When planting grass seed, the most important thing to do is to make sure the seed has good contact with the soil for successful germination. Aeration and verticutting are essential practices when adding new seed to your lawn. Aeration and verticutting are slightly different processes, but both work to allow more water and nutrients into your lawn while also removing lawn thatch buildup. The result is a healthier, thicker lawn. Call Custom Lawn for these services in Olathe, Overland Park, and the Johnson County area:
Lawn aeration involves removing plugs of dirt, usually 3/4″ in diameter and three inches deep from your lawn. This allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into your lawn to reach the roots of the grass helping it grow stronger and deeper.
The main reason to aerate a lawn is to combat soil compaction. When the soil gets too compacted there is not a proper flow of water, air, and nutrients and the lawn suffers as a result.
The best time to aerate your lawn is in the growing season so your grass can properly heal. For cool season grass, ideal aeration should occur in early spring or early fall.
We recommend aerating your lawn once a year. You should aerate your lawn if:
Unless you are starting from scratch with bare dirt, most homeowners overseed, which is done to help thicken an existing lawn. It is critical to plant the right seed, quality seed, and to get good seed-to-soil contact for successful germination.
When it comes to seeding your lawn, timing is everything. If you do not time the process right, the grass will not germinate properly or remain healthy for very long. Cool season grasses do best here in the Kansas City area.
The best time to plant cool season grasses is early fall or early spring. The cooler temperatures allow the grass seeds to germinate without drying out or burning up first.
Here in Kansas City, we plant cool season grasses including fescue and Bluegrass. Quality seed is critical when seeding your lawn. At Custom Lawn & Landscape, we only use high-quality seed. Most homeowners don’t realize it, but grass seed can contain weed seeds and other crops.
Look closely at the label when purchasing for “0% weed seed” and “0% other crop”, or you will be adding hundreds of weeds and undesirable grasses to your lawn inadvertently.
Verticutting is a similar process to a lawn aeration, but has a little bit of a different objective. Verticutting is mainly trying to cut through the lawn thatch so that new seed can make it down into the rich soil and not be stifled on the top by the compact soil and lawn thatch.
A verticutting machine cuts small grooves through your lawn’s thatch layer. These grooves allow for better soil contact with the grass seed and increased the rate of seed germination.
Because verticutting is a little more destructive than aeration, it can be harmful to your existing lawn. Verticutting is best for lawns that are thin and require a bit more work to restore. We would recommend verticutting for total lawn renovations when most of the yard is dead or bare. The lawn pros at Custom Lawn & Landscape can determine whether verticutting will help or harm your lawn.
Bottom line: When you want to improve soil conditions, use an aerator. When you want to grow a lot of grass seed, use a verticutter.
Once your new lawn is established, proper maintenance will help keep your lawn healthy and growing. Custom Lawn provides Prescription Lawn Care Services that include weed control, grub and insect control, mosquito control, and fertilization.