This brief article is meant to answer common questions about lawn aeration and rental options including topics such as:
- Where do I rent a lawn aerator?
- Core aerator rental
- Plug aerator rental
- Can I do it myself?
- Why should I aerate?
- When should I aerate?
What Aeration Can Do For Your Lawn
When it comes to a beautiful lawn, most people know the importance of watering and fertilization.
But what about aeration?
As time passes, the soil in your lawn gets packed down by people, ATVs, equipment, etc. Then this can stop water and nutrients from making it down to the roots of the lawn.
This is where aeration comes in.
Aeration loosens up soil, allowing water and nutrients to reach down deep to the roots, and gives your lawn its best shot at becoming the envy of the neighborhood. 
Tip: If your lawn has been sodded or seeded within the last year, you likely do not need to aerate. When companies come to lay grass or seed, they usually aerate at the same time.
After successfully aerating the soil, it should be loose enough to allow for the flow of water and nutrients. In fact, aerating too soon after sodding or seeding can damage the growth by crushing the young shoots and not allowing enough time to become deep-rooted and stable.
When considering aerator rental options, it is good to do a bit of research to find the best deal.
In some cases, it may be even cheaper to just buy your own aerator. Here are some good options: https://obsessedlawn.com/best-lawn-aerator-reviews/.
The big-box home improvement stores are one of the obvious places to look when renting a lawn aerator. These stores will likely provide the widest selection of models – although most models are generally very similar.
Other than the big-box stores, check out locally owned lawn and garden stores. Although these smaller stores might not have the same wide selection, they might have more varied pricing on an aerator rental.
I would also look at general tool rentals stores. Sometimes they rent aerators as well.
Should I Rent a Core or Plug Aerator?
The most important thing is to rent a plug or core aerator, not a spike. A spike aerator will only compact your soil further.
For smaller lawns, there are smaller push aerators.
These may or may not be self-propelled. Self-propulsion might not be a consideration for you, particularly if you don’t have a lot of ground to cover. Prices on small lawn aerators typically range from $25-$45 for two hours or $80-$100 for the day.
Keep in mind though, aerating is hard work. It may be worth the extra cost to get a self-propelled model.
For medium sized lawns an 18”-30” aerator is advised. These sized machines will almost always be self-propelled, and can make short over an average sized lawn. These are the most common type of lawn aerator to rent, and they can be used on small or large lawns as well.
To give you a more concrete idea, a 28” self-propelled model will aerate about 12,000 square feet in a few hours. A medium sized aerator typically costs $65-$85 for two hours, or $140-$180 for the day.
For those with very large lawns, a tow-behind aerator may be the best way to go. The benefit of a tow-behind model is that they can actually be cheaper than the smaller self-propelled models.
Of course, you need something with which to tow it.
Typically a riding lawn mower is best suited to towing an aerator, but a small tractor may also work as well. The large size of a tow-behind aerator (some are 48”) is ideal with homeowners that need to aerate an arce or more of property. They can typically be rented for $35-$65 for two hours, or $150-$180 per day.
Tip: Renting a lawn aerator late in the day can be cheaper. If the store closes within a couple of hours of your aerator rental, they will generally let you keep it overnight at no extra charge. This is particularly useful if it’s your first time aerating a particular yard and you are unsure of how long it will take.
What Time Of Year Is Best For Aerating A Lawn?
The answer depends on the type of grass that you have. Cool season grasses are best aerated in the fall. Warm season grasses should be aerated in the spring, and late spring is preferable.
Whatever type of lawn you have, aeration should be part of your annual maintenance plan.
Without aeration, soil gradually becomes compacted, until water and nutrients cannot properly nourish the grass. Signs that a yard needs aerating include: excessive runoff of water, uneven growth patterns, increased weeds.
Overall, if you are someone who cares about the health of your lawn and the look of your property, lawn aerator rental is something to consider.