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Aeration vs Verticutting

Aeration vs. Verticutting

Aeration Vs. Verticutting

Aeration and Verticutting are two critically important procedures in the turf industry. Stakeholders for whom the procedures are most important might include owners and managers of any athletic or sporting venue such as golf courses, high school athletics fields, private football fields, polo fields, rugby fields, soccer pitches, baseball outfields etc. Other large scale turf operations could be public parks, housing communities and residential planners.

Large scale operations would obviously have the largest monetary interest in turf care and management procedures like Aeration and Vericutting, but they are not exclusive and can impact anyone with grass, really. So it is important to know the purpose and differences between the two. Let’s take a minute to give you a run-down on the two procedures so you’ll have no question about which procedure is right for you. We’ll start with Aeration.

AerationAeration vs Verticutting

Aeration, often called core aeration is the process by which a machine is either dragged or pushed above the turf, and as it turns another rotating mechanism actually probes the soil and pulls out hundreds of cores in an even and consistent manor over the entire area. The purpose for this is to essentially give the grass roots room to breathe. After a few years the soil around roots becomes compacted and causes multiple hardships for the plants by making it difficult to absorb moisture, transpire, absorb essential nutrients, establish roots and providing a shelter for pest insects and fungus. By aerating you’ll allow the grass roots which naturally need unlimited space since they are rhizomes to grow freely, and consequently you’ll have turf that is more established and eventually need less management.

Verticutting

On the other side of aeration is verticutting. This process is similar to aeration in that a verticutter digs into established turf, but the main difference is that this process is required to remove an organic build up called thatch. Thatch is just old dead grass that builds up and compacts on the soil surface. Thatch causes a lot of the same problems associated with those mentioned above, but aerating won’t treat a thatch issue as well as vericutting. Another function of verticutting is preparation for over-seeding. Over-seeding may sound bad, but the “over” part is simply referring to broadcasting seed over the soil surface (after a good verticutting of course). When an area receives verticutting a verticutter is essentially dragged along the surface and creates hundreds of little rows. You could compare it to the way a farmer will dig rows for some crops, but on a much smaller level. Verticutters break up the thatch problem, but it also gives a slight aeration and the valleys of the rows allow water to travel and set into soil instead of evaporating on top of old organic matter. Typically someone will need a verticutter when their turf is in need of a reseed, or have a large thatch problem.

We hope this helps a bit! It’s critical to turf owners of any sort to not only know the difference between these processes, but to know when and why to use them. A quick way to remember is aerating is to help establish smaller plants, verticutting is to maintain and reseed established turfs. See you soon!

Verticutting Golf Course Maintenance

Verticutting: What Is It And Why Do You Need It?

What Is Vericutting?

An extremely viable and valuable disregarded method for boosting sport turf health is the verticutter. A verticutter has many vertical blades, which are normally arranged .025 and 1.5 inches from each other on a dredging disc to dredge up thatch of the turf. The procedure opens the canopy in order to allow turf to breathe well. The process does not stop at removing any excess thatch but also removes the organic material at or below the plant’s crown area. The machine can be confused with the common aerator, but provide different benefits entirely. Verticutters dig deeper into the turf as they are severing stems which maneuver is creating very visible results. After a verticutter, it is important to pass over the area with a mower to remove all residual debris possibly damaging the turf surface.

Caring for sports turf can be a very difficult job, not only due to wear-and-tear from constant use by athletes and racing horses, but because those employees responsible for the turf may not have sufficient expertise or knowledge necessary to keep turf healthy and attractive. Sports turf is all too often managed by small towns, school districts or local park services that have never had extensive training in maintenance of turf used for athletics and active sports. It is important to understand the differences between the many procedures and programs for preparing and maintaining sports turf.

How It Works

Vertical cutting devices, called “verticutters” are well known. An example of a verticutting turf device is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 6,393,814 to Gorey. Verticutting devices have a number of blades connected to a driveshaft. As the driveshaft turns, blades make vertical cuts in the ground, cutting runners in the turf and removing dead thatch and other dead foliage from the turf. When attached to mowers, a verticutter only penetrates the ground at small depths because it is under powered to cut deeper depths.

Depending on the turf condition, aeration is preferred over verticutting and vice versa. Also, there are situations when the need exists to use verticutting to process cores removed by the aerator. There is no device that links an aerator and a verticutter into a single useful beneficial unit. One must switch back and forth between an aerator and verticutting machine. As a result the industry is in need for a device which can perform both aeration and verticutting. Still one additional object of this necessary and essential time and money saving invention is to provide a verticutting turf service device that can be adapted by workers for use in conjunction with existing aerator devices.

What Is Needed For EfficiencyVertiCutting

Both the aerator 12 and the verticutter 14 could be operated at the same time either by drive shaft 16 or by individual separate drive shafts. The verticutter 14 cutting depth is thereby able to be raised via adjusting the height wheels 33 to a position slightly off the ground as the aerator 12 pulls plugs or cores directly from the ground. These cores then would engage the blades 34 of the verticutter 14. The device would now perform the functions of aeration and core processing.

Summary

By the use of a verticutting device connected to a conventional aerator, this invention could save money and labor with both the aeration and use of verticutting of soil by a single device.

Overseeding-Your-Turf-CWST

Overseeding? Verticutter? Slit-Seeding? Slice Seeder? What to do!?

Overseeding? Verticutter? Slit-Seeding? Slice Seeder? What to Do!?

Caring for sports turf can be difficult, not only due to the wear-and-tear from constant use by athletes, but because those responsible for the turf may not have the knowledge necessary to keep the turf healthy and looking attractive. Often, sports turf is managed by small municipalities, school districts or park services that have not had the benefit of extensive training in the maintenance of the turf used for sports. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between the many methods for preparing and maintaining turf.

Overseeding

Overseeding is the process of adding seed to or over existing turf, and can be accomplished in a variety of ways. This can occur before the season begins or to address problems that develop after the seasons begins. During sports seasons, high traffic areas can get worn away, allowing brown patches to develop on the field. These areas include:

• Soccer and lacrosse goalsTurf-Outfeld-Overseeding-CWST
• The center of football and rugby fields
• Sidelines
• Outfield areas of baseball diamonds
• Entry and exit points

In those cases, overseeding the entire field Is not necessary, but by overseeding the area as soon as thin turf develops can help avoid the formation of bare spots. However, it is important to choose grasses that germinate and establish quickly, such as ryegrass or festulolium. These grasses germinate in three to five days. Ref Sports Field Management Magazine

Verticutter

One overlooked method for boosts turf health is the use of a verticutter. A verticutter has vertical blades, normally arranged between .025 and 1.5 inches apart on a disc that dredge up thatch and open the canopy in order to allow the turf to breathe. Not only does the process remove excess thatch, but it also extracts organic material at or below the plant crown area. The machine is often confused with an aerator, but the machines provide different benefits. Verticutters dig deeper into the turf, severing stolons and stems, creating visible results. After using a verticutter, it is important to make a pass over the area with a mower to remove any residual debris that could cause damage to the turf surface. Ref Grounds Mag

Slit or Slice Seeding

A slice or slit seeder cuts grooves into the soil placing seed in the grooves in order to provide good seed to soil contact. The slit or slice seeder actually overseeds as it removes thatch and opens the canopy to provide better nutrition for the turf. Slit seeders offer a higher germination rate than broadcasting seed that may not come into contact with the soil. However, it is possible to use a verticutter to create the slits and then broadcast seed immediately after in order to allow the seed to fall into the slits cut by the verticutter. A slice or slit seeder combines both processes which can be a time and money saver, especially for heavily used sports turf fields.

Overseeding is a critical part of maintaining healthy, green sports turf. It can eliminate high-traffic areas and keep the field looking lush throughout the season. Whether using a verticutter and broadcaster to overseed the lawn or a slice/slit seeder, overseeding should be done whenever it appears that areas of the field are getting thin due to high-traffic. To learn more about verticutters, seeders and overseeding, visit us at Commowealth Sports Turf by phone or online today.