Answer: I think you're on the right track. Aerating your lawn will loosen compacted soil, especially if you spread a thin layer of sand or top soil over the lawn after aerating. As you water the lawn, the sand or top soil will work its way into the holes made by the aerating equipment. Use a plugger, not a slicing type aerator and leave the plugs on the lawn. They will decompose as you water your lawn. The most cost effective way is to have topsoil or sand delivered in bulk. You can purchase a yard or more and for each yard you purchase, the price goes down. After spreading the sand or topsoil, reseed the entire lawn.
Best wishes with your lawn!
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