How Much Does It Cost to Aerate a Lawn?

by Team HomeServe
Gardener Operating Soil Aeration Machine on Grass Lawn

Lawn Aeration Costs at a Glance

DIY Costs

  • Manual aerator cost: $25-$30
  • Aerator mower attachment: $200
  • Mower attachment rental: $60-$90
  • Seed and fertilizer: $150

Professional Costs

  • Professional service cost: $15-$17 per 1,000 square feet; $175 per quarter-acre
  • Cost per hour: $15-$32
  • Cost to aerate 5,000-square-foot lawn: $75-$85
  • Overseeding cost: $125-$150

If your family enjoys spending time outside, you probably use your yard regularly. Heavy traffic can lead to soil compaction and an unhealthy lawn. If your lawn is looking tired, it may be time to aerate. Lawn aeration — also known as core aeration — is the process of breaking up compacted soil and thatch to allow air, water and nutrients to reach the root zone.

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This relatively simple lawn maintenance task makes a great weekend DIY project. Or, you can hire a professional lawn care company to do the job. Average costs can be anywhere from $25 all the way up to several hundred dollars. Costs depend on the tools used, the size of the lawn and whether you do the project yourself. Let’s take a look at average lawn aeration costs for both DIY and professional services.

DIY Lawn Aeration Costs

If you aerate your lawn yourself, you won’t have to pay for labor, but you will have to buy or rent an aerator. According to Weed Pro, a handheld core aerator, which you operate manually, typically costs about $25 to $30. Models that attach to the back of a ride-on lawnmower or small tractor may cost around $200 but complete the job more quickly.

If you’d prefer to rent equipment, it's available at most large home improvement stores and equipment rental centers. Rental costs vary by retailer, but tend to run about $60 for a four-hour period or $90 for the entire day. You’ll also have to leave a deposit, which is usually refundable as long as the equipment is returned on time and in good condition.

Additional DIY Considerations

DIYers may have several other expenses, depending on the scope of their project, including the cost of seed and fertilizer, which runs about $150 for an average-size yard, based on data from If you need to rent a truck to transport equipment, be sure to factor that cost into your budget as well.

Core Aeration of a Tall Fescue Lawn

Professional Lawn Aeration Costs

If you hire a lawn care company to do the job, they may charge by the hour or the square foot. Or, they may set a flat rate for every quarter acre. Professional lawn aeration service costs, on average, about $15 to $17 per thousand square feet.  For a 5,000 square-foot lawn, that adds up to between $75 and $85. Companies that charge an hourly rate usually want $15 to $32 per hour, so the total cost can vary depending on the size of the yard and the job's complexity.

How Much Does It Cost to Aerate 1 Acre?

Some companies charge a flat rate of about $175 per quarter acre, regardless of the job's complexity. That adds up to about $700 for a full acre of land.

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How Much Does Aeration and Overseeding Cost?

If your lawn is damaged, combining aeration with overseeding and fertilizing can help restore your grassy areas. If you opt to have it done by a lawn care company, the overall cost would be about $125 to $150 for 5,000 square feet of lawn.

Is Aerating Your Lawn Worth It?

For a relatively small cost, lawn aeration can improve your lawn's health. But it isn’t always necessary to do it annually. Most healthy lawns should be aerated about every two to three years, The Spruce says. However, if your lawn grows in heavy soil or experiences heavy foot traffic, annual aeration may be beneficial. It may also be helpful to aerate your soil prior to laying sod.