fertilize and seed grass after aerating lawn

What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn is a fantastic way to ensure that your grass roots get the nourishment they need for a full, green lawn.

But what do you do once you finish aerating? What steps do you need to take to ensure that your yard derives the maximum benefits from the aerating process? Let’s talk about what to do after aerating your lawn.

What to Expect After Your Lawn Has Been Aerated

  • Immediately: You will have less compacted soil and you will have broken up your thatch.
  • Two weeks: By this time, the cores/plugs you removed while aerating should finish breaking down.
  • Two to four weeks: Depending on the type of grass you have, this is the period of time during which germination takes place.
  • Seven to ten weeks: Your grass should now have deeper, more extensive root systems. It should grow fuller going forward with fewer thin spots, assuming you did everything correctly.

What to Do After Aerating

After you aerate, you should not simply walk away. Instead, you should consider seeding, watering, mowing, and fertilizing your lawn.

It is logical to do so now because the entire purpose of aerating is to make it easier for water and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass and help it grow. But the timing of all of these steps is critical.


If you are going to seed your lawn or overseed it, you want to do it as soon as you can after aerating so that the seeds can germinate for as long as possible. Consider doing it right after you aerate on the same day. If you cannot do that, shoot for doing it the next day.

man spreading grass seed on lawn


You should water your grass every day for the three weeks after you aerate and seed. This is a critical growth phase for your new grass, and you want to hydrate the roots for optimal development. After you see the grass above your soil, you can go back to watering your lawn as usual.

sprinkler watering the lawn


You can fertilize immediately after you aerate too, and should because the nutrients you add to your soil will go right to the roots of the grass through the holes.

fertilizing grass with handheld tool


Unlike seeding, watering, and fertilizing, you should not mow right away after you aerate. In fact, you should avoid mowing until your new grass finishes germinating and is between three or four inches above the soil. That could take anywhere from two to four weeks.

man mowing the lawn

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Do with the Plugs – Should I Pick Up Plugs After Aerating?

Your first thought after removing the compacted plugs from your yard is probably that you should gather them up and get rid of them.

But actually, you should leave them on top of the surface. They will break down within about two weeks. Once they do, they will go back to being useful soil. Picking them up and getting rid of them would be a waste of all those great nutrients.

Can You Walk On Lawn After Aeration?

You can walk on your lawn after you aerate, but you should do it as little as possible while the new grass is growing. Once you are at the point where you can mow, you also can resume using your yard as usual.

kids playing soccer on lawn
Don’t let the kids play soccer on a newly aerated lawn!

What Should I Put On My Lawn After Aerating?

It is important to make sure you are using a suitable fertilizer after you aerate. What type you need depends on whether you overseed or not. A starter fertilizer is a good choice if you overseed. It should not contain weed control which will interfere with germination.

A Landscaper Can Help You Take the Next Steps After Aerating

You now know what to do after aerating your lawn. Once you get the schedule down, it can become a simple annual routine.

But if you are worried about making mistakes with the timing or you simply want some extra help with the work, you can consider hiring a landscaper to assist you with aerating, watering, fertilizing, overseeding, and mowing. Good luck, and enjoy your full, beautiful lawn this year.

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