How to Aerate and Overseed Your Yard

diy lawn aerationAerating your own yard is one of the easiest and most rewarding DIY landscaping projects a homeowner can take on in the spring or fall! In fact, spending 2-4 hours in your yard this weekend, will give you the reward of a beautiful lawn for months and years to come!

When most people hear the word aerating, they get visions of beastly machines that are going to chop their yards into small chunks that you need to spend days cleaning up. Truth be known, if you just aerate and overseed your lawn two times a year, the work can be as easy as walking behind a machine and a spreader! If it still sounds like aerating your own yard is too much for you, get a free quote from a local landscaper to do it for you!

How to Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn!

In this DIY Review, we are going to Aerate and Over-seed Our Yard, we will be happy we did! In case you were wondering why you want to aerate your yard, the process is like opening the pores of your skin!

Tools & Supplies Needed to Aerate Lawn

In order to properly aerate and over seed your lawn you are going to need a few tools. If you have done yard-work over the years, you probably have most of them on hand already! For others, like the Core Aerator, you may have to rent.

  • Core Aerator Machine (Walk behind, or tow behind for power mowers)
  • Grass Seed & Possibly Fertilizer
  • Broadcast fertilizer and seed spreader
  • Leather Gloves and Eye Protection
  • Work Boots
  • Water Hose and Sprinkler
  • Lawn and Leaf Rake
  • Steel Rake (If you have hard soil)
  • Broom or Blower to Cleanup after

Step by Step Lawn Aeration

Preparation is key in aerating and reseeding your yard, since you want to be sure you don’t have to do much to it for the next few days!

  1. Start by Mowing Your Lawn to a slightly shorter length that usual. Catch or mulch the grass clippings.
  2. Rake all debris like leaves and twigs off your lawn
  3. Start the Core Aerator per the directions on the machine (or tow the core aerator behind your lawn tractor) and make sure you cover every section of your lawn. It does not hurt to aerate in two directions for heavily compacted soil, and may help!
  4. Immediately after Aerating, fill your spreader with your grass seed and spread the seed on lawn.
  5. Immediately after seeding, follow the fertilizer directions and spread a good starter fertilizer on the yard (10-10-10 is always safe)
  6. If you have bare spots, you may need to cover them with hay, or some other anti-erosion type mat, to avoid the seed running off when the yard is watered.
  7. Clean up all walkways and driveway, avoiding further walking on the yard.
  8. Run out the sprinkler and water the seed and fertilizer into the lawn.
  9. Water the lawn every day, heavy watering in the early morning (5-6am) and light watering in late afternoons (6-8pm), daily, for the next 7-14 days while the seed germinates.

Lawn Aeration Tips & Resources

  • If you need to rent a Core Aerator, talk to your neighbors and arrange for 3-4 to share the cost. Most rentals are just $30-$40 for a full day, so if you get 4 neighbors, you can save the full rental cost.
  • If you prefer to have it done by a Pro, get a free estimate from a landscaper in your area.
  • When you need to add gas to the powered core aerator, do it away from your lawn, and wipe away all drips. Gas drips will prevent growing.
  • If your yard has a lot of compacted soil, try watering the yard for 2-3 days BEFORE you begin aerating. It will soften the ground and allow the aerator to penetrate deeper.
  • If you are unsure of the type of grass seed to buy for your area, check the All About Lawns Grass Seed page. There is a brief overview on picking the perfect seed for your climate!
  • If you need more info on how to choose a grass seed, check the Yardener Grass Seed page, very thorough and detailed tips!

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