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The term aerating your lawn can sometimes intimidate people and make them feel they can’t do it themselves. Well, if your lawn is small in size, you can actually do it yourself with a little time and & work.

In this post, we are going to cover how to aerate your lawn with no machines. In hopes that it makes you feel more confident in doing it yourself.

What Is Aerating Your Lawn?
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Aerating your lawn is how you loosen up the soil of your lawn by putting holes throughout it. This helps the grass to grow vigorously and reduce thatch, moss and other lawn problems.

It also helps when planting seeds so they settle deep into the soil and will get good root growth.

This could be done with a machine or with hand tools. Hand tools consist a hand

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aerator (which has a set of hollow holes that you push into the ground) & the others are spading forks and even aeration shoe soles you attach to your feet.
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When To Aerate Your Lawn

When you aerate your lawn it helps your lawn to get water & nutrients supplied to the roots better. If your soil becomes compacted, this could affect that process.

If you can’t push a screwdriver through your moistened soil, then it is probably time to consider aerating it. If you have a lawn that isn’t always trampled through, it probably will be okay being done every 2 to 3 years.

High traffic areas will most likely result in compacted turf & soil. In this case, it probably would be good to do once a year.

The area you live in also has something to do with it as far as what time of year to do it. Because of different climates call for different types of grass, you should aerate with warm-season grass (Bermuda, Carpet Grass, Centipede, St. Augustine & Zoysia) in the late spring. Cool-season grass (Bentgrass, Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye Grass) should be done in the fall.

Procedures of Aerating Your Lawn

Before starting you want to make sure the soil has the right moisture to it. If it is too wet or dry, you want to wait until it is right in between the two.

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This is determined by this example. Using a hand aerator, which has 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter tubes on it. Push the tubes through the soil. If the dirt sticks to the tubes then it is too wet. If it is powdery and fine or too difficult to push in it is too dry.

If it is too wet wait a few days and try it again. If it is too dry, water it normally for 2 to 3 days and try it again. The soil should be moist enough to go at least 4 inches in depth.

Once the soil is right, then rake up any heavy thatched area (dead grass, moss, and all other debris) and remove it from the lawn.

Now you want to push the tubes down through the soil at least 4 inches deep and pull it out. This will bring out cores of soil leaving your aeration holes. Do this every 4 to 6 inches through the area you are aerating.

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Leave the cores on the lawn and when finished, you want to take the back of the rake and break them down into the lawn area. But don’t remove them from the lawn.

If you want to overseed, this is the time to do it.

The other option is using a spading fork pushing it down about 4 inches and rocking it

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back & forth loosening the soil. You do this also about every 4 to 6 inches throughout the area you are aerating.

You have just aerated your lawn with no machines. It may have taken a little more work but you got it done.

Thank you for visiting and I hope this post helped someone today. If there is any tools or products you may need you can go to Old School Lawn Supplies on this site. Please leave any questions or comments in the comment section.

Please leave any questions or comments in the comment section.

8 Replies to “Aerate Your Lawn With No Machines”

  1. Hi Ronnie! Great information in your article. I did not know that this is such an important step in upkeeping my lawn. I do have a question about aerating. When would be the best time during the year to aerate your lawn in order to make sure my grass benefits from it? Thanks!

    1. Its going to depend on a if you are in a region where cool season grass or warm season grass is used. Cool season you want to do in the Fall & warm season you want to do in late Spring. I hope that helped.

  2. I’m trying to plant my own flowers and my front lawn is rougher than my back lawn (how convenient), and I definitely need to do this. I had been wondering what the name of that large fork tool was and now I know. Thanks so much for this guide!

    1. You are very welcome. When the tips help someone I feel I have done what I had planned to do. If your area is small, You won’t need the bulkier tools and it won’t take you so long either. Good luck with your plants this year. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Hi, Ronnie! Caring for a lawn can be a lot of work, and good tips like this are always appreciated.

    Aerating shoes, determining right moisture level, and how to deal with cores are all areas I didn’t know much about.

    I like the idea of doing this without machines.


    1. It can be. I’m glad that you got some good information out of this post. I am aware that a lot of people would have great yards if they only knew what to do. So I try to provide little tips that may help them solve a year after year problem. I get pleasure when someone finds something new out with these post. Thanks for visiting and come back anytime.

  4. I am so pleased I came across your post today Ronnie, as the weather is starting getting warmer – just about – here in UK, and you can start seeing your garden regaining life. It’s beautiful, but it means now is the time to roll up our sleeves and start working on it. And, particularly regarding our garden, it would have plenty of sun if it weren’t for massive trees surrounding it – we love our trees, but the persistent shade through most times of the year makes the lawn quite mossy. I have just seen from one of your pictures that there are ‘spikes’ you can attach to your shoes. I think they are probably the most practical solution for us to aerate our lawn before start scattering about a few seeds to replenish it.
    Thank you for the wonderful advice!!

    1. You are very welcome. And also, is heavy shaded areas when you cut you want to leave that area cut around an inch taller than the other areas. I’m so glad that you found this article helpful. Please visit again. Thanks.

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