When to Aerate a Lawn

If you’re wondering when (and if) you should aerate your lawn, Speedy has all of the answers below.

Aerating your lawn penetrates the soil, and helps get nutrients, water, and air down into the roots, promoting grass growth.

It should ideally be done every early spring and autumn; this is when the soil is moist enough to be spiked, not too hard/frozen, and not too dry.

Spring will also see your grass begin to grow after winter, and autumn will be the last chance it gets to grow before becoming dormant.

Before you start, read our guide on how to use a lawn aerator first.

Then, try to remove as much debris from the grass as possible. You might need a lawn scarifier to get rid of lawn thatch or moss, and a leaf blower for removing dead leaves.

To aerate your lawn, you will need:

  • Lawn scarifier – this will remove dead thatch and moss from the grass surface, ensuring your grass is in good enough condition to work with
  • Lawn aerator – use a rolling lawn aerator for ease, or you can buy long aerator forks/forking sandals for smaller lawns
  • PPE – keep your feet protected when working with lawn tools by wearing safety boots, and you should also wear gloves and ear/eye protection
  • Grass feed (optional) – this can either be seed, or liquid mixed in a watering can. Use this to nourish the grass’ roots after aerating
  • Watering can – if you are aerating in summer when the ground is quite hard, water it before and after aerating to add moisture.


When Should I Aerate My Lawn?

As above, spring and autumn are the best times to aerate a lawn. So, in March, start thinking about preparing your lawn for the year ahead.

Then, in August to mid-October, consider a second aeration. Just beware of any upcoming frost, as you don’t want the soil to freeze after aerating. Avoid an autumn aeration if you are concerned that the soil won’t have time to recover.

Spike between 2 inches and 6 inches. You can disregard areas of your lawn if you feel they don’t need aerating, too, and just focus on compacted areas.

Shallow spiking can be done if you’re concerned that the lawn isn’t moist enough, but want to use grass seed or feed, or if you want to water your grass in preparation for deeper aeration in a few days.

It’s worth mentioning that if your lawn is in great condition, it doesn’t have to be aerated every year. Every three years or so will suffice. However, aerating your lawn won’t cause any damage.

As long as it is done at the correct time of year, and you leave it to rest for a few days afterwards, it will recover.

You can aerate as much as you like between March and October, however, just avoid very wet soil. Early summer aeration can help if the grass is looking a bit dry and you need to water the roots.

But this is just a guide; there are a few things to consider depending on your lawn type, too.


New lawns

If you’ve just had grass, put down, or are in a new build property, aerate your lawn more often, around once per month between spring and autumn.

The root system won’t be as mature, so this will help it develop and grow.


Clay soil

Lawns on clay soil or hard soil also have to be aerated more often, and definitely at least once per year. Otherwise, they’ll struggle to get water down into the roots.




Thank you for reading our Speedy Hire blog, we hope you found this guide on lawn aeration helpful.

When your grass is in good condition, it will need to be cut, so read our guide on how to mow your lawn to get prepared.

There are plenty more tips and how-to guides where this came from. Visit our Skills and Projects page for more.

You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project today and open a Speedy account online or in store for all your tool hire needs.


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