Turftime Equipment Blog

Verticutters vs. Aerators: When to Use Them

If your job depends on keeping a lawn healthy and bright green, these are verticutting and aerating are two of the most important tools in your arsenal. Both can have a tremendous impact on the health of a lawn, either at your home residence or for a large area of turf on school grounds or any other commercial landscape. This article will describe the difference between these two processes, so that anyone who’s responsible for lawn or turf maintenance will know when each one is appropriate, and what the benefits are of each operation. Both a verticutting machine and an aerating machine are available in several different sizes, in recognition of the fact that there are many different kinds of applications for both processes.

The Benefits of Verticutting

A verticutting machine has some similarities to an aerator, in that it also penetrates into the turf, but it does not remove core plugs in the same manner of aerator uses. Its purpose is also different, because it does not aim at providing breathing space for grass roots, but is instead more focused on breaking up a growth called thatch. Thatch is an organic buildup of material which accumulates on the surface of a lawn, and which is usually comprised of dead grass and other debris. When this kind of build-up occurs, many of the same problems become present as during soil compaction, i.e. grass roots can’t breathe properly and have difficulty supplying plants with essential nutrients and moisture.

Here’s what happens when a verticut mower is used:

  • the machine is directed over the desired area of lawn or turf
  • hundreds of small rows are created in the lawn, similar to how a farmer might create rows in the soil for planting. The blade spacing on Turftime aerators ranges from .75” to 2.”
  • a slight aeration process is achieved, and the valleys of the rows then allow water to be absorbed by the lawn, instead of evaporating and being lost altogether
  • thatch is broken up by the verticutting machine
  • using a slicing motion rather than a punching motion, the verticut mower will ‘slice’ the seed into the soil, thereby inserting it below the surface where it can thrive

Verticutting is most often indicated on lawns or turf areas where re-seeding is being conducted, or on areas which have a large thatch problem that has to be addressed. It is very often done in tandem with aeration techniques, but it can be performed as a standalone operation as well, and to great effect.

The Benefits of Aerating

Aerator uses primarily include the breakup of soil compaction and allowing the grass on a lawn to breathe better. Especially when dry conditions prevail, soil can become very compacted, and that can make it difficult for roots to absorb moisture and essential nutrients. When that happens, a lawn will begin to suffer, simply because it is not being supplied by the roots with the elements necessary for good health. Here is how aeration works:

  • an aeration machine is powered over the surface of a lawn or large-scale turf area
  • a rotating mechanism penetrates the lawn surface and extracts hundreds of small core plugs, in a consistent pattern.
  • the holes left behind by the removed plugs become ideal for the insertion of seeds, fertilizer, and nutrients, all of which accumulate below the ground surface
  • if you’re aerating in tandem with seeding, the seeds, fertilizer, and grass feed can now be spread over the area
  • the core plugs which were removed will eventually deteriorate and serve as topsoil for the new seedlings.

When you have successfully aerated the entire lawn surface, the grass roots will then have the space they require to thrive, and the lawn will become much better established. That means it will look much better and it will be far healthier, because the grass roots will be better able to supple the grass chutes with essential nutrients and moisture.

Turftime Equipment offers three primary series of Aerators: Pro, Estate, and Advantage. The Pro Series comes packed with premium features at an affordable price. Super responsive, with a protector shield as a standard on all models, the Pro’s value is unmatched. The Estate series is another fantastic option. Built to be lightweight and compact, this aerator is easy to store, and delivers a huge bang for your buck. Finally, the Advantage Aerator is a deep tine aerator suited for both coring and slicing aeration. The Advantage works faster than traditional deep tine aerators, so you are able to aerate every two to three weeks.

Verticutter vs Aerator Machinery

If you’re thinking of re-seeding your private residence lawn, or if you manage the school grounds for and educational institution, you may want to invest in an excellent verticutter or aerator machine. Both of these types of equipment can literally work wonders for the lawn, because they help to remove problems like thatch, and because they allow grass roots to do their job much more effectively.

If you’re ready to make a purchase, or if you’d like to learn more about aerators and verticutters, contact Turftime Equipment, and we’ll be glad to answer all your inquiries. It would be our pleasure to help your lawn become the talk of the neighborhood, and to make it much healthier than it was before. Do your lawn a favor, and help it to thrive as nature intended it to. Contact us today to find your next piece of turf equipment

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