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kmbeck
03-28-2006, 10:49 PM
I got my first spring cleanup done to perfection yesterday. Now I did a quote for a cleanup with dethatching, as per costomer request. I have access to a dethatcher free of chrage, in fact I may buy it if the price is right. Now afor a few questions..... How can I dethatch properly on unlevel ground? I am quite afraid I will tear up the customers lawn too much. People have said just to set it low enough so it doesnt tear up turf, but at times it may not be doing much dethatching then. hmmm......

dcondon
03-28-2006, 10:53 PM
It all depends on what you will be using to suck up the Thatch with. We don't have many lawns that are level and never have a problem. Just make sure you make two different angles before sucking it up.:)

Runner
03-28-2006, 11:07 PM
What type of dethatcher are you using? Tine teeth? Blades? If you are using blades, I certainly wouldn't go very deep this time of year.

Freddy_Kruger
03-28-2006, 11:22 PM
A salesman told me that a bluebird would eventually level out a yard that is bumpy.

Runner
03-28-2006, 11:25 PM
LOL! I guess in a sense, he's right. You go over it enough times, it would smoooooth it right out. You would have a perfect seedbed for a new seeded lawn, too.

kmbeck
03-29-2006, 07:15 AM
I am useing a dethatcher with vertical teeth. Not sure of the brand, its pretty old. Seemed to work well on my own lawn. I ran it on the highest possible setting. Then I picked it up with my mower. My mower is just a 33" Troy Bilt WB. I know, its not commerical grade, yadayadyada.

Dweezil
04-01-2006, 12:25 AM
A salesman told me that a bluebird would eventually level out a yard that is bumpy.

No joke, I have customers that do this on accident every year:laugh:

sheshovel
04-01-2006, 01:07 AM
Syart high and adjust down if you need to ....keep a close eye on it.If you tried it out on your lawn first..then you know what to do..do not be afraid.

JCee
04-01-2006, 12:18 PM
Hey Dcondon, I am new to the dethatcher too, I have the parker SpringTines.....What do you mean do two angles first....do you mean two passes?

Runner
04-01-2006, 12:39 PM
Yes, he meant two different passes at different directions. That all depends on the severity of the need, though. Usually, a light combing out is all it needs. This is really NOT the time of year to do a severe dethatching.
Now, I have said this many of times, but I have never really explained why. Actually, there are a couple of reasons. First, (and this part was discussed just recently), is that when you strip[ that much out of the lawn, you leave alot of thinness. This is wider areas of basically bare ground (between the grass blades). Well, anytime you have bare ground, INEVITABLY you are going to have weeds germinate and grow there. Well, when we think of it, springtime (and late spring) is a HUGE time that new weeds germinate and grow. Much of that reason is because of the long accumulation of new seeds that are transferred AND new seeds that are resurfaces from ground change over the winter-spring transition.
Now, the SECOND reason why spring isn't the most optimum time for actual dethatching. In the spring, as grass comes out of dormancy, it is weaker rooted, and doesn't hold into the ground as hard as it does later in the season when it is fully out of dormancy, better rooted and established, and is more vigorous. Example: If you were to take a rake out in the yard during this time of year (cool season zones) and do 6 to 10 strokes with a steel tine leaf rak, you will pull up x amount of debris. If you go out there and do the same thing in September, you are going to pull up much less. Much of the stuff you pill up in the spring - though it is brownish, is good healthy grass. It just isn't fully out of dormancy yet. Now, for a lighter raking or "dethatching", the results are pretty much always satisfactory. This is because after pulling all of that brownness out of the lawn (both dead and alive - mostly dead), the grass left over is always going to look a bit greener. Instant results! Now, the main benefit of these rake-overs is that it loosens up the matted grass, allows air to circulate through it, and most of all, allows sunlight to penetrate - thus allowing a faster greenup as well. This is without saying that it is a great moneymaker, too. People love that stuff.

6'7 330
04-01-2006, 12:41 PM
Are you thatching up dead surface grass, or is it thatch?

JCee
04-01-2006, 06:37 PM
hey runner, but what if you treat the lawn with chemicals after to stop this growth...still no good?

Runner
04-02-2006, 01:54 PM
Well, that is a given that Pre-emergents will be applied. However, through the later parts of vthe season, you will always have new weeds popping up. It will fill in eventually, of course, I was just informing you that it will be thin and weak for awhile.

trying 2b organic
04-02-2006, 03:11 PM
The pros in my market have convinced everyone here that they need frequent de-thatching. You really crystalized my thoughts on this ground control. Very few of them have actual thatch problems but see the brown grass, the instant results of the power rake, and want it. I do the responsible thing and try to sell (a cheaper service) aeration. But they almost seem dissapointed. Instead of the instant result of having the brown grass removed u get little goose craps all over your lawn. Siiigggghh.

Runner
04-02-2006, 06:46 PM
Yeah, now an ACTUAL thatch problem,..that is something completely different, and quite frankly, is rather rare. Most people, including some of the "pros", don't even know what thatch is. They think it's the layer of dead grass on the subsoil surface that is in their soil. Actually, it isn't, and many times, this layer does more benefit than harm. An actual thatch layer is a whole different thing all together. There are some excellent threads on here explaining what actual thatch is, including some good university links. They are a bit older, though.

BCSteel
04-02-2006, 09:23 PM
The pros in my market have convinced everyone here that they need frequent de-thatching. You really crystalized my thoughts on this ground control. Very few of them have actual thatch problems but see the brown grass, the instant results of the power rake, and want it. I do the responsible thing and try to sell (a cheaper service) aeration. But they almost seem dissapointed. Instead of the instant result of having the brown grass removed u get little goose craps all over your lawn. Siiigggghh.

You too eh? On all my contracts for stratas I nixed the power raking and went to aerating instead. Results - much better lawns at a fraction of the work. Some complained about the lack of p-raking but it didnt take long for the benifits of the aerating to show and their misconceptions were dispelled.