Lawn aeration is perhaps not the most well-known of lawn care activities, but it is extremely important and, if you own a lawn, you have probably heard about this activity.
Aeration and the right fertilizers keep lawns healthy and lush green all year round. Soils that are compacted and hard turn the lawn brown or yellow, while causing weed growth, and ultimately, damage. Aeration reduces compaction, oxidizes the soil and allows the roots to feed on the proper nutrients, and to be as vigorous as possible. The lawn aerator perforates the soil, creating small holes to allow air, water and other nutrients to circulate, resulting in a healthier lawn.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Lawn Aeration Service?
When talking about the lawn aeration costs, most of the professionals will charge a flat rate, per hour or per square foot. In the table below you will find the average cost of lawn aeration for 1/5 of an acre.
|Item||Unit Cost||Quantity||Line Cost|
|Flat rate: when dealing with small areas of an acre or even less, some providers offer a flat rate||$200 fee||1||$200|
|Square foot: charged per thousand square feet.||$20-$25 per 1,000 sq.ft.||8,712||$174.24-$217.80|
|Hourly||$18-$35 per hour||4||$72-$140|
There are many possible options for aerating the lawn yourself, but any option you choose, you will need a lawn aeration equipment. So, you will have to rent an aerator for a minimum of four hours for an average lawn and this will cost you anywhere between $50 and $95. Plus, you may be required to pay a deposit.
If you are living in an area where lawn aeration is required twice per year, it would be a good idea to purchase an aerator. Also, there are some options which can be added to lawnmowers. Any of these would cost around $200 or even more.
Besides the machinery, you will need other supplies for lawn aeration. These will include the seeds needed for the “overseeding process” which follows up aeration and helps to break up heavy soils or clay through introducing new grassroots. Also, you may need fertilizers. Expect ot pay around $160 or even more for an average lawn for both fertilizer and seeds.
In case you don’t have a truck large enough to hold the aerator at your disposal, be prepared to spend another $30 to $45 per day, depending on where you are living.
How to aerate a lawn by yourself?
For aeration, you can use both manual and electric tools. You can use a pivot-type aerator that will help you make small holes in the ground with a kind of solid tooth/pivot. Another type of aerator that you can use detaches a piece of grass and soil. The system used manages to make a pit a little deeper than the system presented previously. The disadvantage is that it involves more work and more effort and does not have as much coverage as the pivot aerator.
Manual aerators are efficient, but involve a lot of physical effort, especially if you have a generous lawn. In this case, the electric aerator is more suitable and, if you go over the costs and decide to choose such a tool, then you should really consider choosing a depth device.
If your lawn is prone to compaction and the development of a layer of organic residues, it would be best to use an aerator that pulls chunks out of the soil, rather than one that just lightly digs into the soil.
Why should you aerate your lawn?
Lawn care means proper mowing, regular irrigation, and timely fertilization with the right fertilizer. In order for the blades of grass to fully enjoy these cares, it is necessary that elements such as air, water, and fertilizers can reach the roots. This is exactly where the aeration process comes in: the soil is decompacted enough for the elements necessary for the development of the lawn to penetrate where they are needed.
Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a given space or volume, and this, along with the layer of dry grass clippings and organic debris, impedes the circulation of air, water, and nutrients in the soil.
When is lawn aeration necessary?
An optimal time for aeration is the period of lawn growth, i.e. autumn or early spring. Due to the active growth, the lawn will have time to recover before the change of season and the possibility of extreme environmental conditions, either with very high temperatures in the summer or very low temperatures during the winter.
Normally, a lawn is aerated only once a year, in the fall. If it is a garden that is used intensively during the year, then it is preferable to aerate it both in autumn and spring
Soil type also influences how often you need to aerate your lawn. Clay soil compacts more and faster than sandy or mixed soil, which leads to the need for regular biannual aeration.
Important things to consider
For successful aeration, there are some rules that you must take into account. The first is not to start work if there is a drought because you will do nothing but expose the grass root even more to the not very favorable environmental conditions.
Then, it is advisable to water the lawn a few days before aerating so that the soil is soft and moist. If it’s raining, then obviously there’s no point in watering.
Be very careful with the irrigation system. You don’t want to destroy it. First, because it costs you quite a lot to repair it, and then because there is a risk of flooding your lawn.
The torn pieces of soil must be left on the lawn. After the aeration is finished, it is important to water the lawn again and then apply nutrients to help the lawn recover.
Watering should be done about 3 days in the next two weeks after aeration because moist soil will favor germination. It wouldn’t hurt to add some humus after aerating and then apply a new layer of lawn seed.
Other cost considerations
In the table presented above the expenses with permits and taxes are not included.
When the lawn aeration is done, most of the providers will offer extra services at an additional cost. For example, they may provide lawn mowing at the cost of around $15, lawn fertilizing at the price of $180, and sprinkler installation at an average cost of $1,750.