When to Aerate Your Lawn
The best time to aerate your lawn is during the growing season for your grass. Not all grasses grow at the same times during the year. Cool-season grasses such as fescue, bluegrass, and rye should be aerated anytime from August through October.
Warm-season grasses like Zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine should be aerated in the spring from April through June. After you aerate your lawn, apply a top dressing to add organic matter into the soil that will help nourish your grass.
Types of Lawn Aerators
There are two main types of rolling lawn aerators: spike aerators and core aerators.
As the name suggests, a spike aerator uses spikes fixed on a rolling drum to poke holes in the soil as the aerator is pushed or towed across the lawn.
A core aerator uses hollowed-out tines to pull out plugs of soil from the lawn, leaving two- to three-inch holes. Both types can be motorized, manually pushed, or towed. You can purchase an aerator or rent one at a home improvement store or garden center relatively inexpensively.
If a motorized lawn aerator too elaborate for your needs—maybe your yard is small, or you just want to aerate the trouble spots—here are five other aeration techniques can be used for smaller jobs and make this DIY task as easy as a stroll through your yard.