Aerating tool making holes through the soil

Can I Aerate my Lawn if it’s Wet? (The Wet Grass Guide!)

The soil in your yard is not the same everywhere. Some parts are more compact than others, and some have a higher percentage of clay to silt. Sometimes you have to decide if you should aerate your own even when it’s wet. This can affect the way that you aerate your lawn, but it doesn’t mean that you should skip this important step altogether! There are many benefits to aerating your lawn regularly and even when it’s wet like improving drainage and reducing weed pressure. So, it’s worth taking the time to understand if it’s the right time to do so, and when to do so correctly.

There’s a question you might be asking though, can you aerate the lawn when it’s wet?

Yes, you can. Aerating a lawn can be done while your lawn is wet. Just make sure it’s not too wet, like mud puddles and sinking soil. This is also known as a waterlogged lawn so try to avoid aerating your lawn in this state. As long as you continue to aerate your soil regularly, you’ll get a nice and evenly healthy yard. It’s incredibly important to know when it’s best to start aerating your lawn. There are special equipment and tools you can use to help get the job done even when it’s wet.

In this blog post, we will answer all of your questions about when, how, and why to aerate for the best results!

Why is it important to aerate your lawn?

Grassroots grow in an upward direction, and they need air and nutrients to do so. When the soil is compacted or dense, this can create a barrier for those roots from absorbing any substance that it needs to grow healthy.

This makes it difficult for the grass to grow well. Lawns will look thin with dead patches where there’s no grass at all. A healthy lawn needs aeration.

Aerations create these tiny little holes down in the soil surface, which will allow air and water to get in.

It also creates a space for the roots of your grassroots to grow down into and reach out with their tiny little feet.

Because aeration gives more grassroots more opportunity to capture an equal amount of nutrients and water, you will see a much healthier turf throughout the entire lawn.

Soils that are compacted will oftentimes deprive the grass of the basic needs and because of this, you might find patches of unevenly colored and growing grass throughout the lawn.

How does wet soil affect the way you aerate your lawn?

When your soil is wet, you need to consider some things that might hinder your ability to normally aerate your lawn. There are quite a few factors that come into play and it’s important to know some of these.

Soil type

Soil is composed of several different basic things. In most cases, you’ll find at least four categories. In soil, you can find minerals, organic matter, water, and air. But when we’re talking about types of soils in regards to aeration, will most likely want to consider the type of minerals and organic matter that’s in it.

For example, clay tends to absorb and keep in water.


Thatch is actually the organic matter that soil is composed of. Most of the time you’ll likely find this in grass clippings and other organic materials that you might find on the surface and underneath. If you find a lot of batch on the surface, that could be a bad thing. Thatch is notorious for absorbing water and can very well have an impact on the health of your lawn.


All grass is different. There may be one that flourishes during the cold weather and another that grows better during the summer. It really depends on the type of grass you have on your lawn that determines the best times for you to aerate.

Dry versus humid climates

Depending on your local environment, you may live in a dry or humid location. Of course, if you live in a humid environment, your soil and grass might not be able to capture and retain water as much as if it were dry. But if you live in a dry environment you might find that your soil will absorb water quickly as well.

When should you aerate your lawn after the rain?

According to the website Briggs and Stratton, you’ll want to wait at least 24 hours or a day after it rains to aerate your lawn. Waiting for this time period, will make it easier for you to penetrate the soil and create deeper, more effective holes in the soil. It’s best to aerate in the morning as well. This is because most mornings have lower temperatures and more humidity. This will help keep the soil moist.

The best time to aerate your soil is when it is moist. Just make sure it is not overly flooded. Do not aerate your soil if you find a layer of water above your grass that comes after heavy rain.

On the same note, don’t attempt to aerate dry soil, because that could make the soil even more compact in the process of aerating.

When is it too wet to aerate your lawn?

There are times after heavy rain when you’ll find your lawn completely flooded with water. Even if you wait 24 hours or even more, the water might still not subside and be absorbed into the soil.

In this case, it’s best to keep your distance and delay the aeration process a bit further until the water either evaporates or sinks in.

There are a few ways you can recognize when your lawn is just too wet to be aerated. Below is a list of certain situations where it’s just too wet to aerate.

Puddles of water in your lawn

When you see that there are puddles of water scattered all over your lawn it’s called the soil being waterlogged. Give it a little bit more time and the water should be absorbed through the soil.

Your aerating holes are filling up with water

When you are jamming spikes into the soil, you may notice that water is now filling up those holes rather quickly. This may also mean that your soil is just still too wet.

The mud is so wet that it quickly closes up the holes

If you notice that your soil is closing up really quickly after making the holes, then this is also an indication that your soil is just too wet to aerate. Your efforts in aerating your lawn will probably be in vain. It’s best to wait until the lawn dries up a little more.

Finding compact clots from a hollow aerator

Cylindrical clots produced from a hollow aerator tool
Cylindrical clots produced from a hollow aerator tool

Hollow aerators are basically needles with hollow barrels. As you press these tools into the ground, it cuts through the dirt, and like a cookie-cutter, it produces cylindrical clumps of dirt to be removed. If you find that using hollow aerator results in these soft and liquidy clods, then chances are your lawn is just too wet to aerate. The clots that come out of a hollow aerator should be moist but easily keep their shape.

What to do after aerating a wet lawn

It’s actually recommended if you have the time to do so, to go ahead and reseed and fertilize your lawn after aeration. These seeds and nutrients will have the ability to get deep inside those aeration holes at this time.

Doing so can really help your lawn grow fast and establish a thick, luster image.

Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t be aerating a lawn that is two majorly wet. Make sure you wait about 24 hours after it rains so that you can get some really consistent aerating holes in your line.

If you want your lawn to dry faster

If for whatever reason it is an emergency and you absolutely have to aerate your lawn as soon as possible, you can try this method to quickly dry up your lawn.

There are sand grits or what is better known as horticultural sand that you can use to get rid of all those waterlogged areas immediately before aerating. The sole purpose of horticulture soil is to improve soil drainage.

The idea is that this method will allow the holes to remain open and free and clear so that nutrients and water will enter the roots of the soil.

Just don’t apply too thick of a layer of sand. Just enough so that it will help your soil drain.

My final thoughts

Aerating a lawn that is wet is not a bad idea as long as it’s not too wet.

Aerating a lawn that is too wet may not always be the best idea because if there is too much moisture, you’ll have trouble getting all of those holes to stay open and free from waterlogging. However, when done correctly, aeration helps improve soil health which will, in turn, make for healthier grass.

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