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Lawn aeration is a maintenance process in which lawn care professionals perforate the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to permeate the grass roots. The goal is to promote the growth of healthy roots, prevent harmful soil compaction, control unsightly thatch and, above all, produce a more beautiful lawn. Some experts recommended lawn aeration twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. Others recommend aerating only in the fall because doing so in the spring might promote weed growth. Property owners can rent or buy a machine or other manual device to aerate the lawn themselves, but it pays to have a knowledgeable landscaper or lawn care company do the job. Lawn aeration costs depend on the square footage of the lawn, the type of soil, whether your lawn has any slopes and whether you need any additional lawn maintenance at the same time.

Lawn size

Lawn aeration service costs are usually based mainly on the square footage or acreage of the lawn. Generally speaking, the larger the lawn size, the lower the price per square foot. Some professionals advertise a starting base price. For example, aeration prices from Johnny Green Thumb Lawn Care Service of Aurora, Colorado, start at $40 for both the front and back yards. Aeration prices from Hines Property Preservation of Durham, North Carolina, start at $75. Others charge by the hour.

Slope and type of soil

Slopes on a lawn increase the degree of difficulty for the landscaper or lawn care professional. The more pronounced the slopes, the higher the average cost is likely to be. The same is true of lawns that may have a clay soil, sandy soil or a lot of soil compaction.

Fertilization and aeration

Some landscapers and lawn care professionals offer package deals that combine lawn aeration with fertilization. Costs are usually higher to get each service performed at different times. In addition, an aerated lawn is better equipped to absorb fertilizer, so doing both at the same time makes sense. Hines Property Preservation charges $150 for aeration, seeding and fertilizing for up to 5,000 square feet of lawn. Nature’s Caretaker of Lakewood, Washington, offers a lawn aeration and fertilization package for $259.

Cost-saving strategies

Many lawn care professionals offer discounts. For example, Greener Alternative of Rogers, Minnesota, offers senior discounts. Born’s Landscape & Lawn Care Services of Amherst, Ohio, has a coupon on its website for $10 off any service.

Pro tips:

  • Some landscapers include lawn aeration as part of their annual maintenance plans.

  • The lawn needs to be moist for the aeration to work properly.

  • Make sure the lawn care professionals you hire are licensed, bonded and insured.
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Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.