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Do I need to aerate my lawn?

Whether you are a lawn care connoisseur or a bewildered beginner, you may have heard about aeration and are wondering if it is needed to maintain green and healthier grass. So, should it be a regular part of your lawn regime? Let’s find out!

aerating a lawn using lawn aeration spiked shoes

Benefits of aerating your lawn

Grass needs three things to thrive: heat, light and water. When we water our grass, not only does it help the grass plant itself to grow, but it seeps into the soil to help the flow of nutrients around the root system. If our lawns get used a lot, the soil begins to compact, and this stops the flow of nutrients, water and oxygen and can cause your grass to turn yellow, stop growth completely or run the risk of flooding. The answer to this is to aerate your lawn, which will enable your grass seed to reap the benefits of watering!

When you aerate your lawn, you create pockets of air in the soil that help break up this compaction and allow nutrients, water, and oxygen to flow again, improving the health and overall look of your lawn. Essentially, you're allowing your lawn to ‘breathe’, which works wonders for how it looks in the long run.

Now you know the benefits, is aerating the lawn for you?


If you are as obsessed with your lawn as we are and want to ensure you are doing everything within your power to keep it looking its best, then aeration is something you will want to try! Aside from getting your tools in order (a garden fork or hollow tine aerator), aeration is free and is one of the best ways to improve the look of your lawn easily.

Even if your lawn doesn’t get a lot of use, your grass can still benefit from aeration, which is particularly useful if you have fine turf. Full fescue lawns that require a lot of care will need to be aerated as part of a regular lawn care regime to retain the ornamental lawn look and a green uniform colour. Most normal soil types and general-use lawns can get away with aerating once a year, but certain soils like clay will benefit greatly from regular aeration as they are more prone to compaction. Learn more in our guide on how to manage clay soils.


For many homeowners, aeration may not be top of your list when the sun finally shines in the UK and it's time to enjoy our gardens. Yet, all that play and heavy traffic can wreak havoc on your lawn, leaving it looking worse for wear.

There are ways to remedy this, such as overseeding and feeding your lawn to get it green and lush again, so aeration may not be required to get your lawn looking good again. However, both overseeding and feeding can be greatly helped by aerating your lawn. Aeration will allow your soil to take in the lawn food nutrients easier, and your soil won’t be as compacted, so your seed is more likely to take and establish quicker. So, no, you don’t need to aerate your lawn, but you should definitely consider it!

When should I aerate my lawn, and how often?

You can aerate your lawn throughout the sowing season, generally from March to February. However, the best times to aerate your lawn are when you plan to overseed, which most of us do in spring or autumn. If you overseed in spring and autumn, you should aim to aerate twice a year.

When overseeding, make sure to remove weeds and moss, scarify your lawn and then aerate before sowing seed and feeding. If you have a fine ornamental lawn, you may want to topdress your lawn after aeration. Not sure how to aerate your lawn? Find out below!

How should I aerate a lawn?

You can aerate your lawn using a garden fork or hollow-tine aerator. A hollow-tine aerator will be useful for larger areas, whereas a garden fork is perfect for smaller lawns. Both do the same job of creating holes in your lawn, although be aware that a hollow-tine aerator will create plugs of soil and grass on your lawn, so you will need to pick these up afterwards.

We have a full guide on how to aerate your lawn. To find out other ways to keep your lawn healthy and in good condition, follow our How to keep your lawn healthy guide!

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