Aerate your lawn by choosing the appropriate machine, watering the grass, passing the machine over the compacted areas, and breaking up the plugs with a lawnmower once they are dry. Contrary to a popular myth, aerating the grass does not affect weed or crabgrass control.

  1. Choose the appropriate machine

    There are two basic types of lawn aerating machines. One has spikes that poke holes into the ground but tends to further compact the soil surrounding the holes. The preferred machine removes round plugs from the grass and leaves them on top of the lawn.

  2. Water the grass

    The day before aerating the lawn, turn on the irrigation system unless the lawn has received sufficient rain so the soil is moist enough to operate the machine.

  3. Pass the machine over compacted areas

    Run the machine over areas where compacted soil is making it difficult for the grass to grow. In areas of heavy compaction, pass the machine over the area several times. There is no need to aerate areas where the soil is not compacted and the grass is healthy.

  4. Break up the plugs

    After the plugs sit in the sun several days and harden, run a mower over the lawn to break them apart and spread the soil across the lawn.