View Full Version : Does anyone verticut?

03-09-2001, 02:30 AM
When I first started lawncare in 1986 there was one co. in town that did verticutting. Everyone else de-thatched . Never seen it since. Looks like it would do a lawn good and be better than slaughtering it with spring tines or a power rake. Any thoughts?

03-09-2001, 08:01 AM
I have used a slice seeder. I rented one to try it out. for overseeding it works better than thatching since their is better soil to seed contact--in thin areas it will look like rows of grass like a corn field since the grooves are cut into the soil. It is the same machine as a thatcher, with the ecxeption of the blades and seed hopper. I think the height adjustment worked like a sort of hinge to raise the height of the machine up without much trouble if something hard was hit. You may be able to retrofit your thatcher with the blades and just overseed with a spreader. I may be looking to do the same since I have the thatcher bar for the Walker.


03-09-2001, 03:20 PM
I verticut and i like it. It is a special place that gets it. Remember you will get about 3 time the amount of chaff that you get from a powerrake. It is very aggresive. Hope this helps

03-09-2001, 03:23 PM
what is verticut i have never heard of it?

03-10-2001, 01:41 AM

I was just reading your post. Im a weee bit confused.

I thought that a Dethatcher had a flail type reel where the blades hung from that reel and then whipped at the ground when operating the machine.

I thought that a Power Rake had a stationary type reel where the blades were welded to that reel and then cut into the ground when operating the machine.

I was also under the impression that Verti-Cutting a lawn was nothing more than power raking with a seed hopper attatched.

Can someone plz help me out if I am not correct, because this is what I was taught about these machines??

Thanks for any light you can shed on this in advance.

03-10-2001, 01:50 AM
why not core areate?If the soil is proper thatch wouldn't be a problem.Just seed ,fert it an run with it ...It will loook good as long as you keep the weed out .

03-10-2001, 03:42 AM
That's all I use I've always been told its the best for Bermuda lawns. Most people call this machine a dethatcher. you can attach tines to it or blades. What do you use?

Paradise Yard Service
03-10-2001, 05:42 AM
Used the bluebird dethatcher. A violent process on Zoysia but it gets the job done, messy albeit.

I now just use my T-270 with blade attached to cut through the thatch on all my Zoysia lawns. Less vibration.

The bluebird I used worked like a flail machine that swinged the blades on a reel and cut into the thatch and just bellow the soil. No seeder attachment needed as we grow using mostly stolons/plugs.

Hope this helps!

Mahalo Lawnsite!


03-10-2001, 09:47 AM

Just out of curiosity, what does Mahalo mean??
Thanks for the crunch language lession -LOL


03-10-2001, 10:15 AM
In today`s market, operators say anything to make a buck, and `Dethatching` and many other industry terms have different meanings to different contractors even in the same market area. Throw in the public useage of these terms for who knows what, and it is no wonder that the lawn industry is not looked on as a professional endeavor.

kutnkru`s problem is that he learned it right from some oldtimer. Your definitions are basically what a sincere turf manager would use, Kris. A little refinement:

Dethatching - uses vertical springs or flails; basically a cosmetic procedure; just fluffs the surface; does not remove any real thatch. (From http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=1846 :
`The purpose of dethatching a lawn is to get the customer to part with their money......... It is a great and easy service to sell, but completely unnecessary in most cases.`)

Power raking - cutting with fixed vertical blades, completely through the thatch layer to soil. Only necessary if turf has has long term mismanagement.

Verticutting - a less destructive form of power raking, blades set to ground surface (basically same machine, but a dedicated verticutter needs less power). Used to stimulate stoloniferous grasses to grow better when coming out of a dormancy or stress period.

Slit seeding - seedbox attached to power rake, such that seeds are dropped in line with blades. Slit seeders only came into common use on ornamental turf in late 1980s.

NOTE: italicized terms above have a specific meaning. Until the whole industry, and each individual in the industry, agrees on these meanings, there is no hope of being considered a profession. (And yes, it is difficult to explain to a customer that a ?~dethatcher~? does nothing about thatch. LOL)

03-10-2001, 10:34 AM

Thank you so much for the ducational post. Hopefully this will help those who offer these different services as well.

I agree that there are so many who are not on the same page that it hurts us an Industry. Thus one cannot stress the importance of an education.

Thanks again Jim!!

Eric ELM
03-10-2001, 11:40 AM
In one post, Paradise Yard Service said Mahalo meant THANKS.

03-10-2001, 12:40 PM
I own a toro seeder and love it over thathing.I only thath when the thatch is over 5 inches which is rare.The con about the seeder is that it does not get to the edges of the lawn next to beds.It works great,gets the seed into the soil and the growth rate is 10 times higher than seeding with a spreader over existing lawns. And to reply to a couple of the replys above. With a seeder it is correct if you go one straight line that you can notice the seed lines however like most other lawn machines like aerators mowers you need to make up and down and across lines.And the other reply about zoysia to my understanding zoysia roots are rinezones, which spread across the soil. Wouldn't you be hurting the grass by thatching?

03-10-2001, 01:26 PM
jim, thanks for explaining everything, that helps out so much. thanks again

03-11-2001, 08:04 AM
GROUNDSKEEPER Iagree with everything you said but for one.
Dethatching is disturbing thatch build up over a eighth
inch or when there is indications the soil needs to be exsposed.Ive had this help yds .I do agree that a lot of dethatchers dont began to get the job done.

LScom Addict
03-14-2001, 03:06 AM
We use a power rake with a sliceing reel and seed hooper for slice-seeding. We will run the machinews over the property in two different directions to make sure that we have good seed uniformity.

03-14-2001, 04:06 PM
hey addict,

did you switch the reel on your power rake ? How much did it cost. I have been wanting to do the same thing since the fingers on mine (flail type) are about warn down. If this is true, where did you get them from ?


03-14-2001, 07:57 PM
The larger Bluebird machines can be used as flail rakes (what most call dethatching), power rakes or vertical mowers, and as slit seeders. Conversion from or to slit seeder usually takes 45 min; when just changing reels from fixed to flails, will only take 20 min.

LScom Addict
03-15-2001, 08:00 AM
I bought our machine used and it came with both reels. I believe the replacement reels run close to $200 each. It takes me just over an hour to change from the flail to the slicing reel. It takes about half that to reverse the process. I am guessing by his posts that Jim has far more experience than I on this matter, so I am hopeful to better my times for changing the reels. :)

LScom Addict
03-15-2001, 08:02 AM
Sorry I did not see your question about where to purchase. I buy all replacement parts from local equipment dealers. I think it is important to support the local economy especially in the small town that I live in. Without them, Im out of business. And no, I do not support on-line buying of equipment for obvious reasons.