil becomes compacted and thus layers of debris will build up on the soil surface which in turn effects the movement (or absorption) of water, air, fertilizers and key nutrients into the roots. Finally, they will be less or poor growth of grass or plants in your lawn. So, remember to aerate your lawn regularly to reduce thatch layer and thereby loss of soil moisture.

8. What parameters I have to check before buying a lawn aerator?

Before buying a lawn aerator, you have to go through the soil type of lawn, size of the yard and price. We know that there is no use of purchasing an aerator rake for a big yard and gas powered lawn aerator for a small garden.

  • For small lawn with hard soil, manual aerator with wheels suits best.
  • For small lawn with light soil, lawn aerator rake will work best.
  • For big lawn with hard soil, use gas powered lawn aerator.
  • For big lawn with light soil, prefer electric lawn plug aerator.

Expert Advice

Although, all the products that are mentioned above will work best in aerating your lawn but here are some expert advice that help you in choosing the right product for your yard aeration.

For large lawn aeration – Use Greenworks 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher (or) Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp Lawn Aerator 

For small spaces – Use Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator ID – 6C

For medium sized lawns – Use Agri Fab 45 – 0299 48-inch Tow Style Plug Aerator


Aeration is the best practice to be performed once or twice a year to achieve a beautiful lush green lawns. So, choose the one that best suits for your lawn as per your requirements.

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