Some tips for successful lawn aeration include:
- Be careful of shallow sprinkler lines getting punctured by the aerator.
- Water your lawn heavily, up to an inch, the day before you plan on aerating. The soil should be soft and moist when aerating but not muddy.
- Aerate in the Spring or late Summer or Fall.
- In arid / dry climates aerate twice a year.
- Don't waste your time or money with shoe aerators.
- Whenever possible, use a coring aerator as opposed to a spike aerator. Spike aerators just further compact the soil while making a hole.
- After core aeration, leave the plugs on the grass and allow them to dry out, then rake the plugs into the grass if you like. It's OK if you don't as they will break up after the first mowing and help to breakdown thatch by providing micro organisms that will feed on thatch.