Common Lawn Aeration Mistakes You Should Avoid

Spike lawn shoes

Every homeowner wants a well-maintained lawn because it improves curb appeal and increases property value. However, many homeowners end up causing more harm than good by doing a poor job of lawn aeration. Unawareness of the importance of lawn aeration leads to many common errors in this process. 

When done correctly, lawn aeration can profoundly affect soil health by providing necessary oxygen to roots.

However, when done incorrectly, the process can worsen an unhealthy lawn. It can have adverse effects on your lawn’s health. And may lead to brown patches, dead grass stalks, and the spreading of diseases. 

Some common aeration mistakes are not making deep enough cuts with the aerator tines, applying the wrong type of fertilizer after aeration, and using too much water on areas that have been resodded.

Many people are unaware of these common mistakes made when performing lawn aeration. You should know these mistakes in order to avoid them when performing this task.

What is Lawn Aeration?

Lawn Aeration is the process of taking a hollow tine or core aerator to remove small plugs of soil. The plugs are then left on the lawn to be displaced by rain and wind. 

The process refreshes the soil and helps it drain better. This will help prevent problems like water logging, poor infill, thatch buildup, and soil compaction. It also stimulates deep-rooted grasses by aiding in natural root growth.

This process loosens compacted soil, allowing for more accessible water, oxygen, and fertilizer penetration. Lawns suffer from compaction resulting in less air, water, and nutrients. 

Aeration is done with either an aerator machine or by hand with an aerator tool. The slots created by the aerator help break up the air pockets in the soil so that they can be more easily penetrated with water, oxygen, and fertilizer.

Common Lawn Aeration Mistakes and Its Solution

Mistake 1: Choosing between a liquid or spike aeration.

Spike or liquid aeration is not an excellent solution unless the space you’re aiming to aerate is small (like a small garden small). Spike aeration is exactly what it sounds like: manually punching holes in the ground with spiked shoes or a spiked device.

Furthermore, this type of aeration has been proven unsuccessful and can cause your grass to get even more compacted and stressed. If you’re thinking of using liquid aeration, you should reconsider.

In fact, there is no such evidence that this “shortcut” aeration approach is effective in removing compacted soil.

Solution: Core aeration is the best option for the majority of yards.

Practically, core aeration is the best way to go for all lawn care professionals. An aerator machine (similar to a lawnmower) is pushed through the grass for core aeration.

The aerator rips out thumb-sized cores of soil and grass, which are then left to deteriorate on the surface as the aerator moves.

The practice of drilling holes the size of a core has a lot of advantages for your soil, roots, and grass health. Over time, the cores left on the grass also decompose, supplying nutrients to the ground below.

It is without a doubt the most effective method for aerating a lawn.

Mistake 2: Aerating in the wrong season (summer or winter)

Aerating in the summer heat and dry circumstances is one of the most common beginner mistakes. In hot or dry conditions, you should never aerate.

To swiftly fill in those core holes and encourage root and grass development, your lawn requires milder temperatures and more rainfall.

If you aerate during a difficult season, this treatment will most likely add to your tension.

Solution: Best Season to Aerate (Spring and Autumn)

If your grass grows on clay soils that are easily compacted, aerating twice a year is a terrific approach to maintain it healthy. What are the appropriate times? Autumn and spring!

During the growing season, aerating in the spring fosters thick growth. Autumn’s chilly weather and heavy rain make it a great time to aerate once more.

Aeration in the fall aids in the speedier recovery of your grass from summer stress, as well as its toughening up before winter hibernation.

Mistake 3: Equipment mishandling and poor application

The last thing you want to deal with is a human error after you’ve paid the money, hired the machine, and loaded and unloaded that heavy equipment. It’s critical to understand how to operate aeration equipment to ensure your safety and achieve your desired healthy lawn results.

Aerating your yard in the incorrect way or at the wrong time can cause it to become more stressed. Not only does this exacerbate soil compaction, but it also has the potential to make your grass look and feel worse than it did before all your DIY aeration efforts.

Injuries caused by the machine’s weight, difficulties remaining in straight lines, missing places, insufficient moisture, and damage to sprinklers and subterranean connections are all common aerator blunders.

Solution: Do your research and read manuals beforehand 

Do your homework if you’re going to do your aeration, both for your own sake and for the sake of your grass! Be prepared by watching videos, reading articles, and asking experts questions.

If aerating is becoming too much for you to handle on your own, you’ll most likely need the help of an expert.

Mistake 4: Thinking aeration is easy to manage on your own.

The task of aeration is not one to be handled lightly. Take the time to learn everything there is to know about aerating on your own. It takes a lot of effort, time, and talent to aerate a room.

The required equipment is enormous, heavy, difficult to maneuver, and not the cheapest to hire. Start your research here to understand how to aerate your grass if you think you’re up to the task.

Solution: Hire an expert to handle the difficult task properly

Only lawn care specialists have the ability to know precisely when, where, and how to aerate grass. When all of the variables are taken into account, hiring a lawn care professional to aerate your grass is the only option that makes sense.

The easiest way to avoid all of these typical lawn aeration problems is to hire a professional to take care of your grass.

How often to aerate your lawn?

Once every one to three years is a usual recommendation. The details are primarily determined by the sort of soil you have. It is not necessary to aerate loose soil on a regular basis. It is essential to aerate thick, clay-like soil that easily holds water on a regular basis. 

Aerating more frequently may also be required for particularly dense grasses. “Too much of something” applies here since it’s best to avoid damaging your soil, but you shouldn’t need to do it more than once a year at any given moment.

How long does it take grass to recover from aeration?

Your grass will be put under a certain level of stress as a result of core aeration. It normally takes three or four weeks for your lawn to recover from this, so it’s crucial to do it perfectly the first time. Even if many homeowners do it every year, they don’t have to do it on a regular basis.

Depending on the conditions, it can take anywhere from two to four weeks for your new grass to begin to germinate.

Can you walk on the lawn after aeration?

You can’t walk on the lawn after aeration because the seeds and fertilizer need time to settle, and the soil could get too compact. Walking or mowing on a freshly-aerated lawn can prevent the seeds from sprouting and the soil from getting enough oxygen and nutrients.

Allowing your lawn to rest after it has been aerated will help it grow stronger and healthier. Reduce the amount of traffic on your lawn as much as possible, and if feasible, ask your children not to walk, run, or play on the grass. This will assist you in improving the condition of your yard so that your family can enjoy it in the future.

After they’ve aerated their lawn, many homeowners make the mistake of commencing other tasks like weeding or fertilizer after they’ve aerated it. This isn’t a good idea if you’re going to walk about your yard. Before moving on to other tasks, it’s best to rest the aerator holes.


Lawn aeration is a necessary process to ensure the health and beauty of your lawn. However, many people do not fully understand the process, leading to the potential for aeration errors. With the following tips, you should be able to avoid these mistakes and get the lawn aeration process right the first time. It’s never too late to start taking better care of your lawn.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post and that you found it useful.