What is Vertical Lawn Mowing?

Vertical lawn mowing, also known as vertical cutting or verticutting, is a lawn care technique that involves cutting vertically into the turf to remove thatch and promote healthy grass growth. Thatch is a layer of dead grass, roots, and other organic matter that accumulates between the soil and the green grass blades. While a thin layer of thatch is beneficial for the lawn, excessive thatch can prevent water, air, and nutrients from reaching the roots, leading to a weak and unhealthy lawn.

The Benefits of Vertical Lawn Mowing

Vertical lawn mowing offers several benefits for maintaining a lush and healthy lawn:

1. Thatch Removal

One of the primary purposes of vertical lawn mowing is to remove excessive thatch buildup. By cutting vertically into the turf, the thatch layer is effectively removed, allowing water, air, and nutrients to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. This promotes a healthier root system and overall grass growth.

2. Improved Nutrient Absorption

Vertical lawn mowing also helps improve the absorption of nutrients by the grass roots. When the thatch layer is too thick, it acts as a barrier, preventing the roots from accessing the essential nutrients they need to thrive. By removing the thatch, the grass roots can absorb nutrients more efficiently, leading to greener and more vibrant grass.

3. Enhanced Water Drainage

Excessive thatch can also hinder proper water drainage, leading to waterlogged soil and potential lawn diseases. Vertical lawn mowing helps alleviate this issue by creating channels for water to flow through, preventing water buildup and promoting better drainage. This is particularly important in areas with heavy rainfall or compacted soil.

4. Increased Air Circulation

Proper air circulation is crucial for maintaining a healthy lawn. Excessive thatch can suffocate the grass roots, preventing them from receiving the necessary oxygen. Vertical lawn mowing opens up the turf, allowing for better air circulation and reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

5. Stimulated New Growth

Vertical lawn mowing stimulates new grass growth by encouraging lateral shoot production. When the grass is cut vertically, it triggers the grass to produce new shoots, resulting in a denser and more uniform lawn. This can help fill in bare patches and improve the overall appearance of the lawn.

6. Weed Control

By removing the thatch layer, vertical lawn mowing can also help control weed growth. Weeds often thrive in thick thatch, as it provides them with a favorable environment to establish themselves. By regularly verticutting the lawn, weed seeds are disrupted, making it more difficult for them to take root and grow.

When to Perform Vertical Lawn Mowing

The timing of vertical lawn mowing is crucial for its effectiveness. It is best to perform this technique during the active growing season of the grass, typically in the spring or fall. Avoid verticutting during periods of drought or extreme heat, as the grass may struggle to recover from the stress.


Vertical lawn mowing is a beneficial technique for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn. By removing excessive thatch, improving nutrient absorption, enhancing water drainage and air circulation, stimulating new growth, and controlling weeds, vertical lawn mowing promotes optimal grass health. Remember to perform this technique during the appropriate season and consider seeking professional assistance for best results.