How to Aerate a Small Lawn

The secret to having a great looking lawn that will be the envy of your neighbours is to perform a task known as aeration. In simple terms this means getting air and moisture into your soil by creating a series of holes. These holes then allow your lawn and garden to breathe and grow healthy. Grass grows much healthier if it has proper access to air and moisture and the various nutrients that it can get from rainwater.


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    Know when to do it. This task just needs to be completed twice a year and it is best done in early Spring and early Autumn.
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    Get a garden fork and start poking your lawn. All you need is a simple garden fork and with that you are going to make a set of holes by pushing down through the lawn and into the soil below.
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    Make sure the ground is wet. This is best done after a shower of rain as this makes the ground much softer and easier to push through.
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    Starting in one corner, make your way across pushing the fork down into the garden every six inches (150mm) Then move backwards and forwards across your garden until the task has been completed.
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    Learn about alternatives. Some people prefer to purchase and use what are called garden aerator shoes. These are simply shoes with a set of spikes that attach to your own shoes and you simply walk backwards and forwards across your garden until the task is completed. This is a much faster way of doing the aeration.
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    Both of the methods described above are a good way of doing small gardens. However when you have a larger garden this would be very time consuming. In these cases there are different machines available that will help make the task much easier to do.


  • If using a machine to create the holes, then a great tip is to place a heavy block or a heavy weight on top of the barrel of the machine. This helps push the spikes deep down into the grass and create the right depth of hole.
  • Never try to complete garden aeration on hard or compacted soil as this will have no impact and may indeed tear the grass
  • If using the shoes make sure that the strap is made very secure as feedback from other users would suggest these have a tendency to slip off if not properly secured.


  • As with all machinery you need to take care as these machines have sharp spikes which can harm.
  • Never walk with aeration shoes on hard ground as this will damage the shoes and may also cause injury to the underneath part of the foot.

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Categories: Lawn Care