How to Use a Lawn Aerator

What You'll Need
Lawn aerator
Water hose with light pressure nozzle
Grass seed

lawn aerator is a gardening tool that is used to aerate the soil in your liawn. The machine usually has spikes attached to a drum that create holes in the soil so that nutrients and water can better reach the roots of your grass. Aeration of the soil in your line also allows for slight shifting or movement in the soil which allows earthworms to make the soil more fertile. Using the tool is not difficult, and the simple step-by-step guide will show you how to use an aerator for your lawn.

(Note - Regardless of the type of lawn aerator you own (i.e. manual, gas powered or electric), the following guidelines can be used to properly aerate your lawn.)

Step 1 - Determine Best Time to Aerate

Before you begin using your lawn aerator to aerate the soil in your yard, you should first determine the best time of the year to do so. Depending on the type of grass in your yard, you will want to either use the lawn aerator in summer or fall. Cool season grasses are best aerated in early fall, and warm season varieties are usually aerated in the summer. If you're not sure about the type of grass that is in your yard, you should have someone from a local garden nursery center help you identify it. Take a few grass clippings and ask them what type of grass you have. Then you will know the best time to aerate your lawn.

Step 2 - Moisten the Grass

Lawn aeration is best performed when the grass is slightly damp or moist. Therefore, take a garden hose and spray nozzle that has a fine mist setting and water your lawn. Don't water it too much, but apply enough water that the soil is soft and damp. This will allow for easier use of your lawn aerator.

Step 3 - Guide the Aerator Across Lawn

Begin pushing the lawn aerator across your lawn. Push the aerator in straight lines that slightly overlap each new row. You use a lawn aerator much in the same way you would a standard hand-pushed lawn mower. Push the machine slowly so that it has time to actually puncture the surface of the ground and create the aeration holes.

Step 4 - Cross Lawn Again at Right Angle

Once you have gone over the entire surface area of your lawn with the lawn aerator, go to the adjacent side of your yard and begin pushing the machine again. This time, you will be pushing the line area in a direction that crisscrosses the path you created the first time. This will create many more aeration holes in your lawn and also allow for better seeding and watering.

Step 5 - Seed Your Lawn

If you're planning to seed your lawn, doing so immediately after aerating it is an excellent idea. In fact, if you seed your lawn right after you aerate it, you will notice that grass in those areas grows much faster and is much greener.