This soil compaction means that air and water are not reaching the plant roots, stunting their growth or preventing them from growing as fast and as healthy they should. One of the solutions to fix this problem is through annual lawn aeration.
Warm season turf grasses should be aerated in mid-spring to summer, and never during dormant periods to avoid weed competition in the lawn. The type of aeration equipment can determine how effective the treatment will be. In general, turf responds best when core holes are close and deep.
Typical Costs for Lawn Aeration (Professional Services)
- Low-End Estimate: $30
- High-End Estimate: $150
Other Lawn Aeration Methods / Costs
- Rent a Core Aerator
Low-End Estimate: $50/day
High-End Estimate: $75/day
Check with the rental company to see if hourly, half-day, and weekend rates are available.
Consider renting a core aerator with your neighbors or friends to save on cost.
- Buy a Core Aerator
Low-End Estimate: $150
High-End Estimate: $2,000+
Core aerators are also called plug aerators, since they dig into the soil and pull out "plugs" of soil. This helps water and other nutrients reach the roots of the lawn.
These machines are the stand-alone type, as opposed to the kind that you attach to a riding mower or small tractor.
- Buy a Spike / Blade Aerator
Low-End Estimate: $80
High-End Estimate: $400
Spike/blade aerators are towed behind a riding mower or small tractor.
- Buy a Small Handheld Aerator
Low-End Estimate: $15
High-End Estimate: $120
- Buy a Pair of Lawn Aerator Sandals
Low-End Estimate: $8
High-End Estimate: $40
Consider using only for small problem areas as they simply stab the ground with spikes instead of loosening the soil by pulling out small plugs of dirt.
What to Expect from Lawn Aeration Companies
- Landscape companies will assess the size of the lawn, and then determine the slope and ease of access to price their services for you.
- They will inquire about the location of any underground sprinklers, marking them with small flags (if applicable).
- They will use either a power core aerator or a spike/blade aerator on the lawn, leaving behind small plugs of dirt that will break apart and disappear into the lawn after a few weeks.
- Some landscape companies will offer seeding and fertilization as part of the aeration cost.