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The Lawn Man9
03-15-2012, 10:28 PM
I had a customer call to dethatch his yard but when I looked at it he has minimal thatch, he was not home at the time. So should I recommend I aerate the lawn instead, I dont think dethatching would be any benefit? He also has a newly planted part of his lawn by his new garage. Does it pay to dethatch or aerate that part since it is just a year old? I live in Wisconsin. Thanks

The Lawn Man9
03-15-2012, 10:38 PM
Also want to add before someone says don't do anything to it the thatch was about a 1/2 inch.

Smallaxe
03-16-2012, 09:00 AM
If he is one who over-waters and has 5-7 step program for too-much fertilizer, it really doesn't make a difference what you do!!!
When you say "Thatch", what do you mean??? dead brown grass layer? or the black hydrophobic layer?

The Lawn Man9
03-16-2012, 11:12 AM
No it is thatch I know what it is. I don't know how much he waters or ferts. I was just wondering if it would be more beneficial to aerate it because I will be renting a aerator next week for my messed up yard.

RigglePLC
03-16-2012, 11:18 AM
Aeration is easier--and you don't have to haul away and dispose of all that dead residue. If you can get him to agree, go with aeration. Unless you enjoy raking up all that brown residue.
To induce cus to agree, add liquid (snake oil?) aeration bacteria and enzymes, and include a premium top-quality fert with iron that promotes fast green up. Follow up with premium seed, (or, if not, crabgrass control).

And charge what it costs...raking up all that residue is labor intensive.

Not to mention it thins the lawn and sets it up for weeds and crabgrass.

Be prepared to meet with customer and talk him out of damage due to power-raking.

Exact Rototilling
03-16-2012, 02:48 PM
Aeration is easier--and you don't have to haul away and dispose of all that dead residue. If you can get him to agree, go with aeration. Unless you enjoy raking up all that brown residue.
To induce cus to agree, add liquid (snake oil?) aeration bacteria and enzymes, and include a premium top-quality fert with iron that promotes fast green up. Follow up with premium seed, (or, if not, crabgrass control).

And charge what it costs...raking up all that residue is labor intensive.

Not to mention it thins the lawn and sets it up for weeds and crabgrass.

Be prepared to meet with customer and talk him out of damage due to power-raking.

If your client or potential client is open to aeration instead of a true flail blade full throttle dethatch [not those passive 3 rows of spring thingies that are mounted on the front a ZTR that just get the loose debris] that is half the battle.

The problem with aeration marketing I have run into is many do not believe it does much in any good....and there is good reason for it. Most of the companies in my area only do a single pass - and the plugs are not evident till your up close to the lawn. As single pass with a standard rolling tine machine doesn't do enough to deal with thatch. You really have to impact a much higher percentage of surface area of soil volume and surface area to really help. Dirt plug top dress effect. You will see it all spelled out here. In fact I hand these out to my prospective customers. http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

This is question @ RigglePLC,

If the customer already has thatch do we really want to promote a fast green up fert.....? Is this not what may have contributed to the initial thatch issue. People like quick results but......?

Seriously ....I know this is a good move for the lawn but not nessasily for a pleased or happy customer impressed with a quick spring green up. In this pic off my Co. Facebook page. My company mascot Lucy is standing a a 100% organic DPW [dried poultry waste] bag with relatively low NPK #ís 5-2-5. The same product is in the spreader. The message is safe for pets.

I have another product that I use that is 14-2-5 and has Iron plus a tad bit of sulfur and DPW.

Any input....?

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/423346_311154102277270_245764235482924_812490_301783411_n.jpg

RigglePLC
03-16-2012, 10:29 PM
Exact,
Great photo of Lucy. Hopefully you can get a photo on greener grass for next year.
How do you like the new Earthway spreader? Even spread? Easy push?

I am thinking, thatch is mainly a function of an aggressive type of sod cultivar. Sod cultivars that are fast spreaders and highly rhizomatous tend to form thatch. Tight sod. Many times they are also very slow to green up in the spring. So the customer sees brown grass and wants something done. Better seed can result in a better lawn--even if it is still slow to greenup.

Does quick release nitrogen cause thatch...any more than slow release nitrogen? If so, how much more as a percentage?

I did some experiments applying fert in late October and late November. Side by side. Still waiting for results--no difference yet.

Smallaxe
03-17-2012, 10:31 AM
... Does quick release nitrogen cause thatch...any more than slow release nitrogen? If so, how much more as a percentage? ....

It isn't slow vs. fast release, so much as it is, Timing... the problem with early fertilization is that it causes roots to grow upwards, before they ever had a chance to grow downward into the soil...

Slow release is also supposed to be able to encourage roots to grow normally, better than fast release, but not sure why... :)

humble1
03-17-2012, 11:19 AM
Thatch layer builds every year, I would dethatch. Aeration in the spring is just bad practice punching holes just opens up a perfect storm for weeds.
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Kiril
03-17-2012, 11:31 AM
It isn't slow vs. fast release, so much as it is, Timing... the problem with early fertilization is that it causes roots to grow upwards, before they ever had a chance to grow downward into the soil...

Really? Have any credible references to support this statement?

bigslick7878
03-17-2012, 11:34 PM
Aeration in the spring is just bad practice punching holes just opens up a perfect storm for weeds.
Posted via Mobile Device

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Smallaxe
03-18-2012, 11:12 AM
I'll keep looking for the specific reference, about early spring feeding knocking the stored winter reserves and stimulating the top grow [b] the expense of root growth and the water soluable N causing excessive surface growth, right away in the Spring...

My 'Illinois thatch site", only referenced the heavy application of N and exceessive irrigation... the wisco extension spoke mostly about timing for the 3 maintenance levels on charts, with insufficient explanation...

I had posted it before, so if anyone remembers it, perhaps they might help along... Spring has sprung here and I'm back to work... about time!!! :)

RigglePLC
03-18-2012, 12:13 PM
Good question about the weeds, Bigslick. Does aeration in spring result in more weeds? If so exacatly how much more weeds in percentage for each species?

Kiril
03-18-2012, 12:16 PM
Good question about the weeds, Bigslick. Does aeration in spring result in more weeds? If so exacatly how much more weeds in percentage for each species?

Core aerating in general will result in more weeds.

Duekster
03-20-2012, 06:44 PM
I agree, core aeration is typically followed with pre-emergent.

Exact Rototilling
03-21-2012, 12:17 PM
Exact,
Great photo of Lucy. Hopefully you can get a photo on greener grass for next year.
How do you like the new Earthway spreader? Even spread? Easy push?

.....snip....

Riggle PLC, Yes I really like the earthway spreader and the ergonomic design with the handles and I feel it is worth the extra expense over cheaper models. I don’t do a huge amount of fertilization but I’m promoting it this year .....time will tell. The other day I ran several different types of fert through it on my own lawn getting a feel for it. The empty bag Lucy is standing on is dried DPW and the dry dust off the spreader is very high.

Many lawns in this area look like this in the Spring coming out of Spring and this is why power raking or quasi dethatching is so popular here.

humble1
03-31-2012, 06:32 PM
Nothing could be further from the truth.


Well Bigstick sorry to disagree, but I have a question
tell me what happens to those plugs of dirt then? Doesnt loam usually have what ever weed seeds were present at the site it was taken from. A feild for example. Those noxious weed seeds can remain viable for up to 20 years, so logic would dictate that I am right on this one. Maybe the university is wrong also.

http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/nr/2012/fs1201.pdf