View Full Version : What is Your best method to Pick up/suck up THATCH??

04-01-2002, 11:22 PM
hi, just wondering what you guys do when you thatch a lawn and you have all of that dead grass on the surface..... I have just been mowing it into piles, like going around in circles and making piles of it, then raking it onto tarps and then throwing it in my dump truck... i have a husqy ztr with a collection system, would that work better??? i thought about it and thought it might fill up to quick. ANy suggestions?? I just want to find a easier way... i hope you guys can help me out with some suggestions. thanks. jeff

04-01-2002, 11:34 PM
i know you guys have thatched a lawn before... or maybe your just smarter than me:D

04-01-2002, 11:43 PM
Why not suck it up if you're driving around the yard anyway? Even if you fill the collector up several times it's got to beat messing with the tarp. On our trailer you won't find rakes or a tarp. Backpack blowers and collection systems have made these obsolete for the commercial cutter.

04-01-2002, 11:52 PM
i know i'm a lawn newbie, but what exactly is thatching

04-02-2002, 12:01 AM
I think u will be able to suck up the thatch quicker by using a 21" push mower that by raking it in to piles then sprezding out the tarp and puting the thatch on it and loading it in the tuck or trailier. HOPE this helps!!!!!!!!!!!

04-02-2002, 12:07 AM
Mow it up. With the husky collection system (which I heard was pretty good) you should be able to shred it pretty thin, therefore not taking much room in the bag. Even if it does take up a lot of room, I would think it would be faster to empty the bag than to use a rake. I hate to say it, but woudn't it just be easier to try it than to post the question here?
Austin: Thatching isnt the term, but DEthatching is the process of removing old dead grass from the surface of the lawn, using a DEthatcher. Several different types of Dethatchers exist, but all pretty much just use metal tines to pluck the dead material to the surface.


04-02-2002, 01:21 AM
We use our Walker with the dethatcher attachment. Couldn't be easier!;)


04-02-2002, 01:25 AM
I too use the walker dethaching attachment. just pop it on and start mowing, does a great job. thatch is basically dead grass and debris from the previous year packed down over time.

04-02-2002, 01:31 AM
Walker GHS system coupled with the Walker front mounted thatch rake. I dare to compare.

04-02-2002, 02:16 AM
Actually the purpose of dethatching is to cut the roots that run across the top of the soil. If this is not done the theory is that eventually they will get so thick that water can't penetrate into the soil. The dead grass and debris is just a byproduct of what you are actually trying to accomplish.

04-02-2002, 02:37 AM
I use either the Little Wonder and tarp it, or I just windrow it with the big mowers. We then tarp it and away it goes. Thatch is so light, that even WITH using the mowers to collect it, you can still keep nearby and use a large tarp in the yard to dump it on. Less trips to the truck this way. As far as the idea of using a 21" bagging mower to collect it, obviously this guy hasn't seen a real thatch job before. An actual dethatching would fill that mower up about every 3 or 4 feet.:D

04-02-2002, 08:45 AM
hey, roscioli, isnt that what this site is for?? To obtain good info and tactics??? Sorry i wanted to ask first... next time you ask a question about what mower is better ill just say,, i dont know go buy it and find out.

04-02-2002, 09:43 AM
This is where Walker is faster and more efficient than any Z.
26EFI GHS and its off to the races$$$$$$$$$$$

04-02-2002, 10:06 AM
Austin -

Thatch is the layer of dead bio mass that accumulates at a greater rate than it is broken down by microorganisms, which accumulates between the turf grass plant and the soil. It's very high in organic content (25% plus) relative to soil (>5%) - which is why grubs like is so much. Thatch accumulation is not from leaving grass clippings on the lawn, as the leaves of the grass plant are largely water. Thatch is typically dead turf grass plants. The crowns, rhizomes and stolens have a lot of tannin (spelling) in them, so they break down much more slowly.

That thatch layer serves a good purpose in that it insulates the crowns of the turf plants a bit, but thatch over 1/2" thick can cause problems.

The thatch layer will accumulate faster on a more active lawn - such as one that is fertilized and irrigated regularly, as the turf will grow more vigerously.

There are several ways to control thatch. Basically using a mechanical rake or thatcher (dethatcher) or a vertical mower or verticutter. The verticutter uses hooked blades that create slits in the thatch, lifting some of the thatch to the surface. This is what Jaybird was referring to in order to control the stoleniferous growth of the plant, particularly on a plant like creeping bent grass which requires frequent vertical mowing to keep the plants from getting to thick and matted in the lawn. You can not use a thatcher with flail type blades or similar on a bent lawn as you'll damage the tissues on the grass plant.

As for picking it up, we either mow it and suck it up. or blow and rake it like leaves on our residential properties - leaving the debris curb side for city pick up.