Five Tools for Aerating Your Lawn

Give your soil some air and keep your grass healthy with these tools for aerating your lawn.
Related To:

Best performed lightly in spring or in fall, lawn aeration is necessary to relieve soil compaction and to allow air to circulate around the grass roots and at the base of the leaf blades. There are various tools that can be used to achieve this, from the simple garden fork to mechanical aerators that are ideal for use over large areas.

Fork

Soil compaction can be relieved by pushing the solid tines of a fork into the lawn down to a depth of about 3 inches (8 cm) and wiggling the fork slightly to widen the holes before continuing this process every 4 inches (10 cm).

Aerate Your Lawn

Aerate Your Lawn

Garden forks are handy tools for aerating lawns.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hollow tiner

This special tool is used in the same way as the fork and using the same spacing, but it has hollow tines, meaning that cores of soil are removed, which should be filled in with good quality top-dressing.

Scarifier

This tool removes leaves and any thatch at the base of the grass blades, allowing air to circulate and helping water and fertilizer to penetrate the root zone.

Using A Lawn Scarifier

Using A Lawn Scarifier

The lawn scarifier is a useful tool to have in lawn maintenance. This tool will rid a lawn of dead matter building up, such as moss, leaves, or thatch that will prevent proper nutrition and water from reaching the roots of the grass.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Spiked boots

Combine a stroll in the garden with aerating the lawn: these strap-on soles have long spikes on the underside that break up soil compaction as you walk.

Spiked Aerator Shoes

Spiked Aerator Shoes

A gardener uses spiked shoes to aerate a lawn.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Slitter

A useful aeration alternative, the slitter is run over the grass and its sharp blades penetrate through the turf. It lightly trims the grass roots, allowing air to enter the root

More: Tips for Watering and Feeding Your Lawn

Ahmed Hassan shares advice on keeping your lawn healthy.

Gardening Tips: Watering

Ahmed's simple test determines how much and how often to water your lawn.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Tips for Watering Lawns and Gardens

Without adequate water, plants will suffer and eventually die. Supplies can run short as rapidly growing plants draw up moisture from the soil. It's important to know what to water and how.

How to Fertilize Your Lawn and Garden

Learn how adding fertilizer can be beneficial, especially for fruits, veggies and container plants. Fertilizers can also help kick-start growth after planting and reinvigorate plants that have been pruned hard.

Fall Lawn Care: How to Repair After a Drought

Summer can leave lawns hard and patchy. Try these tips for improving a summer-damaged lawn. 

How to Plan a Landscape Design

Learn the four steps to creating a scale plan for your landscaping project.

Save with Duct Work and Maintenance

Follow these tips to maximize the performance and efficiency of your HVAC systems.

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.