How Much Does It Cost to Aerate a Lawn?

Typical Range:

$75 - $203

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,217 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated July 25, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The cost to aerate a lawn can range between $75 and $203, with an average cost of $138. Smaller yards may cost as low as $45, while big yards cost around $350. Lawn aeration removes plugs of soil from your yard, allowing for extra air and water flow—and a healthier yard as a whole.

Average cost to aerate a lawn is $140, ranging from $45 to $400

Lawn Aeration Cost Calculator

Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located?

Where are you located?

National Average $138
Typical Range $75 - $203
Low End - High End $45 - $400

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,217 HomeAdvisor members.

Lawn Aeration Cost Factors 

Aerating costs depend on a handful of variables, so keep the following in mind as you budget for your lawn aeration project.

Size

Lawn size is the main factor in determining the price of aeration. Often, lawn pros will charge a fixed rate for aeration for 5,000 or less, 10,000, or 20,000 square feet. Smaller lawn estimates are priced between $0.08 to $0.35 per square foot or based on a time estimate. The average lawn size is 10,000 square feet (slightly less than a quarter of an acre). If this size seems typical for your area, you might receive a flat-rate quote between $120 and $175

Some companies set a rate that covers up to 10,000 square feet, then charge extra for larger lawns. Many companies won’t price by the square foot for spaces that are larger than an acre. Expect to pay $480 to $650 for an acre of aeration.

Lawn Size (Square Feet) Lawn Size (Acres) Average Cost to Aerate
5,000 and under About 1/8 acre $65
10,000 About 1/4 acre $130
20,000 About 1/2 acre $260

Location 

Where you live can play a role in the cost to aerate a lawn, with aeration in rural areas generally costing less than in urban areas. Price differences boil down to the cost of living and the local taxes and labor fees.

Landscape Prep

Many aeration specialists will want to look at your lawn before giving you a price estimate to examine both the size and condition. If your yard needs significant preparation, such as raking, debris cleanup, or mowing, this can increase the cost by anywhere from $40 to $70 per hour in extra labor. The specialist might also recommend other services, such as overseeding and fertilizing, to work in tandem with the aeration. 

Aeration Method

The most common lawn aeration methods are spike aeration, liquid aeration, and core aeration. The method you choose could slightly impact the total price of your project. 

  • Liquid aeration: Expect to pay around $75 for liquid aeration for an average 10,000-square-foot lawn.

  • Spike aeration: Spike aeration falls in the middle of the price range at around $85.

  • Core aeration: Core aeration costs the most at around $200 on average.

Packages 

You can sign up for an inclusive lawn care package or add lawn aeration to an existing one, usually for a lower price than aeration alone. Depending on your lawn’s condition and local offers, signing up for twice-yearly aeration can save up to 20% on the service. Get a quote from a lawn aeration specialist near you to find ways to save.

Slope

Some aeration specialists choose to charge by the hour if there are noticeable slopes in the lawn, as steep slopes can make navigating an aerating machine take longer. 

Soil Type

Sandy soil will fall towards the lower end of the price range because spike aeration is a more popular option for this soil type. Loam or clay soil tends to require core aeration, which costs $0.15 to $0.20 per square foot more than spike aeration.

Find a Pro to Aerate Your Lawn Today
Get Quotes

Additional Lawn Aeration Costs

On top of the cost of aerating a lawn, your specialist might recommend additional services to give your yard the best chance of looking green and vibrant. These services can increase your total price anywhere from $150 to $7,000, depending on which you choose.

Overseeding 

Overseeding or reseeding costs anywhere between $400 and $1,500. This process promotes new plant growth and is most effective when combined with aerating. Ask your lawn care pro to quote the cost of aeration and overseeding.

Fertilizing 

Fertilizing costs between $50 and $150 for an average-sized lawn, though you may need to fertilize your yard several times per year. You’ll want to ensure that your lawn gets enough water when fertilizing. A new sprinkler system costs between $1,700 and $3,500 and will simplify watering your lawn on a schedule. 

Dethatching 

Power raking is an aggressive approach to clearing out thatch when it’s 1/2-inch thick. It costs $10 to $20 per 1,000 square feet to power rake. Dethatchers are less aggressive and are for thatch layers less than 1/2-inch thick. Expect to pay around $175 per hour for the price of dethatching.

Thatch is a layer of organic material (including dead grass) that accumulates between the grass and the top layer of soil. Grass roots grow into the thatch instead of the soil if this layer becomes too thick.

Mowing 

Lawn mowing prices are $50 to $200 on top of your aeration price. Smaller yards will fall towards the lower end of the price range, while larger lawns will fall towards the higher end.

Tree and Shrub Maintenance 

Add tree and shrub maintenance onto aeration for $75 to $1,500, depending on the complexity and size of your trees and shrubs. Tree trimming or removal costs $400 to $1,300 with lawn.

DIY Lawn Aeration Costs

It’s possible to rent a core aerator or buy spikes for spike aeration for $45 to $65 per hour. However, it takes a lot more time and potentially a lot more money to aerate on your own.

Lawn Aerator Rental Cost

Core aerator rentals are around $65 for four hours (the minimum amount of time you can rent one) or $100 per day, plus a $150 deposit. Picking up an aerator means you’ll also have to have a truck. If you live further from a home improvement store, this also cuts into your time.

DIY vs. Professional Lawn Service

Again, lawn aeration is typically priced at fixed rates, but sometimes lawn aeration is charged by the hour, usually with a 2-hour minimum. On average, rates range from $40 to $70 per hour.

It’s time-consuming to pick up, transport, and learn how to use a lawn aerator. Add on performing the aeration itself, and you’re at least looking at a half-day project. It’s cheaper per hour to hire a local lawn care pro to perform lawn aeration. Plus, working with pros ensures your lawn gets the best results.

FAQs

Is lawn aeration worth it?

Whether aeration is worth it depends on your climate and yard goals. Aeration creates a more breathable lawn and increases nutrient saturation. Aerating the lawn will also increase the amount of water the lawn can absorb, which eliminates standing water for pests to gather in.

At the same time, aeration can make your lawn vulnerable to weeds and dryness. For example, your pro may recommend not opening up a lawn during a drought, weed infestation, or extreme heat. Along those lines, avoid aerating before roots have developed in a newly grassed area. 

How often should a lawn be aerated? 

Most lawns need annual aeration. It’s good to have some thatch, but it's time to remove it when it gets close to a 1/2-inch or more. Lawns with lots of thatch (more than a 1/2 inch) will likely need it twice annually, at least for one to two years. You can likely skip a year of aeration if the soil isn't too compact and there's not much thatch.

How long does it take to aerate a lawn?

Lawn aeration takes around 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Smaller yards may take less time, while larger yards or yards that require more preparation could take up to two hours. 

When is the best time to aerate a lawn?

The best time to aerate a lawn depends on the type of grass you have and the climate. Aerate warm-season grasses in late spring and cool-season grasses in early spring or fall. Consult your lawn pro to find out if you have warm-season grass or cool-season grass.

Have Your Lawn Professionally Aerated
Talk to Pros