How to aerate your lawn

How to aerate your lawn
How to aerate your lawn
Air pores in your soil help water to move more freely allowing the flow of nutrients as well as allowing oxygen in the air to aid root respiration. When you aerate your lawn, you are essentially helping your lawn 'breathe'.

If you have heavy or compacted soil it is helpful to aerate your soil, not only will this help your grass grow and prevents waterlogging and moss build up it will also allow the circulation of nutrients to keep your lawn in good general health. 

How to aerate your lawn

There are a few methods you can use depending on the size of the area. 

For a small to medium sized lawn

If your lawn is small to medium sized you may use the spiking, slitting or coring method.

How to aerate with a garden fork

  • Avoid aerating in very dry or very wet conditions.
  • Firmly spike the surface down to at least 30mm
  • Move the fork back and forward a little then pull out.
  • This cracks the soil a little and creates a hole in the soil to allow air in.

Doing this during the spring and autumn season has a good effect on the lawn.

How to aerate with a slitter

A slitter is a series of blades on a roller and can be push types or automated. These impact a greater area and are often quicker to use but may not be consistent in depth across the lawn.

  • Avoid aerating in very dry or very wet conditions.
  • Roll the slitter across your turf

For a large lawn

How to aerate with a corer

For large areas and heavily compacted soil, the best option is to hire a machine, a corer that will remove plugs of soil, usually 2 or 3 inches. These take a core of soil out of the ground which is usually only when the soil needs better aeration and drainage. The holes can be filled (topdressed) with sand to help water pass through the soil.

This method is typically used by groundsmen who need to improve their soil profile, so if you're not confident you can carry the work out you may wish to hire a professional.