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Should I Fertilize My Lawn After Aerating

September 13, 2022

Core aeration for your lawn is important, as it allows vital nutrients, water, sunlight and oxygen to sink in and reach the root system of your lawn.  It promotes a healthy root system, giving you a lush lawn better equipped to defend against unwanted weeds and grasses.  Typically, it is best to dethatch or aerate in the early Fall before the growing season is over.  It is not best to aerate in the Spring as this is when the soil is full of dormant weed seeds ready to grow, especially in areas with warm climates.  Should you fertilize your lawn after aerating?  The answer to that is an emphatic YES!

When to Add Fertilizer After Aerating

After aerating is a good time for overseeding, especially if your lawn is thin and/or patchy. One of the purposes of aerating is to create holes in the turf so the fertilizer makes good soil contact.  The soils can absorb more nutrients, water, oxygen, and room to grow.  It is best to add fertilizer immediately after aerating, or at least within 48 hours of aerating.  Fertilizing after aerating gives the fertilizer the best chance to get down deep into the holes created by aerating.  Fertilizing and overseeding after aerating gives you the best chance for a lush, green lawn as this is when the lawn is more exposed to oxygen. 

Should I Fertilize Before or After Aerating

It is best to always fertilize after aerating.  As stated above, this allows the fertilizer to get down in the soil for the best results.  After fertilizing the lawn, then it is best to seed the lawn (if seeding is needed).  Of course, the lawn should be watered after aerating, fertilizing, and overseeding.  However, it is important to water often and not too much.  The best is to remember that the lawn will require less water, but more frequently to keep the soil moist for the best benefits.

Steps After Aerating

  • Mow the lawn before aerating as you do not want to mow the lawn for a while after aerating
  • Leave the soil plugs on the lawn to decompose and filter back into the holes left by aerating
  • Apply fertilizer after aerating the lawn to add needed nutrients to the grassroots.  This should be done right after aerating, or at least within 48 hours of aerating
  • Reseed the lawn, especially in areas of the lawn where the grass is thin
  • Avoid walking on the lawn as much as possible after aerating.  This gives seeds and fertilizer time to settle.  Walking on the lawn can cause it to become compact and prevent the seeds from sprouting and the soil from getting enough oxygen and nutrients.


Taking care of a lawn is a large task and requires work throughout the year. Knowing when to aerate your lawn is important. Aeration along with fertilization is an essential part of lawn care for a lush, green lawn.  This information is to provide some information on when it is best to aerate your lawn. It is very important to also fertilize the lawn after aeration to get the best results. 

Professional lawn aeration experts, such as Pride In Turf, can accurately determine the best needs for your lawn based on your grass type, lawn size and other needs.

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