The Real Cost of an Enviable Lawn

By Bloomberg Rankings - 2012-06-21T15:54:22Z

Photograph by Ian Lishman/Corbis

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Aerating, Dethatching

Aerating and dethatching sound like painful beauty procedures. And they kind of are, but, thankfully, for your soil, not you. If water isn't penetrating soil, the soil may be too compacted. Run a mechanical aerator over the lawn to yank bits of soil out. Also try dethatching, which involves a power rake combing grass to get rid of the dead layer underneath. Or turn to nature. If you aren't using pesticides, earthworms can help.

$71: Core Aerator, 25" one-day rental --
$77: 8-horsepower Roto Tiller one-day rental --
$48: Power Dethatcher one-day rental --

Running Tally: $630