How Much Do Lawn Aeration Services Cost?

Margaret Wack
Written by Margaret Wack
Updated June 24, 2022
American craftsman house with well-maintained lawn
Photo: Iriana Shiyan / Adobe Stock

It costs an average of $0.10 to $0.35 per square foot to aerate a lawn, with a total average cost of $129

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It costs an average of $0.10 to $0.35 per square foot to aerate a lawn, with a total average cost of $129 for 10,000 square feet.

If your lawn is looking a little worse for wear, aeration can transform it into the lush, green lawn of your dreams. The cost of lawn aeration depends on the size of your lawn, the type of aeration, and whether you choose to add on extra lawn care services. Homeowners may pay a flat rate based on their lawn’s square footage. Many pros pair overseeding and fertilizing services with lawn aeration.

Aerate Lawn Costs 

Lawn aeration costs will vary depending on where you live and how lawn care specialists in your area set their rates. You may be charged by square foot, by acre, by hour, or at a flat rate. 

Cost to Aerate Lawn by Square Foot or Acre 

It costs an average of $0.10 to $0.35 per square foot to aerate a lawn that’s less than 1,000 square feet. While lawn aeration services are often charged as a flat rate, the price for aeration is somewhat dependent on the size of your lawn. Larger lawns can be priced per acre, typically at a rate of $480 to $650.

Lawn SizeCost
1,000 sq ft$100 – $350
5,000 sq ft$125
10,000 sq ft (1/4 acres)$175
20,000 sq ft (1/2 acres) $350
1 acre$480 – $650
5+ acres$2,400+

If you’re trying to save a little extra money, you may want to aerate only the most visible part of your lawn. This strategy can help you get a greener lawn and impress guests and neighbors without breaking the bank.

Flat Rates

Flat rate pricing options for typical lawn sizes include 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 square feet. You may also pay by the square foot for smaller lawns. 

Hourly

Lawn aeration pros may also charge by the hour. You’ll pay from $40 to $70 per hour on average, usually with a minimum hourly requirement of two hours.

Packages

You may be able to negotiate down lawn aeration costs by including aeration as a bundled service in a package deal. Some companies package aeration with tree trimming or removal, tree and shrub maintenance, lawn mowing, sprinkler system installation, fertilizing, or reseeding. This can lead to discounts of up to 20% compared to lawn aeration alone.

You may also be able to save on lawn aeration costs by scheduling multiple aerations throughout the year. Signing up for a twice-yearly aeration can come with discounts. Contact a local landscaping company to get a quote. To lower costs, you may also want to skip related services such as fertilizing and overseeding.

Lawn Aeration Cost Factors

Several factors influence the cost of lawn aeration, including lawn size, aeration type, and add-on services.

Lawn Size

Lawn size is the biggest factor that determines the cost of lawn aeration. An average-sized lawn of 10,000 square feet costs about $130 to aerate. A much smaller lawn may cost as little as $45. If your lawn is an acre or more, it may cost over $480.

Aeration Type

Core aeration costs about $130 on average, while spike aeration costs only $80 on average. Although spike aeration is less expensive, it works best on lawns with loose, sandy soil. In most cases, you should opt for core aeration because it gives the lawn’s roots more room to grow.

Location 

The cost of lawn care services in your area will usually depend on the local cost of living, local labor rates, local taxes, and business fees. In general, you can expect to pay more for lawn aeration in larger metropolitan areas than you would in a rural community.

Slope

If your property sits on a hill, expect higher lawn aeration costs. It takes longer to safely navigate steep slopes with an aerating machine, and the lawn care company you hire may switch from a set rate to an hourly rate depending on how much of your lawn is sloped.

Soil Type 

The type of soil you have can impact lawn aeration costs in a number of ways. Different soil types require different aeration methods. Core aeration is ideal for firm, packed earth, clay-based soil, or loamy soil. Spike aeration costs less but is better suited to loose or sandy soil.

How Much Does It Cost to Aerate a Lawn by Type?

Common aeration types include core aeration and spike aeration. In general, core aeration is slightly more expensive than spike aeration. You should consult with a professional in order to determine which type is best for your lawn.

Core Aeration Cost

Lawn aeration machine with grass plug
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The average cost to aerate a lawn using core aeration is $130. Core lawn aeration typically involves using a machine with cylinder-shaped tines to penetrate the ground. Those tines pull 1.5-inch plugs of grass, thatch (buildup from dead grass and root tissue), and soil out of the ground. This process gives your lawn’s roots room to expand and access nutrients.

Spike Aeration Cost

Woman wearing lawn aerator shoes
Photo: NinaMalyna / Adobe Stock

The average cost to aerate a lawn using spike aeration is $80. Spike aeration is a good method for loose or sandy soil. While less expensive than core aeration, spike aeration isn’t the best fit for firm, packed earth. While cole aeration penetrates further into the soil to remove cylindrical sections of soil, spike aeration just pokes holes in the ground without removing any soil.

Lawn Aeration MethodCost
Spike Aeration$80
Core Aeration$130

Common Add-Ons

Aside from basic lawn aeration services, you may wish to have your lawn aeration company perform a few add-on services. Maximize the value you get by bundling together projects.

Overseeding Cost 

Overseeding costs about $100 to $160 on top of aerating. This service can fill those pesky bare patches on your lawn and keep it looking great year-round.

Fertilizing and Reseeding 

Pros often offer services such as fertilizing or reseeding a patchy lawn alongside lawn aeration services. These additional steps can help keep your lawn healthy, nourished, and looking like a lush green oasis. Fertilizing costs about $50 to $80 for an average lawn.

Dethatching 

Dethatching is the process of removing the thatch layer so that sun, nutrients, and fertilizer can reach the roots of your grass. The cost to dethatch a lawn depends on size, thatch thickness, and the type of dethatching.

Pros typically dethatch a lawn with a thatching machine—these machines are similar to lawnmowers but have blades that cut down in a crisscross motion. This method is less aggressive and is ideal when the thatch is less than a half-inch thick. Expect to pay about $175 per hour for this service. 

Power raking is another type of dethatching that is more aggressive and ideal when the thatch is more than a 1/2-inch thick. Expect to pay about $10 to $20 per 1,000 square feet or $100 to $200 for a lawn measuring 10,000 square feet. 

How Much Does It Cost to Aerate Your Lawn Yourself?

It costs about $40 to $90 a day to rent an aerator, plus a $150 deposit. Lawn aeration is a time-consuming process, and you can expect to spend at least a full day poking hole after hole if you choose to do it yourself—and it can get pretty tedious. With that in mind, you may prefer to save time and energy by hiring a professional.

FAQs About Lawn Aeration

Is it really necessary to aerate your lawn?

If you have a healthy lawn, it’s not necessary to aerate it. However, lawn aeration comes with many benefits that can improve lawn health and help you save money on lawn care

Aeration makes it easier for lawns to absorb water and key nutrients. It also encourages a strong root system and discourages weed growth.

So do your lawn a favor—make it as holey as Swiss cheese, and let it breathe. If you have more questions regarding aeration, you can contact a landscaping company near you.

How often should I aerate my lawn?

Experts recommend aerating a lawn at least once a year. If you haven’t aerated your lawn recently, or if it has a significant amount of thatch buildup, you may need to aerate it twice annually for a few years.

How long does it take to aerate a lawn?

The length of time it will take depends on the size of your lawn, the method, and if you DIY or hire a pro. If you hire a company to aerate a 10,000-square-foot lawn, it will take about 30 minutes. If you’re DIYing, it could take longer. 

When is the best time to aerate a lawn?

It’s a good idea to aerate your lawn in the fall or spring when there is plenty of moisture in the soil. If you plan to aerate your lawn twice annually, you can do so once in the fall and once in the spring.

Is it worth it to aerate your lawn? 

Almost all lawns can benefit from aeration, but not all lawns need aeration services. If your lawn has puddles of standing water, uneven grass growth, or thinning grass, if it dries out quickly or it has a good amount of thatch, aeration is worthwhile. On the other hand, if your lawn is healthy and your soil isn’t too compact, you may be able to skip a year of aeration.

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