How Long Does It Take to Aerate a Lawn?

A beautiful lawn is the envy of everyone in your neighborhood, but keeping it lush and green can be a challenge. One important part of maintaining a healthy lawn is aeration, which involves using specialized tools to make tiny holes in the soil. 

But how long does it take to aerate a lawn? Read on for the complete guide to aerating your lawn and everything you need to know. 

What Is Lawn Aeration? 

Lawn aeration is the process of making small holes in the soil of a lawn by using an aerator tool. These small holes are designed to allow oxygen, water, and other nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil, creating healthier grass and promoting root growth. 

It also helps reduce compaction, which can prevent water from draining properly from your grass and lead to unhealthy patches. 

How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn? 

The frequency with which you should aerate your lawn depends on several factors such as type of soil, type of grass, amount of traffic on your lawn, and local climate conditions. 

Generally speaking, you should aim to aerate your lawn at least once per year—ideally during late spring or early summer when the ground is moist and temperatures are milder. For heavy-traffic areas such as playgrounds or sports fields, more frequent aerations may be necessary. 

How Long Does It Take To Aerate A Lawn? 

The time required for aerating a lawn depends largely on the size of your yard and the type of equipment used (manual vs powered). For example, hand-operated core aerators are slow but effective; they can take several hours or even days depending on how large your yard is. 

On the other end of the spectrum are powered core aerators—these machines can cover much larger surface areas in much less time; however, they require more energy (in terms of manpower) than manual core aerators. 

As far as actual times go, it usually takes between two and four hours to successfully complete an entire job with a powered core aerator machine. 

DIY Tips for Aerating Your Lawn 

If you would rather do the job on your own, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Remember that aeration causes small cores of soil to come loose from your lawn, so it’s important to collect them and either compost them or dispose of them properly. 

You can speed up the aeration process by first watering your lawn to soften the ground, and mowing it down to about two inches. Finally, you should use the aerator tool in a crisscross pattern so that all parts of your lawn are evenly penetrated. 

How Can You Tell If Your Lawn Needs Aeration? 

The easiest way to tell if your lawn needs aeration is to simply walk across it. If you feel bumps or depressions in the ground, your lawn may be compacted and could benefit from aeration. You can also check for signs of disease or pests that might indicate a need for aeration, such as thinning grass, dead spots on your lawn, or moles burrowing near the surface. 

Contact your local lawn care professional if you notice any of these warning signs, and they can help determine whether aeration is right for your needs.  Moreover, aeration is not a one-time job—in fact, it’s very beneficial to continue aerating your lawn on an annual basis. 

By investing the time and energy into this process, you can enjoy a healthier and greener lawn for many years to come!

What to Expect After Aerating Your Lawn 

Once your lawn has been aerated, you may notice some small cores of soil on the surface. In most cases, these can be blasted away with a garden hose or simply raked up using a rake. 

You should also expect to see new growth in the areas where aeration occurred—in fact, this is a very good sign, as aeration can help promote the growth of your lawn’s root system. Finally, it’s important to continue providing proper care to your lawn in the weeks following aeration. 

This includes regular watering and mowing—both are key to helping your grass recover from the stress of aeration. 


Aerating your lawn is an important part of keeping it healthy and attractive all year round. Knowing how long it takes to properly aerate a lawn will help ensure that you do not rush through this important task—which could result in poor results and wasted time/energy! 

The answer really depends on factors like size/type of yard, type/quality of equipment used, etc., but generally speaking plan for between two and four hours when using powered core aerator machines. 

With proper planning & preparation though you’ll have that perfect green carpet in no time! Good luck!