Aeration: Lawn Aeration: What’s Your Budget?

Aeration: How Much Should You Spend?


April 19, 2022

As far as lawn maintenance goes, few jobs are as cost-effective as aeration. For such a low price, your lawn will get major benefits, and it’s one job that should be on your gardening calendar to complete at least once a year.

What does lawn aeration cost? Aerating your lawn by hand will only cost you the price of the tool you choose to use to do it, plus your labor efforts.

Otherwise, if you’d prefer to hire a professional gardener to aerate, this can cost between $25 and $400 depending on the size of your lawn and other factors.

Regular aeration is a maintenance procedure that ensures your lawn has the healthiest grass possible and keeps the roots strong, so it’s worth factoring into your gardening budget.

We’ll break down the costs of lawn aeration and show you how to calculate what you might pay a professional if you’d rather not do it yourself.

How Much Does DIY Aeration Cost?

How Much Does DIY Aeration Cost?

If you’re a serious gardener, you probably like to do all lawn maintenance jobs yourself, even if it means a lot of work. This usually equates to huge savings in costs, especially when machinery is involved, but for aeration, this isn’t always true.

The main cost of DIY lawn aeration comes from the tools you use to do the job, which usually involves a rolling aerator.

Rolling aerators start at around $100 and can cost over $500 for a larger and better-quality device, but if you have a smaller-sized lawn, it might not always be the most reasonable solution.

Another alternative and semi DIY solution might be liquid lawn aerators. Their cost isn’t prohibitively high but it does require a sprayer of some kind.

To save money on a DIY job, you can hire an aerator from your local gardening supply store, which usually costs less than $50.

The upside is you save money but the downside is the next time you go to aerate your lawn, you’ll have to pay these fees again. As a job that you do at least once a year, you might want to consider what the more economical option is.

Another major factor in any type of gardening work is how much labor you’ll put into it. to aerate an average-sized lawn and go over the grass with at least two passes, plus the preparation, fertilization, and watering, the entire job can take half a day, and that’s only if you have a regular-sized lawn.

Calculating Costs for Professional Aeration

Calculating Costs for Professional Aeration

The other option for lawn aeration is hiring a professional to do it, which can work out surprisingly cheap.

Some factors will impact the cost, of course, like lawn layout, size of lawn, condition of the grass, and what machinery and tools they use, so it’ll be calculated on a case-by-case basis.

If you do take the professional aeration route, there are some questions you can ask that will help you find the best priced service. Depending on the specifics of your lawn and these points, the cost can vary greatly, so find this out first:

  • Do they charge by the hour or set rates?: The two most common options for determining rates for gardening work are how much they charge by the hour versus charging a flat rate for the work done. Ask the gardening service how they usually calculate aeration so you can get a more accurate idea of the costs involved before you agree to the job.
  • What type of aeration is being done?: Core aeration is the most effective and most expensive type of aeration possible, ranging between $100 and $200 for an average-sized lawn because of the machinery required. Compare this to the roughly $50-$80 that spike aeration costs and you’ll see why it delivers better results.
  • Are you having additional services done?: If your garden needs a total makeover, you might be able to save costs by bundling other services in with your aeration. Along with this important job, you might also want to consider reseeding, fertilization, dethatching, and more. Speak to the landscaping service to see what they offer in terms of complete gardening packages.
  • Will they have to charge travel time?: Depending on where you live, you may have to pay more to have a gardening service come to your home. Enquire about travel time fees if you live in a rural area or far away from where the service is located.
  • Will they do a free quote?: Most services today offer a free quote before you agree to the job, including gardening services. If they can come to your property and inspect the area of the lawn it’s ideal so they can see what else is required and assess the condition of the lawn and whether it’s suitable for aeration.
  • What prep work is needed?: Sometimes your yard might need more prep work than someone else’s to get it ready for aeration. During an inspection, the gardening service will be able to let you know if anything else is required first, most of which they can themselves for an additional cost. This can include raking up leaves and removing debris to give them access to the lawn, so make sure you do them yourself if you want to cut costs.
  • How often do you aerate lawns?: Don’t be tempted by a lawn care service just because they’re cheap, as they might have minimal experience with aeration. Ask for their experience with lawn aeration to get an idea of their services, and consider whether it’s better for you to take on the job yourself and invest the money in a quality aerator yourself.

How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

Timing is everything when it comes to gardening, and the same goes for the aeration process.

There are a few factors to consider when determining how often your lawn should be aerated including climate, soil type, aeration type, and grass type, so it’s not a one size fits all approach.

As a rule, aerating should be done during the growing season as it helps to give the roots of the grass access to air, water, and nutrients during this vital time.

The grass is at its strongest and healthier during this point so it can withstand the process better, and it’ll yield better results for your lawn. Grass usually slows down growth during the colder months, so sticking to the warm seasons is recommended.

Another consideration is if you have clay soil that becomes compacted, as aerating twice a year might be best. On the flipside, looser soil types like sand can be aerated less frequently, and sometimes you might wait two years between doing so.

Usually though, aiming to aerate your lawn at least once a year is best, so factor this into your budget if you’re trying to decide on either a professional or DIY approach.

Small Costs for Huge Results

Regular lawn aeration can deliver major results, and if you do it right, it doesn’t have to cost much at all.

You can perform this gardening task on a budget if you take the DIY route or save yourself the labor and pay a professional, with both options being affordable and with huge benefits for your lawn.

Related Questions

Gardening can be satisfying work, but there are some jobs that you might prefer to hand over to paid professional to save yourself the hassle.

If you’re trying to figure out which jobs are worth doing yourself and those you can pay for, read on for a few commonly asked questions that’ll help you figure it out.

Should You Lay Turf Yourself?

These days it’s easy to lay the turf yourself as it comes in pre-assembled rolls that can be laid out onto the ground where you want them to grow.

Although there’s more labor involved on your part, you can save hundreds of dollars from doing the job yourself and it doesn’t require any special skills.

How Much Does Lawn Rolling Cost?

How Much Does Lawn Rolling Cost?

If you don’t want to purchase or hire a lawn roller and do it yourself, you can pay a professional to roll your lawn, which will vary from between $20 and $50 per hour.

There may be added costs for equipment hire or if your lawn’s layout makes it difficult to maneuver, so it’s worth getting a quote before you begin.

How Much Does Seeding Cost?

The cost of seeding or overseeding a lawn depends on the size of the ground to be covered, the type of seed, and the tools used to cast the seeds.

A DIY seeding job can cost between $0.10 and $0.20 per square foot of grass, with a professional charging at least $1,000 for a standard-sized lawn, so there’s a huge difference in costs.



Rebecca Vargas is an experienced gardener and landscaper and has been rendering professional services for many years. Her services cover both private homes and commercial properties. Leveraging that rich experience, Rebecca Vargas now dedicates a chunk of time to show just about anyone how to maintain their garden and yard, whether at home or workplace. GreenIQ is his way of reaching and teaching millions of homeowners across the globe about proper gardening and lawn care practices.