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I will Approach you soon, Very well Explained, I was not sure before reading your content, which is about How to Aerate your lawn and why we must do it. really helpful thanks.


After Installing Artificial Grass, I am very happy because its maintenance is very cheap and it is also very inexpensive to apply at home or any residential places

Beryl Griffiths

How can I find a telephone number to invite someone to aeriate my lawn for me as I am in my late 80s and am not strong enough to do my own. Grateful to have your help and feedback.

@Chester Road, Southport. P49 7HD

Reply: We are too far away but try TruGreen or Greensleeves locally.

Karen streeter

I have hired an aerator and just realised I should have killed the Moss first! Can I still go ahead with mow, scarify, aeration and then put the 4 in 1 on? I would then follow this up with another scarify before putting seed down. Many thanks.

Reply: You can moss kill after scarifying if you need to. The moss will still die and the grasses take over, especially if you have over seeded.

Shah Mohammad Polash

Your information is really helpful. Last few day ago I buy a new brush cutter but I don't know how can maintain. After find your article your tips help me to maintain my brush cutter. I hope people who face this kind of problem they must visit your site.
Thanks for shearing this helpful information.


Has anyone used the liquid lawn aeration products that seem popular in the US?

I have very compacted soil and due to the location of our garden hiring heavy equipment isn't possible.

I was wondering whether liquid aeration to soften things up, before using a manual hollow tine aerator may be worth a shot?


How far apart should I fork the lawn please? Is it every 12 inches? Thanks

Reply: As close as you can would be the answer.



Interesting article thanks

Quick background before the question ... our rear lawn is basically on solid clay (not just clay soil, like you would make pots from!), it was a new build property so you can guess how much trouble the builder went to with the soil (it was left with a small amount of topsoil). I spend ages getting rid of buckets and buckets of stones etc and tried to rotavate (really difficult as the blades dug in and fired the machine forward!).

I forked in about 3m3 of compost plus a few bags I had into the top layer (lawn is c150m2).

Lawn is ok, bit uneven and not particularly uniform but much better than the neighbours that the builder turfed! My question is, assuming aeration would be of benefit, and hollow tang is the better method, would a machine work on this soil? I can hire a Camon LA20 Aerator reasonably but have doubts about core extraction. It can come with solid tangs but will that increase compaction? I have also read about liquid aeration but unsure if this (a) works and (b) should be in conjunction with coring.

I have used a top dressing of gypsum a while back but not sure if this soaks deep enough to make much of a difference. I do intend to topsoil dress the lawn also but, from all I read, it should aerate first.

Apologies for the rambling question ... hope it makes some sense, any advice very much appreciated.


Reply: Solid clay is a difficult one and it would be best to skim a depth off with a excavator and bring in some decent top soil. If the site floods, then there is a concept where air under high pressure is fired into the sub soil with a back filling to keep the holes open for drainage. You don't say that it floods. Otherwise, it is lots of organic top dressing and let the earthworms ameliorate this into the root zone for you over time.

Regular use of the Camon will help but with the deepest solid tine as the grass roots are really good at breaking up a clay soil. Using a hollow corer and actually extracting a core sounds a challenge but then you could ameliorate some organic matter into the core holes.

If you keep your grasses a little longer, this encourages deeper rooting grasses and a grass plant root can exert 10 x the pressure on a crack in the soil than the pressure in your car tyre.

Search this blog for 'How to renovate a lawn' for the method. You are managing to grow grass so building the root zone up a little to improve the levels with a more friable top dressing would give dividends.

If the clay soil is not pooling when it rains and the rain is managing to get through the profile then it cannot be clay capped. You will get quite a lot of Earthworm casts, treatable with CastClear.

Hope this helps. Mike

Alex Mauchline.

What is the setting on a 17 inch Expert for the slitting aerator?

Reply - refer to the manual probably?


If I use a mechanical aerator and it leaves a mess of dead grass ATC. Can I use the mower to hoover it up or will it compact the slits again? If not what is the best way to clean up and leave it looking half decent?

Reply: A blower or leaf blower can be used to collect the debris so long as it is not too bulky. Use a mower to collect the final scraggy bits and trim the lawn ahead of the next stage.

electric fertilizer spreader

Excellent article! This is is great guide on how to aerate your lawn properly. Goes to show that a beautiful lawn does not come without some effort. So make sure you know how to aerate to better take care of your turf/lawn. Thanks for sharing!

electric fertilizer spreader

Reply - thank you. Tell your friends!


Are shoe aerators any good?

Reply - they are tricky to use and you feel a bit of an idion stomping over the lawn in my view but for small areas, ideal and better than nothing!


hi, on new lawn can you lay cores from another source, if so would you roll them in or just leave them on top of the soil. thanks Richard

Reply: Sorry, but this question is not making a lot of sense! Do ytou mean Turves from a different source?

Evan Hog

Never thought or even heard about the term "aerating the lawn". I have religiously watered and sprinkled fertilizers though. Your entire write-up makes complete sense, as you have scientifically explained the reasons behind it. Better informed now and hopefully will get better results with my lawn.


Our lawn is on sandy soil in Norfolk. There is a lot of thatch despite regular scarification ie twice a year. It feels spongey with a lot of moss. I have aerated it with a garden fork. It has been weeded and fed regularly too. It looks awful as it has gone brown already this year with only a couple of hot dry days. Final blow today after a day of rain there are approx a dozen ant nests with the fine nest soil mounded everywhere. I despair. Should we take it up and start again or lay it to shingle - I am that fed up with it!

Reply - search the blog for 'How to renovate a lawn' to come up with the flow chart of what to do. If you sink when you walk on the lawn, you need to reduce the volume of the vegetation then renovate the lawn.

Gary brereton

Hello, how do get decent grass under three large beech trees, presently it rubbish and I have seeded twice.

Northern Ireland

Reply - Keep over seeding it as it is often the drip, drip of water off the tree that literally wears the grass out underneath not always the shade etc. Spread some recycled 0-10mm compost / soil conditioner to put some goodness back into the soil and over seed it and keep it well fed. NEver mow it low. Once you get some grass growing, over sow it again as the grasses present will help new seed to establish by protecting it. Or give up and plant some grond cover plants.

Kathy Sodeau

Good morning, I wonder if you could help us please. In our new house we had an in/out driveway with grass either side of this. The drive is compacted hardcore and shingle. Everything had been neglected for 2/3 years and therefore the drive had quite a bit of grass growing through. Half the drive we have cleared as much shingle away as possible, put some top soil down and grass seed. It isn't too bad but it does need a lot of encouragement. Would more top soil help or is it just a question of feeding it. We have very poorly drained soil in rather wet conditions so it will never look much. Moss has taken over majority of the garden at the moment. Anyway, thank you. Kathy

Reply: Best to fertilise it as there will not be a lot of goodness in the rootzone. See fertiliser products in also poultry pellets or recycled compost is rich in organic matter and humus which will get it all going. Also over seed it if bare.

Ronald Swanson

I had no idea that exposing soil to oxygen could help improve the quality of your lawn. I was always confused as a kid, as to what all the dirt clods were on the lawn, and why adults would poke holes in the grass. Now I understand that it really does help with a variety of things. Like you listed, it not only helps nutrients uptake, but it improves drainage. This is especially helpful for me because I live in an area that is easily flooded.

Bruce south

Is aerating lawns with a fork ok at this time of year ie start of October. Should I also use sand in the holes and if so what type. Thank you

Reply: You can aerate monthly should you wish. If you want to aid water percolation back filling with a sharp sand or grit would be ideal.

Soluri Mccorkle

I found this post very worthwhile for me. Thanks so much for giving me ideas on how to aerate our lawn.I did really enjoy following the above steps mentioned. And now, I know the advantage of doing this.

Reply: thank you, we are pleased you found this site of benefit


I have been aerated my lawn with a fork annually, hoping to relieve compaction and increase drainage. This doesn't seem to be working, in fact I can see no improvement to compaction, drainage or the grass. The soil type is deep heavy clay.
I noticed that my local council, at a nearby park seem to have given up their aerating policy, although still scarifying, in lieu of aerating, annually in December, spread course, sharp horticultural sand at a high spread rate of around 5lts per square metre or more, sufficient to almost cause surface obliteration, spread on winter height lawns. The quality of their lawns is high.
I wondered if this is a more modern approach to dealing with issues of increasing drainage and aeration, in heavy clay conditions? Is it worthwhile giving this idea a go?

Reply - Take a look at this article - it seems a bit crude but it really works!

Carol Cooperman

Using mealworms or earthworms for my sad Bermuda lawn sounds really appealing. Do you have any advise or comments of any kind about this?
I would appreciate hearing them.

Mrs. C.


Can you tell me the benefits of manually sanding a waterlogged playing surface (wheelbarrow, shovel and 3 ton of sports sand) It's a council run rugby pitch which is ridiculously over used in all types of weather, there is lots of good grass coverage left but down the flanks are trashed, we load our barrows up, get on the field and throw sand over the bare and boggy bits.

Reply - aeration is the key, surface and deeper types. Sand only soaks up the surface water. The council need to get it verti drained (deep aerator) and over sown with grassed. Spreading sand is a short term fix for their lack of maintenance sadly.


Our groundsman keeps throwing sand on the boggy goalmouths, all it does it make a sandy, boggy mess, will this kill the grass, cos it seems to be taking an age to dry out and no football can be played.

Reply - sand is a quick fix to soak up the water. Deep aeration in and out of the season is the key to getting the water away. If you dig down in the boggy area, the water retention will only be a few inches in the surface. Use of a garden fork for locolised deep hand aeration is good too, as is trying to retain the grass.

Jake Gartner

Thanks for sharing this. Compaction is a serious issue that many people choose to ignore. It's a shame because usually they end up costing themselves an arm and a leg reseeding their entire lawn when all they needed was an aeration.

Thank you!

terry bandy

This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!


I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now ;)


Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustments would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. With thanks

Reply - It is a customer theme and we purchased the artwork.

Hubert OKeeffe

i am an amateur greenkeeper. Is it recommended to use a moss killer fertilizer 2 weeks before hollow tining greens and also should i use fertilzer (autumn type)afterwards ( 2 weeks later) thank you.

Reply - Kill any weeds and moss, leave two weeks then scarify, aerate, over seed and fertilise and top dress.


I have recently re-levelled our back garden (250sqm)using a 3.5 tonne digger and a rotavator. I then subsequently went on holiday allowing time for settling. As a "favour" my father in law cracked on with laying turf to the whole lawn in my absence. Whilst beautifully level I am concerned that the lack of preparation to the soil before laying the turf has led to a significant amount of bleaching in the grass. I am now frequently irrigating and wonder whether a mechanical combi scarifier/aerator would be appropriate. I will wait until the passing of the current hot spell before using it. Your advice would be appreciated. Many thanks, Michael

Reply - see the blog post New Turf Dilemma

Chris Wall

I am having a problem with a fellow thats complaining that I didn't do a good job aerating his lawn. He didn't see it until 2 weeks after it was done. How long does it take for the aeration to disappear?

Reply - until it rains usually.

Gloria Davies


I have just removed hundreds of dandelions with often 4 to 6" roots all by hand using a screw driver it was very very slow. I now have plenty of holes in the grass. I note you comments to fill any patches or holes in the lawn with sand followed by grass seed. From that I am to believe this will replace the Dandelions and the lawn will begin to breath again?

Many thanks.

Gloria Davies

Reply - Soil and seed. Not sand. Use Evergreen Lawn Dressing or your own sifted compost. The material has to be light enough for the grass seed to grow through. Sand in a hole will be too heavy and cap over.

Gavin LeClarspe

Is it OK to aerate the the lawn during spring & should I water the lawn before doing so?

Reply - do it all year around unless it is really hot and sunny


I have over looked aerating my lawn for years. My wife started to do it around 6 months ago and we noticed a massive difference in the roots of our plants. To anyone that is sceptical, I'd say give it a go... You may be surprised as to how much it can help!

Steve Lodge

I want to aerate lawn with a flat blade tine rotary machine, is it too late? With slightly warmer temperatures I'm worried the new grass 'shoots' are growing already and they will be cut off.
Steve Lodge in Ipswich

Reply - It would be fine to aerate your lawn now.

Joanna Northover

I have a large south-east facing lawn (approx 40' x 20') in Somerset, much of which is fairly spongy with moss, to 'sort out' this spring! Your website is comprehensive in detail but alas, as a novice gardener, I remain a little confused! By hand, I plan to scarify (spring-tine rake) and aerate (manual hollow-tine aerator). Now late March, the grass is not long enough to mow at present prior to scarification/aeration. With a lost of rain past and due, and some mornings still frosty, I am wondering when I can crack on with the work. Some days, it's very cold/windy and the ground is hard early in the day and so, presumably wet underneath) but the grass is reasonably dry. Can I scarify in these conditions without causing damage? Thank you in advance for your help, Joanna

Reply - read the article How to Renovate your Lawn as it will give the flow chart to follow.

Lorraine and Carl


We had a new turfed lawn at the rear of our house around 4 years ago. The first 2 years we fed and looked after the lawn really well, it was always lovely lush and green. We carried out the same the last 2 years, but noticed dry straw looking patches. The lawn was still green around these areas, not it seems the straw looking grass is taking over the whole lawn. Now winter is setting in, looking through our top window. Our lawn looks awful, all other neighbours look green. We have no pets, we have tried our best, really worried its going to look really bad next summer. Love a nice lawn and its only a small lawn.
Please can you give me some info on what you think as happened.
Lorraine Gee

Reply - It sounds like Red Thread to us! If the areas are dry underneath is may be Dry Patch. If you can lift the turf in the affected areas do you have Lawn Pest Larvae?


Hello Our garden is very wet and soggy. We have slimey slippery mold spreading on the garden. Please would be grateful of some advice to get rid of this slime. Never had it before, this is the first year. Thanks Alma

Reply - Try The Lawn Shop. 'Mossguard' product in the hard surface moss removal category. Nothing like it!


I have a very wet lawn that Feels very spongy.
I have dug some trial holes to see if I have a high water table and it appears not. So I then filled the hole with water and the drainage is poor.
The soil is clay.
Will aerating the lawn with mechanical aerator help or do I need to lay French drains?
I would rather aerate !!!

Answer - See our post on Lawn Drainage in response to this question.

Lee Wood


I recently laid new turf to my lawn back in September. Over the winter I built a shed and have walked over the grass many times. My grass now has patches of areas that don't seem to want to grow, should I aerate the lawn and hope it begins to grow again? I don't want to add new seed as the turf was of good quality.

Reply - Tpye in the keywords of Dry Patch and Wetting Agents. If the soil is moist in the bare areas, over seed the areas and try and change your walkway to help it recover!

steve sargison

We have a very soft and sponge like lawn, I have used a fork with 6/7 in spikes and can very easy push all the way down into the lawn with ease. The soil is very clay like and wet is it best to hollow-tine aeration the lawn?

Reply - solid tine or hollow and try and get some organic matter down the holes like recycled compost or something like Miracle Grow Lawn Dressing or equally sharp washed sand to ameliorate the clay soil with a different soil that will aid soil texture improvement. Grass roots make good aerators so feed the lawn too to encourage deeper roots.

Mike Nicholas

I think this time of the year (fall) is the best time to aerate right before winter. I like to overseed at the same time.
I believe that some seeds make it into the holes in the ground and don't get washed away if it rains heavily.

Here's a youtube video I posted of the aerator that I built from stuff laying around my garage. I think it works pretty well considering I probably only invested about $16 in making it.

Reply - excellant and thanks!

Matt Taylor

Hi, I am in desperate need of advice on my lawn.My lawn is aprox 40 feet long by 20 feet wide, it is level for 3/4 of its lengh and then slopes off fairly steep. on the slope it is wet,so much so I have marsh marrigolods growing in it! on the flat the grass is very slow growing if at all. The ground is absolutly rock hard, I weigh 15 stone and I have to jump on my fork several times to get it in. Also if I were to rake out all the moss ect I would vertualy have no lawn at all! so I ask, do I aerate it? or digg it over and start again? I am in the north west UK.

Reply - Matt, the fact that the ground hard might be due to the lack of rain. Go to the search facility and type lawn renovation. The technical post that comes up starting 'I am often asked...' will outline the renovation process flow chart that you need to follow to get your lawn back in shape. Kill the moss and weeds as you do not need them, only grass and be cruel to be kind! Also look at the Dry Patch technical leaflet. Hiring a Kango from the hire shop and making holes every half metre and back filling with pea gravel almost to the top provides some severe aeration especially to catch water at the bottom of a slope. Groundsmen will always fertilise poor turf just to see what they have left to play with too. Hope this helps. The aim is to turn the lawns to only have grass in them.

Your help and advise would be much appriciated.
many thanks

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