Hello folks! Did you know that most people overlook the need to dethatch the lawn claiming that it doesn’t do much to influence the quality of the grass? While not as important as mowing it does play a significant role in preventing nutrients from reaching the roots.
It is therefore important to ensure that your lawn is properly and thoroughly dethatched. But what exactly is dethatching?
This is the removal of dead grass that is lying around on the lawn. Most comes about as a result of lawn mowing. There are 3 main ways of dealing with the thatch in your lawn. You can do it yourself with the help of a rake, rent out dethatching equipment or if you feel like you are not up to it, hire a professional.
A Brief About the How to Dethatch a Lawn
Doing it Yourself
While you could use your regular rake, this is not nearly as effective as using a specially designed dethatching rake. If you do not have one, now is the time to run to your local home store and pick one.
The normal rake may simply be inefficient at pulling out the thatch held tightly between the grass owing to the blunt and downward facing metal times.
On the other hand, a dethatching rake has curved sharp blades that dig into the grass to pull the thatch upwards and outwards. You will use the same motion you use with the regular rake.
Renting out Specialized Equipment
The right kind of equipment to use on your lawn is a vertical cutter or power rake. This comes with vertically set blades or metal tines that get into the grass and pulls up the thatch.
You will need to employ a predetermined spacing between the blades of the dethatcher. This will be based on the type of grass that you have on the lawn. Some grass is denser than others. You may also have over seeded the lawn and this makes it difficult to reach to the ground.
You can also determine how deep the dethatcher goes into the soil. The general setting is 1/ 2 an inch. In case you have any doubts or questions, the agency you rented it from should be in a position to offer advice.
Keep in mind that this is a heavy equipment, you will need a truck to transport it to your house and even then you will also need an extra pair of hands to remove it from the truck and load it back again when you are done.
How about Bringing in a Professional?
In case you are not so sure about dethatching the lawn yourself, you can always hire the services of a professional lawn maintenance company.
They will send a qualified agent who will handle your lawn in a better more effective way. They could also offer tips on how to improve the condition of your lawn.
Before dethatching your lawn, there are a few tips that you should follow. This will make it easier for you to get the job done.
- Always ensure that you have mowed the grass near the ground. This allows you to be in a better position to judge your progress.
- When dethatching, always follow with the second round at 90 degrees from the original position. This ensures that you do a thorough job.
- Lastly, ensure that all irrigation equipment and objects are removed to prevent you from causing damage.
What Next After Dethatching
After you have completed the whole process of dethatching your lawn, it will likely be looking a little untidy. There are a few steps you can observe to bring it back to its former glory. Let’s consider them below.
- Pick up the regular rake and remove any thatch on top of the lawn grass. This will ensure the grass is completely free of the dead grass.
- Reseed the spaces left in the lawn after dethatching to allow the grass to grow thick and lush again.
- Bare patches on the ground can offer the right space for crabgrass and other weeds to infect the lawn. Prevent this by applying a herbicide.
- Apply the recommended fertilizer at the recommended rate to ensure the grass seeds get off to a great new start.
- Ensure the lawn receives plenty of water. This should help the grass seeds to germinate while also nourishing the older grass.
Does Your Lawn Need Dethatching?
Yes, I admit that having thatch in your lawn is not entirely bad. In fact, there are some benefits. It does offer a natural way to mulch the soil. When spending time on your lawn perhaps during the weekend, thatch prevents too much compaction in the soil by offering a natural cushion.
Temperature can also affect the health and condition of your grass lawn. Regular fluctuations are not the best for the crown part of the grass and thatch does a good job at keeping this area well protected.
The right thickness is about ½ inch tall. Anything above this will actually do more harm than good. There are a few cons to having too much thatch. One of them is providing a barrier for sunlight to reach down to the lower parts of the grass.
During watering, you want the moisture to quickly seep into the root system. Thatch can hold it near the leaves providing a habitat for the fungus that could bring diseases. Fertilizer and nutrients will not get to the roots resulting in slower growth rate.
Where Does Thatch Come From?
Sometimes the thatch in your lawn is a result of a natural process. However, there are a few man-made causes. Some of these include raising the blades of your lawnmower and cutting the grass too high. The clippings are caught in between the grass blades.
Over watering and having clay soil in your lawn will also cause thatch to develop faster. It’s good to keep in mind that different varieties of grasses develop thatch at different rates. If you need to minimize the presence of thatch, this is a factor you will need to consider when sourcing your grass seeds.
How To Dethatch A Lawn
To help reduce the development of thatch you can observe proper maintenance tips such as aeration, fertilization and watering methods. Remember to check how high you mow your grass as this is a major contributor to the development thatch.