When researching techniques to improve the appearance of your lawn, you may come across aeration and verticutting.
When used correctly, they can both promote a cleaner, as well as greener, lawn. However, aeration and verticutting aren’t the same. They each work in a different way, and they are each designed for a different purpose.
So, what’s the difference between aeration and verticutting?
What Is Aeration?
Also known as aerification, aeration is a landscaping technique that involves punching holes into the soil.
It’s typically performed using a walk-behind aerator tool. As you push the aerator tool across your lawn, blades will pierce the soil to create holes. Depending on the type of aerator tool used, the holes may measure just 0.5 to 1 inches in diameter and 2 to 4 inches deep.
What Is Verticutting?
Verticutting, on the other hand, is a landscaping technique that involves the removal of thatch (seen in the image above).
It’s not uncommon for organic matter to accumulate around the base of grass. When living and dead organic matter accumulate, it creates thatch.
Verticutting is a landscaping technique in which thatch is removed from a lawn using a tool or machine.
Advantages of Aeration
Aeration offers several advantages, one of which is increased water intake.
Regardless of what type of grass your lawn has, it needs water to thrive. If your lawn consists of hard and compact soil, however, your grass may become dehydrated and die.
Aeration helps by allowing the soil to absorb more water, which in turn protects the grass from dehydration.
If you’re planning to seed or reseed your lawn, you may want to aerate it before. Failure to aerate your lawn means seeds will essentially sit on the top of the soil where they are exposed to the elements. If it rains, the seeds will likely be washed away.
Aeration, however, creates small pockets in the soil that hold seeds and fertilizer.
Advantages of Verticutting
Removing thatch from your lawn with verticutting offers several advantages as well.
When left unchecked, thatch can contribute to infectious disease. As bacteria and fungi feast on the dead organic matter, they may spread to other parts of your lawn.
You can keep your grass safe by performing verticutting to remove the thatch.
Verticutting also allows grass to access more water and nutrients. As it removes thatch, it mixes up the top layer of soil.
The end result is softer soil that fuels grass with water and essential nutrients.
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Nat Ryan says
We’ve recently started our new tree service company and came across this article. Really appreciate you taking the time to educate us on this. I have heard of verticutting, but didn’t realize that it had different benefits from aeration. Thanks so much.
Ken Partain says
You’re quite welcome. Thanks for reading.