Large-Scale & Commercial Vertimowing in Perth

Vertimowing, also called dethatching or lawn grooming, is the process of thinning out accumulated thatch in a lawn to allow air, water and nutrients to reach the root zone where they can be absorbed.

What is thatch and why is it a problem?

Thatch is the accumulation of dead organic matter beneath the leaf blade area when turf produces organic matter quicker than it is able to break it down.

Thatch is sped up by several factors, including over-watering, over-fertilising, and an ineffective mowing schedule.

A small layer of thatch is fine, as it can help regulate the soil temperature and release a small quantity of nutrients back into the soil as it breaks down, but as the thatch layer begins to thicken it will start to cause problems.

A thicker thatch layer means that the crucial air, water and nutrients applied to your lawn or turfed surface will not be able to penetrate this layer, and reach the root zone where it is absorbed. In addition to this, insects are more likely to call your turf home and you will be more susceptible to disease.

What to do about it

Now that we have established what thatch is, and how it occurs, we can discuss how to remove it.

While a heavy lawn scalping can remove a lot of thatch, it is not as effective as a proper vertimow.

Vertimowing uses vertical blades to dig into the turf surface and remove all surface and subsurface thatch. It may make your turf look unsightly to begin with it, but it doesn’t take long for it to bounce back, and produce much greater results.

What are the signs that my lawn needs to be vertimowed?

There are several signs that your lawn may need a vertimow including:

  • It may have started to become spongier to walk on over time.
  • Your once vibrant lawn may have started to struggle, or it may be getting harder to mow.

Does it depend on the kind of grass I have?

Different types of grass can have different needs.

If your turf surface is couch or kikuyu it will have underground stems or runners called rhizomes. When we vertimow, we take the turf down to dirt level and it will still bounce back better than ever.

If you have buffalo turf, we still vertimow but we don’t go quite as low. Buffalo has what we call stolons, which are above-ground runners.

But what if my turf isn’t bad, and I just want to stay on top of things?

This is where ‘turf grooming’ comes into play.

Grooming is a light vertimow, generally speaking the leaf blade isn’t hit hard but the vertical blades will still dig into the soil and remove small levels of the thatch layer.

Turf maintenance for schools in Perth

Part of the annual turf maintenance cycle

A proper turf maintenance program will include lawn grooming once a year, which makes sure that your lawn never gets to the stage where a thorough vertimowing is necessary.

When should vertimowing be done in Perth?

Luckily for us, while Perth’s sandy soils may not be great in terms of providing nutrients, we do have excellent growing temperatures.

A turf vertimow/groom will generally be done when the turf is actively growing in Perth – from mid-September to mid-April. However, for optimal conditions, it’s recommended that this be done before temperatures get too hot.

Get in touch to find out whether your turf could benefit from a professional vertimowing treatment.

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