The national average cost of lawn aeration is $145, with most American yards costing $75 to $225 to aerate. Since the average American yard is about 10,000 square feet, you should expect to pay about $0.01 per square foot for lawn aeration.
Lawn aeration pokes holes in the soil so your grass can consume more water, oxygen, and nutrients. It’s great for overall grass health, and the best time to get it done is during the peak of your grass’s growing season.
In this article:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average lawn aeration costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$145|
|Typical Price Range||$75 – $225|
|Extreme Low End Cost||$40|
|Extreme High End Cost||$420|
Yard size is the most significant contributing factor to aeration cost, so we based our prices on a typical American yard. The average U.S. yard size is 10,000 square feet, and most American yards are 5,000 to 20,000 square feet.
Lawn aeration cost estimator by size
When estimating lawn aeration cost, the most essential factor is yard size. The average American yard is about 10,000 square feet, and the average aeration cost is $145. That comes out to about $0.01 per square foot of lawn.
Many landscaping companies have flat rate price tiers for aerating typical-sized yards and charge by the acre for very large yards.
Typical American yard
The typical American yard is between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet. The table below is based on this size-range.
|Yard Size||Average overall cost|
If you have a typical American lawn, you can estimate your aeration cost by multiplying the square footage of your yard by $0.01. If you don’t know your yard size, you can either measure it or subtract the size of your house from your total property size.
Aeration Estimate = Square Footage of Yard * $0.01
Yard Size = Property Size – House Size
Although average square foot cost helps you estimate a price, most lawn care companies instead use price tiers.
Example price tiers:
- All yards under 5,000 square feet pay the same fee
- Yards 5,000 to 10,000 square feet pay the same fee
- Yards 10,000 to 20,000 square feet pay the same fee
Yards over an acre
Although most Americans have a yard well under an acre, that doesn’t apply to everyone. For example, the average homeowner in Vermont, Montana, or Mississippi has a yard over an acre, and these properties usually get priced differently than their smaller counterparts.
Yards over an acre cost slightly less to aerate per square foot (think of it like buying in bulk). The standard per acre fee is $565. Therefore, to estimate your aeration cost, multiply the size of your property (in acres) by $565.
Aeration Estimate = Yard Acreage * $565
Other factors that affect cost
Although yard size has the greatest impact on aeration cost, several other factors also influence the price.
Local cost of living
Prices vary depending on the local cost of living. Aeration and other lawn care services in rural areas are generally cheaper than in urban areas. For example, large metropolitan areas tend to have higher labor and materials costs. However, yards in metro areas are usually smaller, so they might be cheaper to aerate than a sprawling rural property.
Before aerating, you must clean and mow the lawn. Pros will charge more if they need to perform these additional lawn care services.
Lawn care prep may include:
- Removing debris
If your property has a steep incline, expect to pay more than average for lawn aeration. Sloped lawns take more time, so professionals will charge a premium.
Type of aeration
There are three main types of aeration. Please see the table below for the cost of each type.
|Aeration Type||Method||Typical Cost|
|Liquid aeration||A liquid solution aerates the lawn.||$75|
|Spike aeration||Solid tines poke holes in the soil.||$85|
|Core aeration||A core aerator pushes hollow tines into the ground.||$200|
Liquid aeration has the smallest upfront cost and requires the least physical work. What’s the catch? It’s not very effective. According to Colorado State University, no chemical compound can adequately aerate your lawn. They recommend physical methods (i.e., core or spike aeration).
Spike aeration costs more than liquid but less than core aeration and works best on sandy soil. Core aeration, although expensive, is best for loam or clay soil and is also recommended for compacted soil.
Several add-on services combine well with lawn aeration, and many companies have lawn care packages that offer discounts when services are purchased together. A total lawn care package is the best medicine for a healthy lawn.
As mentioned earlier, you must mow your lawn before aerating. The cost is minimal if you already have a lawn mower and do it yourself. However, many homeowners prefer to hire a professional lawn care company. Please see estimated costs in the table below.
|National Average Cost of Lawn Mowing||$60|
|Typical Price Range of Lawn Mowing||$40 – $80|
Please remember the average costs above are based on a typical size yard. So, if you have a very large yard, expect to pay more than the given range. People with tiny yards may pay less, but many lawn care crews charge a minimum amount to visit your property.
Also keep in mind that factors such as location, slope, and grass length can affect lawn mowing costs.
Overseeding is planting fresh grass seeds on top of your existing lawn. Doing so eliminates bare spots and keeps your grass healthy. Combining seeding with aeration maximizes results, so these services are often purchased together.
|National Average Cost of Overseeding||$1,100|
|Typical Price Range of Overseeding||$500 – $1,700|
|National Average Cost of Lawn Fertilization||$335|
|Typical Price Range of Lawn Fertilization||$120 – $480|
The prices above usually include three applications of fertilizer per year.
Thatch is a layer of organic matter that builds between grass and soil. A thick thatch layer can lead to grass discoloration, bare spots, and diseases. Dethatching removes this organic matter (e.g. dead grass and leaves), so your lawn can thrive. Dethatching typically costs $160 – $225.
|National Average Cost of Dethatching||$190|
|Typical Price Range of Dethatching||$160 – 225|
Cost of aerating your lawn DIY
Seemingly, liquid aeration is the cheapest and easiest DIY solution. You purchase a liquid and then apply it to your yard. But, as we already covered, liquid aeration isn’t adequate. Any time and money spent on liquid aeration is likely wasted. So, that leaves us with spike or core aeration.
Core aerators are expensive to buy, but you can rent them. Home Depot rents a PRO Aerator for $102 per day and a compact core aerator for $88 per day. Also expect to pay a $150 deposit when renting equipment.
If you choose spike aeration, there are affordable manual options. The gist of spike aeration is sticking spikes in the ground to create holes in the soil. So, any device with spikes, such as a pitchfork, will work. Of course, a fancy core aeration machine will be quicker and more effective, but a pitchfork is better than nothing (or liquid aeration treatments).
You can also purchase or rent devices designed for spike aeration.
DIY cost breakdown for aerator rentals
|Equipment||Typical cost per day|
|Core aeration rental||$100|
|Spike aeration rental||$55|
How to aerate your lawn DIY in 6 steps
Here are the six simple steps to aerate your lawn.
Step 1: Prep the yard
Your lawn should be mowed and free of leaves and other debris. In addition, place flags to mark sprinklers or lights that may get in the way.
Step 2: Water the lawn:
Water the lawn the day before you aerate or aerate the day after rain falls. You want the soil to be moist.
Step 3: Choose your equipment
Home improvement stores like Home Depot often rent and sell aeration equipment, but knowing which type you need is essential. Things to consider:
- Does your lawn require spike or core aeration?
- Do you want to aerate manually or with automatic equipment?
- What are your physical capabilities? (Some equipment requires greater strength and endurance)
Step 4: Read the instructions
After you select your equipment, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. If you aren’t provided with any, you can Google the manufacturer name + model number. You can also search YouTube and Amazon for video instructions and reviews.
Step 5: Aerate
The aeration process puts holes in the soil, allowing your grass to breathe. To aerate, pass an aerator machine over your lawn or poke spikes into the soil with a pitchfork or similar tool. Be sure to pay extra attention to high-traffic areas that may require more than one pass.
Step 6: Clean up
Put away the equipment, remove the flags, and complete any other required cleanup. If you choose core aeration, soil cores will be all over your lawn. You don’t have to remove the soil cores – they’ll break down into your soil over time and help your grass grow.
DIY cost vs. professional cost
DIY aeration takes a lot of time and energy, and renting the necessary equipment costs $55 – $100. Recall that the average cost of hiring a professional to aerate your lawn ranges from $75 – $225.
Aerators are often heavy, and you must push them around your property. Aerating a lawn with manual equipment is also hard labor and can take several hours or even days to complete. Cheaper aeration equipment may cost less than professional aeration, but is it worth the time and trouble – especially when you’re also sacrificing quality?
High-quality aerators may end up costing you more than a professional lawn crew. And an experienced pro with professional equipment will do a much better job than you would. We recommend hiring an experienced professional to optimize results while saving time and energy.
Cost of lawn aeration by location
Aeration prices vary depending on where you live. Local price factors include:
- Cost of living
- Average yard size
- Tax rates
- Soil type
Cost of living
What is the average cost of living in your town? If it is higher than the national average, expect to pay more. In contrast, areas with a low cost of living tend to have lower prices for lawn care services.
States with the lowest cost of living are:
States with the highest cost of living are:
- New York
Average yard size
Average yard size varies dramatically across the country. Although bigger yards cost more to aerate, there is often an inverse relationship between average yard size and cost of living.
For example, the average yard size in Mississippi is about five times the national average (55,000 square feet), but Mississippi also has the country’s lowest cost of living. Thus, aeration prices will still be reasonable.
On the other hand, you have Vermont. It is the state with the tenth highest cost of living and the largest average yard size (74,000 square feet). So lawn aeration in Vermont will probably cost you a pretty penny.
Each state has tax codes, and many local municipalities have additional taxes that can affect your total aeration cost.
States like Arkansas, Florida, and Maryland consider lawn care a taxable service. Therefore, the tax rates in each state affect the total cost you pay. Additionally, some cities, such as Miami, have their own sales tax that will be tacked on.
On the other hand, states like Tennessee, Utah, and North Dakota do not tax lawn care or landscaping services.
State and local income tax
Although income tax doesn’t impact your cost as directly as sales tax, it still influences prices. The more money the crew has to give the government, the more money they have to charge to make a profit.
States like Florida, Texas, and Tennessee don’t charge any income tax, while California, Hawaii, and New Jersey have the country’s highest state income tax rates. Additionally, cities like San Francisco and New York City have their own income tax that residents must also pay.
The type of soil in your local area also affects the cost of aeration services because it affects the type of aeration used on your lawn.
For example, yards in South Florida tend to contain sandy soil, and yards in central Mississippi have mostly clay. Spike aeration is cheaper than core aeration and is most successful in sandy soil. In contrast, clay soil requires core aeration, so homeowners in central Mississippi require a more expensive aeration method.
How often you should aerate depends on your type of soil and traffic volume. For example, high-traffic lawns and lawns with clay soil need aeration 1 – 2 times a year. On the other hand, once a year is enough for medium-traffic yards with loamy soil. Low-traffic yards with sandy soil only need aeration every 2 – 3 years.
Yes. If you care about your lawn’s health, aeration is worth it. Aeration improves lawn health by:
• Strengthening grassroots
• Loosening compact soil
• Allowing more nutrients to reach the grass
• Reducing your lawn’s need for fertilization, dethatching, and weed control
The best time to aerate your lawn is at the peak of your grass’s growing season:
• Cool-season grass: Early fall or early spring
• Warm-season grass: Late spring or early summer
Popular cool-season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and perennial ryegrass, and popular warm-season grasses include St. Augustinegrass, Zoysiagrass, and Bermudagrass.
If you want healthy green grass, you must keep up with maintenance, including lawn aeration. DIY methods are less effective and cost about the same as professional aeration. So instead, find a pro near you to aerate your lawn.
Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
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