Leaves, stems, roots, and grass clippings that have piled up on the lawn is called thatch. Thatch below ½ inches is ideal to the lawn. It helps in insulating the lawn and conserving water in the turf.
However, anything above that length and more preferable below ¾ inches or above endangers the turf. It could stop grass roots from growing deep in the soil. It could also block lawn soil pores and prevent ideal porosity. Finally it could deprive the lawn from getting ideal nutrients.
When thatch gets thicker than ½ an inch it is advisable that you remove it. The process of removing the thatch is what is called dethatching. The equipment that slices through the thatch to remove it is called the lawn dethatcher. Working with a dethatcher is a simple DIY procedure. Here is the best lawn dethatching tips that you should apply to your lawn to keep thatch from piling up.
Examine Your Lawn First
Examining your lawn first will allow you to tell if the lawn needs to be dethatched or not. Here are questions you could ask yourself.
- Does the grass on your turf feel very springy and bouncy?
- Can you easily push your finger through the layer of thatch?
- If you measure the thatch with is it over three-quarters an inch?
If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” it is a clear indication that your lawn has too much thatch. It would benefit from dethatching.
Examine the Size of Lawn
The size of your lawn will determine the type of equipment used for dethatching. If your lawn is small you should use a dethatching rake. Thatching rakes are just like regular rakes. However, instead of tines they have a row of blades.
If you have a large lawn you should consider using a lawn dethatcher. Dethatchers are pushed along just like their lawn mowers sisters. They have rotating blades that cut through thatch.
Dethatch When You Have Vigorous Growth
What this means is that you should avoid winter and shoot for early fall. This is great if you have cool season grass. Late spring would be fine if you have warm-seasoned grass. Always mow your lawn quite short just before dethatching to get the best results.
Aerate Your Lawn if You Can
Lawn aeration is a common lawn care procedure. It uses plugs of soil pulled out of the lawn or spiked shoes to create holes on the lawn. This process is ideal for lawns that are overly compacted. It helps lawns that struggle with soaking water and removes thatch.
Give Your Grass Some Final Touch
There are a number of things that you should do after dethatching. Some of the most common ideal practices include the following.
- Rake and remove the thatch scattered over grass.
- Use the thatch as compost or use it as mulch
- If dethatching created bare spots, reseed to get lush growth.
- After applying seed, rake it into soil to ensure ideal growth.
- Add a light covering of organic matter, soil, or sand to cover pores.
- Fertilize after dethatching to boost growth of reseeded areas.
- Keep recently dethatched lawns well watered until grass recovers.
Only use a lawn dethatcher when the lawn is slightly moist. Also mow the lawn two times, in opposing directions. If your yard will look shaggy and awful after dethatching, don’t be surprised – that’s how it’s supposed to look!