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Should I Dethatch My Lawn

Aerate Overseed And Fertilize

Should You Dethatch Your Lawn?

An optional step but highly recommended in order to achieve optimum lawn health is to aerate and then overseed your lawn after dethatching.

Adding a bit of fertilizer/lawn food into the mix isnt going to hurt either.

Quick tip: You can also use this time to add new grass seed to any bare spots in your lawn especially if youve been a bit too heavy-handed with the dethatching.

But all of that is for another article entirely so its lucky weve got them.

For a guide to explaining the differences between aerating and dethatching follow that link, and you can also check out this post which covers a full guide to lawn aeration.

Again, you need to make sure its the right time of year for this process, and be sure to manage your expectations.

Rome wasnt built in a day.

How Do I Dethatch My Lawn

There are several ways to dethatch a lawn. For lawns with moderate levels of thatch, aerating may do the trick. Or use a cavex rake which has unusual semicircular tines. Those knifelike blades cut through the sod and pull out thatch. For large lawns with serious thatch problems, the most effective solution is a vertical mower . Resembling a heavy-duty power mower but with a series of spinning vertical knives, it cuts through thatch.

Dethatching often creates a large volume of debris that must be removed. If the debris is weed-free and you have not used herbicides or pesticides on your lawn, compost it. Or check to see if your city has a composting program for yard waste.

When And How To Aerate Your Lawn

In the north, aerate in early fall doing it in spring can damage tender grass shoots. Avoid aerating in fall when the grass is dormant. In the south, aerate in mid-spring to early summer.

Rent an aerator from a big-box store or equipment rental company. No need to invest in equipment that takes up space and youll only use once every couple of years. Bring your truck and the same friends who helped you haul the dethatcher. Consider sharing the rental cost with those same friends so they can aerate their lawns, too. Follow the manufacturers directions when operating the aerator.

Recommendations lean toward removing as many cores as possible20 to 40 per square foot at a depth of 23 inches. Run the aerator several times in different directions if youre not getting the recommended number of holes in one pass and to loosen up highly compacted soil. Before you begin, mark sprinkler heads and anything else that may be damaged while aerating.

Core aeration will leave cores of soil on the surface of your lawn. Just leave them. Theyll breakdown and the soil will work its way back down. Like dethatching, you may be a little embarrassed by how your lawn looks. It can take up to six weeks for grass to fill the resulting holes. Be strong. Its going to look so much better.

After your lawn is breathing easier, its the perfect time to overseed and fertilize using a slow-release fertilizer like Milorganite.

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Assessing Thatch In A Lawn

To determine the amount of thatch accumulation, remove a two-inch deep, pie-shaped wedge from the lawn and measure the amount of thatch between the soil surface and green vegetation. If the layer is one-half inch or less, it usually is not a problem. If, however, the layer exceeds one-half inch, you should implement a program of thatch management.

Thatch control may include both prevention and removal. Preventing excessive thatch should concern all homeowners and turf managers interested in maintaining a high-quality lawn. A thatch removal program should be considered any time thatch has accumulated in a layer more than one-half inch thick.

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Is It Important To Dethatch Your Lawn

Should Lawns Be Dethatched : When Is The Best Time To Dethatch My Lawn ...

Lawn dethatching can be crucial to keeping your grass and soil healthy. Thatch can build up even if you are mowing and doing other yard work. Excess thatch can be caused by over watering and fertilization. The thick layer of dead plant material can be removed with the help of detaching.

Detached lawns are the most common type of lawn in the U.S., and they are also the easiest to maintain. The most important thing to remember is that you need to remove the grass clippings from the surface of the lawn. You can do this by using a lawn mower, but you can also do it by hand.

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What Does A Lawn Look Like After Scarifying

Its patchy, uneven in colour and quite dull. On the right, you can see the lawn after its been scarified. The lawn is much healtier and the colour is brighter and more even! Its true that your scarified lawn might look terrible for a period, but once its recovered youll be grateful that you got it done.

Final Thoughts And Tips On Lawn Dethatching

Lawn dethatching may seem like something you dont have to do, but for most homeowners it is vitally important.

If you care about having a lawn full of healthy grass, free from disease and insects then dethatching is something to think about. Dethatching can definitely be done by yourself, but if you have neglected your lawn, and the thatch layer is over 2 inches thick, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Its a lot of work, and if you have the money, getting someone to dethatch and remove the dead grass will save you a lot of time and back strain.

You may need multiple sessions if you have an excessive buildup of thatch, and you must remember not to remove too much at once or you will disrupt the roots. If you have a large thatch problem or seem unsure of what to do, your local lawn professional or garden center can help you make the right decision.

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What To Do After Dethatching

After dethatching the lawn, use a leaf rake to rake up and remove the debris. Then water the lawn.

This is a good time to aerate your lawn. Aeration will create openings in the surface of the lawn that help water, air, and nutrients better penetrate the soil. This helps alleviate soil compaction, creates better air flow around the roots of the grass plants, and encourages the roots to grow more deeply.

To prevent future thatch problems, consider adding humate-rich, gypsum-based amendments to the soil. Jonathan Green MAG-I-CAL® Plus is a natural, humate-rich, three-in-one soil food that loosens hard soil, stimulates soil microbes, and adjusts soil pH. MAG-I-CAL® Plus is available for acidic soil and alkaline soil and should be used every season to keep your soil biology and chemistry balanced. It breaks up clay and compacted soil for better air, water, nutrient, and root penetration.

Visit Jonathan Green online or your nearest independent home and garden store for more information on when and how you should dethatch your lawn to reinvigorate it and keep it looking its best.

When And How Often Should You Dethatch Your Lawn


Almost every lawn needs dethatching about once a year, or whenever the thatch reaches a thickness of about 1/2 inch. To check, just work your fingers into the grass and note the depth of the thatch layer. Dethatch cool-season grasses in fall, warm-season types in early spring.

Is it better to dethatch or aerate?

So should you dethatch or aerate? Core aerating not only breaks up thatch buildup but also relieves compacted soil. Dethatching mostly loosens the top layer of soil and also removes the layer of debris from the soil. Dethatching can really help when overseeding your lawn.

Should I aerate or dethatch first?

Although a thin layer of thatch is beneficial, thatch accumulation should not exceed 1/2 inch. Excess thatch blocks out air, light and water from reaching root zones. Dethatching and aeration services go hand in hand. Dethatch first, then aerate.

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Lawn Thatch: What It Is And How To Deal With It

Lawn thatch is something which you need to control if you are to have a lush, healthy lawn.

Having some of it in your lawn is a good thing. However, too much can negatively affect the health of your lawn which often leads to other problems like moss invasions, weed takeovers and the onset of disease.

So what is lawn thatch? What causes it and how do you control it?

This article explains all.

Why When And How To Dethatch Your Lawn

Not all lawns need dethatching, but when your lawn does need it, knowing how to dethatch your lawn is crucial to its future. Done properly, dethatching helps restore your lawn to health and keep it beautiful in years to come. By learning why, when and how to dethatch, you can keep your thick, lush grass on track. These lawn dethatching basics can help understand:

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How To Dethatch Your Lawn The Tools Youll Need

In order to decide what kind of tools youll need for this job, you should first consider how large your lawn is.

Quick tip: For small to medium-sized lawns, its possible to dethatch your lawn with an ordinary garden rake. Just make sure it has durable metal tines a plastic leaf rake isnt going to be strong enough.

However, it can help with the cleanup afterwards, so its worth having one anyway.

That said, this is where I suggest the Groundskeeper II.

Never in my life did I think I would get so excited about a rake but this thing is on another level. You need one in your garden shed and not just for dethatching.

Of course, if you have a medium to a large lawn, then you probably want to look at a dethatching machine.

Also known as a scarifier, this is a gas or electric power tool that has metal tines that rake up the thatch as you push the unit along similar to a lawnmower.

One of the best examples is this corded Greenworks 10 Amp dethatcher which has lawn care professionals and casual weekend gardeners alike falling over themselves to sing its praises.

But if youre blessed with looking after a particularly giant plot of land, then using a tow-behind dethatcher is highly recommended.

This example from John Deere is a great option and comes with a universal hitch, so it can be used with any garden tractor or ride-on mower.

Do Grass Clippings Cause Thatch

How Often Should You Dethatch A Lawn / How Often Should You Dethatch ...

Contrary to a popular lawn myth, leaving clippings on the lawn does not cause thatch, which is a layer of partially decomposed grass-plant parts between the soil and live grass. Grass clippings are mostly water, so as long as you mow regularly at the right height, they will break down and disappear rapidly.

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What Should I Do After I Dethatch My Lawn

Whichever method you choose to dethatch your lawn, you must feed the lawn immediately after with a quality fertiliser and water deeply.

Dethatching will inevitably leave your lawn looking a little worse for wear for a few weeks. But it will bounce back, and the many benefits will be worthwhile.

Thatching is not always avoidable but by adhering to the following lawn care practices throughout the year you can help reduce the severity in the future:

  • Use the right type and amount of fertiliser for normal growth
  • Water deeply, thoroughly, but infrequently
  • Maintain proper pH levels
  • Aerate your lawn on a regular schedule to make room for new growth

For more lawn care advice visit our website here.

Is Lawn Aeration Difficult

Lawn aeration isnt as difficult as people think. The size of your yard is mainly what determines how long it will take to get the whole job done.

However, there are basic tools and elements you require to get the work done easily and faster:

  • Handworking gloves

After you have your toolkit ready, its time to prepare your lawns.

Part of the preparation is to water your grass thoroughly at least 2 3 days before you finally aerate.

Use a watering system or sprinkler system to do the watering.

One of the ways to measure if your lawns is thoroughly watered, is to place an empty tin can on the lawn before you water.

Once the empty tin can fills up during the watering, then know that the lawn has received enough water.

Take marker flags to indicate sprinkler heads or any other hidden objects.

After this process, get the core aerator to begin the work. Run the core aerator once over the lawns to get the exact result.

When youre done aerating, leave the soil cores on the lawn to naturally decompose.

Another way is that you can either rake the soil cores and empty them in the compost bin.

Then fertilize your lawn after aeration. Go ahead to spread fertilizer on your lawn after aeration.

After fertilization, water lawn the following day to aid the fertilizer into their roots.

You can plant grass seed before fertilizing the area that is necessary.

Dont fertilize and plant seed grass on the same day. Let both exercises be done on different days.

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Should I Overseed After Dethatching

With dethatching done, its an ideal time to overseed your lawn and get it back on track for thick, lush, green beauty. To prevent future thatch problems, test your lawn soil every 34 years and follow soil test recommendations to keep soil pH and nutrients at optimal levels for thick, healthy grass growth.

What Is The Best Way To Dethatch My Lawn

How To Dethatch and Overseed a Lawn – Greenworks Dethatcher

To dethatch your lawn, you can either do it by yourself or you contact an expert.

If you want to dethatch your lawn by yourself, just get a rake and a dethatcher to get the work done.

Get a work-glove to wear on your hands.

Use the dethatcher to get the environment ready and use the rake to gather the thatch. After the gathering, pick up the thatch to put them in the garbage bag.

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When Is The Best Time To Dethatch My Lawn

You should generally think about dethatching your lawn when the thatch has reached a depth of about 1.5cm.

Lawns should be dethatched when conditions are best to promote rapid recovery and it works only for warm-season grasses that have rhizomes – Buffalo, Kikuyu, Couch and Zoysia.

Dethatching should be avoided for cool-season types of turf like fescue as this practice will probably spell the end of your lawn.

The best time to dethatch warm-season lawns is late spring or early summer after theyve completely greened and are growing rapidly and can recover quickly from the stress. Do not do this in the cooler months as you will cause significant damage to your lawn and it will not be able to recover during winter.

How Do I Know If My Lawn Needs Dethatching

To remove a wedge-shaped layer of grass and soil, use a trowel or spade, or just pry up a small section of turf. The thickness should be measured. A layer thicker than ½ inch signals its time to move on to the next step. Layer. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut away the grass that has been growing on the bottom of the thatch layer.

You can also use a garden shears, but be careful not to cut too deep. If you do, youll have to start all over again. The grass will grow back in a few weeks, so dont worry if it takes a little while to get rid of it. Once youve removed the top layer, it will be easier to work with.

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The Best Time To Dethatch A Lawn

Dethatching should always coincide with the primary growing season for your type of grass. While the process shouldnt harm your turf, it is best to perform tasks when your grass can quickly rejuvenate itself.

If you live in the northern parts of the country, youll like to have a lawn of cool-season grasses. Check your lawn for thatch overgrowth and plan to dethatch at the end of the summer or beginning of fall. This is when cool-season grasses flourish, meaning that they can stand strong against a little stress.

Warm-season grasses are best when dethatched in mid-to-late spring. With the warmest time of year right around the corner, these grasses will be ready to flourish after the thatch has been removed.

How Often To Dethatch The Lawn

How To Dethatch A Lawn With A Rake / Benefits Of Dethatching And ...

Some varieties of grass must be dethatched each year. Prime offenders include cool-season grasses like Creeping Bentgrass and Kentucky Bluegrass and warm-season grasses like Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass, according to Harbit. For other types of grass, thatch builds up over time so you dont need to dethatch annually.

If you have less thatch-prone varieties like tall fescue or rye, you may only need to dethatch every five years, if at all. No matter what, check your lawn each year to see how much thatch has accumulated.

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The Best Time To Dethatch Your Lawn

You have possibly heard that dethatching is important to keep your lawn thriving, but you might not know exactly what it is or what the process entails. Thats OK. Dethatching can be a mystery, even to people who spend a great deal of time tending to their lawn.

While the process can be labor-intensive, it is not complicated. And to get the best results, it is important to perform this chore when your lawn is at its peak strength. Unfortunately, that time can vary, depending on where you live and what kind of grass you have.


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