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View Full Version : Order to Aerate & Dethatch


tlc1994
02-26-2011, 03:24 PM
I offer aeration every spring and am getting into dethatching, as many customers' lawns are coming due for a dethatch. Which order should I go in, and how long of a period in between should each be done? Logically, I would find it most efficient to dethatch first and wait a little while, so I don't put to much stress on a lawn at the same time. Suggestions?

ReddensLawnCare
02-27-2011, 12:42 AM
I dont know how it is over there..but in the east..we aerate and seed in the fall...i dethatch as needed unless the temps are over 90. Aeration also breaks up thatch..but it isnt a bad idea to dethatch and then aerate right after

ACA L&L
02-27-2011, 04:04 AM
if we are gonna be servicing a one time customer we dethatch, them aerate right after, we always mow it after we rake up the thatch. For our yearly customers we power rake them all, turn timers on, let lawn water for a week, or two the aerate them and fert them all. This is ideal for us. For our weeklys we do aerations every year, and thaching as needed or every 3 years. so 33% one year then another 33% and so on. With thos we power rake and aerate same visit otherwise we will be missing some or overloaded trying to fit the one times in. The key is to get a system and stick to it, customers love that we follow the same schedule every year.

tlc1994
02-27-2011, 01:17 PM
Thanks for the info. Very helpful.

FinerCutslawnCare
02-27-2011, 10:48 PM
Thatch, aerate then fert.

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2011, 01:03 AM
True dethatching is turf grinding...flail blades kicking down into the crowns of the grass and below and kicks up much debris. Power raking is flail blades or even spring tines set higher not grinding into the crowns of the grass - just above it.

Hard to keep these people happy you either took too much out now the lawn looks scorched or not enough taken out because the last lawn guy took out more than you did and charged me less than half of what you did. :hammerhead:

Much of what people want is the dormant dry dead looking grass to go away in the Spring. A low mow is the way to go and less stress to the grass. Each core pulled with a aerator is a cure for that spot for true thatch. A higher percentage of surface area plugged should really eliminate the need for all that power raking.

How many passes are you all making with your aerators?? A double pass with my Plugr 850 delivers a shocking amount of plugs and can only be exceeded by 4 passes with the rolling tine units of common spacing. Exception being the Lawn Solutions Stander and 21" WB @ 3.5" x 6" Even tighter than a Plugr 400 or 600.

greendoctor
02-28-2011, 01:58 AM
I offer aeration every spring and am getting into dethatching, as many customers' lawns are coming due for a dethatch. Which order should I go in, and how long of a period in between should each be done? Logically, I would find it most efficient to dethatch first and wait a little while, so I don't put to much stress on a lawn at the same time. Suggestions?

Dethatch first, then aerate. If you are maintaining bermuda or zoysia, look at your height of cut, irrigation and fertilization practices. If those are not correct, you will have to constantly dethatch.

jonthepain
02-28-2011, 03:43 AM
I dont know how it is over there..but in the east..we aerate and seed in the fall...

The clay here in Raleigh is pretty bad. I just finished a turf course at NC State, and the prof said that in all the research they've done, they did not come across a single residential site that was not compacted.

So I'm offering spring aerations this year, even to the clients that I aerated last fall.

1.2.3. green
02-28-2011, 09:49 AM
How do you price your thatching

jonthepain
02-28-2011, 11:47 AM
That's not a service that i offer; all the thatch that I've come across has been mild enough that a few passes with the aerator took care of it.

If I find a really bad one I might have to consider it, though.

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2011, 02:38 PM
How do you price your thatching
Great question....the wild card is how much haul off and clean-up you will have to deal with. I have gotten burned on this several times in the past. It is pretty much a jump in and get your feet wet and find out type service.

People will want it done for less than what it cost to rent the equipment themselves. :hammerhead:
I'm going $110-$120 min charge for even for tiny lawns. Simply not going to compete with the $30-$40 guys working for peanuts here. My dump fees alone can be $40.

Then again if they are scrubs they can dump for free in my area.

sildoc
02-28-2011, 10:21 PM
To figure out the amount of thatch I will end up hauling off I take a rake and do a square foot. Figure out how much I pull up with it and then multiply that by the sqft of the turf. This is a tough area to get into but profitable. Hard to sell unless the customer has done it before and knows how much work it is. Running the machine is hardly the work, the work begins raking the thatch off and then mowing it over again to get what you missed. I have taken as little as half a truck load off of a 5k lawn and as much as 3 8x12x4 truck loads off of them.
My min is 65.00 but that is for 1000 sqft figure I can have it done in around 1/2 hour. Our average DE-thatching job runs around 200-250.

But to answer your question one time customers are dethatch, aerate, over seed, fert.
Don't forget to up sell the over seeding.
It is a jump in get your feet wet area, and trust me you will underbid, if you don't, your superman.

tlc1994
03-01-2011, 12:49 AM
True dethatching is turf grinding...flail blades kicking down into the crowns of the grass and below and kicks up much debris. Power raking is flail blades or even spring tines set higher not grinding into the crowns of the grass - just above it.

Hard to keep these people happy you either took too much out now the lawn looks scorched or not enough taken out because the last lawn guy took out more than you did and charged me less than half of what you did. :hammerhead:

Much of what people want is the dormant dry dead looking grass to go away in the Spring. A low mow is the way to go and less stress to the grass. Each core pulled with a aerator is a cure for that spot for true thatch. A higher percentage of surface area plugged should really eliminate the need for all that power raking.

How many passes are you all making with your aerators?? A double pass with my Plugr 850 delivers a shocking amount of plugs and can only be exceeded by 4 passes with the rolling tine units of common spacing. Exception being the Lawn Solutions Stander and 21" WB @ 3.5" x 6" Even tighter than a Plugr 400 or 600.

That is an excellent point. However, there is a customer who has Bermuda grass that has probably never been dethtatched or it hasn't been for a very, very long time. I would say that it is exceeding .75" of thatch buildup, so at least in this case (please correct me if I am wrong) it seems to be imperative that a dethatching take place. I agree that aeration is the paramount option but at this point, as a few others have stated, it may be necessary.

greendoctor
03-01-2011, 01:08 AM
Bermuda grass in that condition needs a very intensive dethatching performed when the grass is most able to grow back. Here, previously neglected bermuda or zoysia gets way beyond 0.75", try more like 2-3". At that point, the best tool for the job short of a tow behind vertical mower, is a saw blade replacing the string head of a trimmer to cut under the mat and separate it from the soil. A regular dethatcher would take a long time to remove that much dead stolons and roots.

ArTurf
04-07-2012, 09:00 PM
GD
Would a slice seeder with vertical blades 1" apart be a good tool for dethatching zoysia? How about a mantis type tiller (which is actually a Stihl)? I have never really tried this before so can you give any guidelines as far as when you have removed enough.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
04-07-2012, 09:37 PM
I do a lot fescue and bluegrass my rates
$60 10k and below to thatch
$60 10k and under to sweep
$30 haul off Flat fee
Spike or plug $60 10k and under
I always put down ferilizer and overseed So I have a price for that
My prices might be low to some but I make good time and Im happy with my profit
This year I done few Sport fields and thats can kick you but pays well

Most time I'll thatch then spike aerate in spring time
Fall time I'll thatch then plug aerate