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FL&G
03-21-2005, 11:43 PM
Most of the turf books I have been reading say that cool season grasses should be dethatched in the fall. Why do most people do it in the spring? Myself included, if the customer wants it I'm going to do it.

Mower For Less
03-22-2005, 01:34 PM
I'm sure somebody will correct me if there is a better reason, but I think it has to do with weed seed germination. You are at a much higher risk of getting weeds in the lawn if you dethatch in the spring. Plus it will destroy the pre emergence barrier if you put one down before dethatching.

Kevin

Shawns Lawns
03-22-2005, 07:02 PM
[QUOTE=Mower For Less]I'm sure somebody will correct me if there is a better reason, but I think it has to do with weed seed germination.

your right
You can do it in the spring but it would be better to do it in the end of summer for cool season grasses before the final surge of growth before winter. I guess it all depends on what the customer wants. :waving:

David Grass
03-24-2005, 08:21 PM
most customers just think "spring is for planting", and doing any other number of things. I do have certain lawns that do better in the spring tho, because of all the oak trees putting down leaves so late into the fall. Fall is best, but lets face it, spring works good too.

lawnlubber
03-26-2005, 02:33 AM
I power rake not really dethatch but anyway I do it in spring for 2 reasons. 1 if I overseed and it doesn't "take" I get another shot in the fall. 2 If there is much growth at all on the plants the process tends to shred them up kind of badly. In the fall I aerate not dethatch, it is less damaging to the actively growing plants. In the spring, when new growth is too short to cut, they tolerate it much better.

Five Diamond Lawns
03-27-2005, 10:38 AM
I have dethatched for years. Hate doing it because of the damage it does to the turf but sometimes it's necessary and if done correctly you make $100 per hour.
I do it mostly in the spring. Most customers only think and call about it when they are starting out the season or dealing with a moss problem. Weeds have never concerned me, improve the turf then worry about the weeds.
Normally I dethatch, then aerate, fertilize, seed, and if necessary put ether topsoil over the bad spots of pet moss to keep in the moisture.

cenlo
03-27-2005, 05:38 PM
I power rake not really dethatch but anyway I do it in spring for 2 reasons.

What's the difference, a power rake is a dethatcher.

GroundKprs
03-28-2005, 01:26 AM
Are you guys really doing that much dethatching and powerraking? I have only had to powerrake one lawn in 25 years. A powerraking is an extremely destructive procedure.

Is this your power rake? http://www.sweepster.com/images/b_pto_power_rake.jpg

Or are you using a small walk behind with knives like this?
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9123

Or are you just using some kind of gas powered spring or flail rake? Many call this power raking or dethatching, but it is a gross misnomer, for it does nothing about thatch. The gas powered flail type of raking in the spring is just a make work function to get up cash flow. A month after it's done, you can't tell the difference between raked and unraked areas. Except for the extra weeds growing in the parts you raked - because you have disturbed and exposed so much of the soil surface to light, up to 5 times as many weeds will successfully germinate in spring or fall flail raked areas.

Many people confuse the bit of dead grass blades with thatch. Cleaning these out is only cosmetic, for they would decay shortly. Besides, there are always dead grass blades on the surface, for the average bluegrass leaf only lives 4-6 weeks.

cenlo
03-28-2005, 07:03 AM
Or are you using a small walk behind with knives like this?
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9123

That is a vertislicer, it is used in conjunction with a seed box to overseed.

marko
03-28-2005, 06:47 PM
Spring is big for both dethatching and aerating due to the $$$. Most full timers are coming out of a long winter w/ no income. The part timers can make some decent $$$ and get the capitol rolling in. I would say it is best done in the fall.

GroundKprs
03-28-2005, 07:45 PM
That is a vertislicer, it is used in conjunction with a seed box to overseed.
My hat is off to cenlo. Very few recognize tools like he does. Great to see someone who really knows the equipment and the terminology, cenlo! But vertislicer is a general category that could include a powerrake, vertical mower, and a slit seeder. Right?

That is from my Bluebird combo flail rake (lawn comber), power rake, and slit seeder. Since I rarely have to power rake, I leave the slit seeding blades in all the time. But if I did have to power rake, I would install the powerrake blades in that reel. I just interchange the two reels and add seed box to convert from flail rake to slit seeder.

houssien
03-17-2006, 06:04 PM
do u use the bagger while using the dethatcher attachment

chriscraft
03-20-2006, 09:50 AM
For some reson people think dethatching is good. its generally harmful more than good. it makes lawn susceptible to drought stress especially if done in spring. But old school was to dethatch and often back in the 1960's. people are slow to change. Fall is best unless you want to handrake all the debris because it so damn wet in spring, vaccuums and bagger units wont pick it up properly

Doug Z.
03-20-2006, 10:51 AM
I always power rake in the spring. People like how the dormant lawn looks after you run the machine over it, and vacuum it up. It makes their yard look clean. I've noticed here, that most lawns could get away with it every 2 years, some lawns just have so much thatch in them that it really seems to make a difference. I've also had to talk customers out of doing it. I had a customer that insisted that it get done every year. His lawn was so shady, most of the lawn didn't have a good root system. After about 3 years, I finally told him NOT to have it done. As far as aerating, i only do that in the fall.

yardessentials
04-22-2009, 10:49 PM
I would like to quote a site that I found when researching dethatching..
The writer has a very good point to why we dethatch and when.

"Contrary to popular belief thatch is not caused by leaving grass
clippings on the lawn. If you mow frequently you can leave your grass
clippings on the surface of the lawn after you mow (mow frequently so
the grass clippings are small and will decompose rapidly). Grass
clippings contain 16 essential nutrients that can be recycled back
into the lawn by leaving the clippings in place.

Thatch is the layer of built-up plant material between the green top
growth and the roots of grass plants that develops naturally as lawn
grasses grow and slough off roots, shoots and leaves. Some thatch
helps protect the roots, but excessive thatch prevents moisture,
oxygen and nutrients from penetrating the soil and can harbor disease
and insects. Regular dethatching forces buds to grow near the base of
the grass stems, preventing the grass plants from being dead
underneath and only green on top.

If your lawn is green on top, but brown underneath or if it looks dead
and scalped when you mow, it may be time to dethatch.
If your lawn is off-color and thinning, and you can't see bare ground
between the plants but instead see matted, fibrous material, it may be
time to dethatch.
If your lawn is thick, rich and deep green, and you can't see bare
ground between the plants but instead see matted, fibrous material, it
may be time to dethatch. (Sorry had a Jeff Foxworthy moment there! :)

To determine whether your lawn has too much thatch, remove a plug of
lawn, and measure the layer of thatch between the top growth and the
root zone. If it measures more than 1/2" in depth, you should dethatch
the lawn. You may need to perform this chore only once every two to
three years.

Depending on where you live you can remove thatch in summer, fall and
even when the lawn is dormant in winter. Dethatching isn't recommended
during the transition between dormancy and active growth because at
this time the energy and nutrient stores in grass roots are low. The
best time to dethatch a cool-season lawn is early fall or early
spring; for a warm-season lawn, early summer.

To remove thatch from a small lawn, use a thatching rake, which will
slice into the lawn and bring up vast amounts of dead material. Rake
in one direction to prevent damaging grass roots.

Or you can use a dethatching machine. Dethatching should not pulverize
the soil surfaces. Adjust the blades to about a quarter-inch above a
concrete surface. Make between one to five passes through your lawn,
until most thatch is removed.

Then rake it all up É You will probably end up with one to three
pick-up loads of thatch from an average-size lawn.

When the task is finished, your lawn will look terrible, but don't
panic. It's supposed to look that way --- wait three or four weeks, it
will look much better.

The thatch can be composted or used for mulch if it is herbicide-free.
If you have used a weed killer or "weed and feed" treatment in the
month before dethatching, then do not use the removed thatch to make
compost or mulch. Never use thatch debris for mulch or compost if you
have used a weed killer containing clopyralid. Even after composting,
clopyralid remains active and can injure your ornamental plants

After dethatching, fertilize the lawn with a nitrogen fertilizer to
stimulate regrowth.

To slow down thatch build up avoid over-fertilizing and over-watering,
as these may contribute to thatch build-up. Products containing
natural enzymes and micronutrients can be added to the soil to aid in
the natural breakdown of thatch materials.

Thank you for using Google Answers. I hope this answers all of your
dethatching questions, if not please ask for a clarification.

~wlk115

Sources:
Lawn expert Dr. Tom Samples
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service
Dethatching Your Lawn
http://www.diynet.com/DIY/article/0,2058,2562,00.html

Gardening Information - Oregon State University Extension Service
Tom Cook, turf grass specialist Oregon State University Extension
Service.
http://eesc.orst.edu/agcomwebfile/garden/Lawn/dethatch.html

Lance Walheim, the author of Lawn Care for Dummies, dethatching tips:
http://www.diynet.com/DIY/article/0,2058,4997,00.html

Lawnboy Lawncare
dethatching
http://www.lawnboy.com/lawncare/dethatch.htm
fertilizing
http://www.lawnboy.com/lawncare/fert.htm
watering
http://www.lawnboy.com/lawncare/water.htm"

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/222090.html

betmr
04-22-2009, 11:58 PM
I don't get it on this site, So many people here think a power rake and a De-Thatcher (Vertical Mower) are the same thing. A Vertical mower has multiple blades on a horizontal shaft, and is used in De-Thatching. A power rake, is a heavy machine usually Tractor or Skid Steer mounted, with Carbide teeth that tear up the soil, and is usually used in Seed Bed preparation or renovation, much like a Roto-Tiller. I wish we could get our terminology straight.

And Fall is the best time to De-Thatch, as the cooler weather makes cool season grasses grow better, so stolons & rhizomes regenerate more readily, and most weeds are done so there is less competition from them. This is the same reason that cool season grasses are best sown just before the fall.

myyaz33
04-23-2009, 12:18 AM
I don't get it on this site, So many people here think a power rake and a De-Thatcher (Vertical Mower) are the same thing. A Vertical mower has multiple blades on a horizontal shaft, and is used in De-Thatching. A power rake, is a heavy machine usually Tractor or Skid Steer mounted, with Carbide teeth that tear up the soil, and is usually used in Seed Bed preparation or renovation, much like a Roto-Tiller. I wish we could get our terminology straight.


Power Rake = Dethatcher

Yes there are such things as a Harley Power Rake but it is simply a case of the same name for a totally different product.

For example check out this link for a Ryan Power Rake. http://www.ryanturf.com/products/specialty/ren_o_thin/

Try telling Ryan that what they make is not a power rake.

betmr
04-23-2009, 12:47 AM
Power Rake = Dethatcher

Yes there are such things as a Harley Power Rake but it is simply a case of the same name for a totally different product.

For example check out this link for a Ryan Power Rake. http://www.ryanturf.com/products/specialty/ren_o_thin/

Try telling Ryan that what they make is not a power rake.

Sorry, in my circle of pro's Power Rake= Harley, Woods, Roto Dairon

De-Thatcher= Vertical Mower, Rigid blades or flail type

Ryan can give their machine any Trade name they want, it's still a Vertical Mower, for the longest time, everything in the country was turbo, but very few things had turbo-chargers....just a catchy name for marketing purposes.

As pro's we need to keep our Nomenclature straight. So when we communicate like this we are all on the same page. When we're talking about De-Thatching, we all know we're talking about Vertical Mowers. And when we're talking about Renovations and seed bed prep, we know what a Power rake is.

George Mason
04-23-2009, 01:07 AM
Oh man, I finally have a chance to look and post on LS!

I befriended a guy that does the Fert/Squirt some real nice properties in the area and has a stellar reputation amongst LCOs. He told me detaching was an income producer 99% of the time and served no value. That 1% of the time it was needed, he told me be ready for a hell of a job with the clean-up being a real PIA. Aerating takes care of it in his books, allows any ordinary amount of thatch to disperse. Just passing on some information from an old schooler the seems to know a good deal about it. I play it safe, and don't claim to know.

myyaz33
04-23-2009, 01:20 AM
Sorry, in my circle of pro's Power Rake= Harley, Woods, Roto Dairon

De-Thatcher= Vertical Mower, Rigid blades or flail type

Ryan can give their machine any Trade name they want, it's still a Vertical Mower, for the longest time, everything in the country was turbo, but very few things had turbo-chargers....just a catchy name for marketing purposes.

As pro's we need to keep our Nomenclature straight. So when we communicate like this we are all on the same page. When we're talking about De-Thatching, we all know we're talking about Vertical Mowers. And when we're talking about Renovations and seed bed prep, we know what a Power rake is.

No need to be sorry, I absolutely see your view and you certainly hit the right keyword which is "marketing", that alone seems to be the root cause of the confusion. Geographic region seems to also play a factor in the mysterious name changing of equipment.

Standardization would be nice and definitely something to strive for (like recycling), but I am not holding my breath as the marketers don't hold theirs.

Smallaxe
04-23-2009, 09:10 AM
Are you guys really doing that much dethatching and powerraking? I have only had to powerrake one lawn in 25 years. A powerraking is an extremely destructive procedure. ...

... Many people confuse the bit of dead grass blades with thatch. Cleaning these out is only cosmetic, for they would decay shortly. Besides, there are always dead grass blades on the surface, for the average bluegrass leaf only lives 4-6 weeks.

Great post. :) I only power rake when requested, and then only after several mowings to be sure we are not just ripping grass out by the roots any more than necassary.

Your, "should decay shortly" remark, is one that is a lot more true than realized. I mostly use sugar/molasses for the 'false thatch' now, (as opposed to power raking) and found that it can replace at least one app of fert in the spring as it speeds decay.

I have even been working with sugar/molasses for the curing of dog spots and have not applied fert for an entire growing season.
Additional N increases the devastation of the urine, yet even the unspotted areas stayed dark green and healthy!