Your lawn is a big part of your property so you must keep it looking its best at all times. When you have a build-up of debris and dead grass on your lawn, it can kill your lawn grass which will prevent it from growing green and healthy.
By practicing some lawn care routines like removing thatch with verticutting will go a long way in keeping your lawn green and healthy all year round. So, is verticutting the same as dethatching? Verticutting and dethatching arent the same lawn care methods. There are some very clear differences between them. The main difference is that the verticut will lightly loosen the soil while a dethatcher will aggressively dig into the root system to remove thatch.
You can use a rake or machine to dethatch and you’ll need to apply a lot of energy and can easily damage healthy grass blades as you remove the thatch. However, verticutting is a more accurate method that will easily and quickly break up thatch, bring it to the surface, and easily collect it removing it from your lawn. It causes minimal damage to the healthy grass blades.
What is verticutting?
Verticutting also called vertical mowing is simply removing thatch build-up from your lawn by pulling out the dead layer of organic matter that has accumulated allowing your lawn to breathe better. It also helps the grass to better absorb nutrients and moisture. A certain amount of thatch is not harmful, but necessary for a healthy lawn and even provides some cushioning that reduces soil compression from heavy foot traffic, but when it’s too much it becomes harmful. Thatch also allows for easy reproduction of diseases and insects that threaten the health of your lawn. Verticutting is a method that will quickly and effectively remove excess thatch without damaging your lawn.
|When||For warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass and Zoysia, late spring or early summer is best during the growing season||For cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, early spring or fall is the best time|
|How often||Any time depending on how fast thatch accumulates||Grasses like perennial ryegrass and tall fescue that produce less thatch can be dethatched after every few years.
Grasses that have heavy thatch build-up like Kentucky bluegrass, bentgrass, and Bermuda grass can be dethatched annually.
How does verticutting work?
You can use a rake with tines that are designed to pull out thatch, but it’s a labor-intensive exercise that isn’t very practical, especially if you have a large lawn and a dethatcher can do the job but it can end up damaging your lawn. A verticutter is a landscaping tool with vertically-oriented blades that can safely and efficiently cut into the thatch without damaging the healthy grass blades. It breaks up the layer of thatch and brings it to the surface where you can easily collect and remove it from your lawn.
When should you verticut and how often?
You can verticut your lawn any time and as often as you think is necessary, but there are certain times when it’s best to verticut. If you walk on your lawn barefoot and it feels spongy, you have thatch build-up and it needs to be removed. It’s best to verticut your lawn once a year to remove thatch before the growing season in the summer or spring. Some lawn grasses like the Bermuda grass and Zoysia require verticutting once a year during the summer.
Is it better to verticut or aerate?
There’s only one clear difference between verticutting and aeration. Verticutting mostly focuses on dethatching only, but aeration also removes grass so that the remaining grass blades can have more space to breathe. This will give more space for the grass roots to grow for a more stable and established turf. Aeration will help to break up soil compaction and control thatch, but it’s not the best method for seeding. If you want to overseed, verticutting is the best method because it provides an even seedbed.
How does your lawn benefit from verticutting
It’s important to remove the thick layer of thatch on your lawn grass that prevents nutrients and moisture from getting to the roots of your grass which will kill your lawn. Apart from improving and maintaining the overall health of your lawn grass, verticutting by removing thatch, it’s also beneficial in that it:
- Helps to prepare your lawn for overseeding
- Helps your lawn to breathe easier and get easy access to water and nutrients
- Gives your lawn a fresh start before the growing season
- Promotes upright blade growth which improves the mowing quality and surface smoothness
- Moisture reaches the roots efficiently so your lawn can grow and thrive
Tips for verticutting your lawn grass
- To determine if it’s time to verticut your lawn, feel the state of the thatch, and if it’s ½ inch or thicker, it’s good to verticut.
- The fall is the best time to verticut your lawn so that by the time spring arrives, your grass is healthier and stronger than before.
- If it’s possible, don’t fertilize your lawn for about 45 days before you verticut because the fertilizer will add to the thatch build-up which will make the work of the verticutter more difficult and less effective.
- Make sure you mark the utility cables, sprinkler heads, lines, and pipes with flour so you don’t damage them.
Dethatching is a more aggressive way of removing thatch that can damage your lawn, but verticutting easily and effectively remove thatch without damaging your healthy lawn grass. This will help keep your lawn lush, robust, and stronger.
How many times should I dethatch my lawn?
Most lawns need to be dethatched at least once a year in early spring for warm and cool-season grasses or when thatch is about ½ inch tall.
How often should you verticut?
Every week to 2 weeks during the growing season starting from April to September will help to reduce the amount of thatch on the surface throughout the season.