Fall is the best time to fertilize, aerate or verticut, and seed your lawn. In fact, everything you do to improve the health of your lawn in the three months leading up to winter is proactive, meaning it will wildly improve your lawn for next spring!
When it comes to verticutting and seeding, many of our lawn care customers have questions. When is the best time to verticut and seed? Should I aerate or verticut when I seed? What’s the difference between aeration and verticutting? And the list goes on.
To help you decide whether to seed, when to seed, whether to aerate or verticut, what kind of fertilizer to use and more, the lawn care experts at Custom Lawn and Landscape put together these tips.
What’s the Difference between Aerating and Verticutting?
Aerating and verticutting are similar in that both are ways to improve your lawn in some way. However, they differ in some significant ways. Read on to see when it makes sense to aerate and when it makes sense to verticut your lawn.
How To Know If Your Lawn Needs Aerating
Aerating removes small cores of dirt from your lawn. A specialized machine digs down into your lawn and pulls up small cork-sized pieces of dirt. This loosens the soil and allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to get to the roots below.
Plus, the cores contain microorganisms that will break down the thatch into healthy organic matter. Aerating creates looser soil, stronger root structure, and better results when overseeding.
How Often and When To Aerate Your Lawn
If you are going to overseed your lawn, it’s best to plan on doing it early in the season, like in September, to give the seed the maximum amount of time to germinate. Seed germination needs three things – soil contact, water, and warmth.
If you are simply overseeding your lawn to make it a little thicker, but overall it’s in pretty decent condition, aeration is the preferred method. Try to overseed your yard within a day or so after your aeration while the holes are still open and before the cores start to break down.
When Do You Verticut Your Lawn
If your lawn is thin, has bare spots or you’d like to kill out the existing lawn because it is the wrong kind of grass or is so full of weeds it would be better to start over, verticutting is recommended. Verticutting and power raking are words that are sometimes used interchangeably for doing the same thing.
Verticutting is done by a machine that cuts thin rows into your grass rather than removing plugs, like aeration. Verticutters loosen the topsoil so that seed will have better contact with the soil for germination.
Verticutting helps remove the layer of thatch that naturally builds up from mowing and leaf litter. Because it is more aggressive, it is recommended for lawns that are in need of more serious repair or for replacing a lawn altogether.