View Full Version : Power raked spring clean-up ?

03-22-2003, 11:46 PM
My spring clean-ups consist of using 11 hp. push blowers with another person raking in front of the blowers, would it be ok if I told the customer we would also be dethatching at the same time? After all we have alot of thatch that comes up when we do this. And it might be easier to explain why my spring clean-up prices are high....

Or does a dethatcher do more than what I do????

I hope I explained this ok,,,........ Thanks, Tim

Mike Bradbury
03-23-2003, 03:09 AM
material if done properly.

03-23-2003, 03:39 AM
A power rake does a lot more than what any spring tine rake can do. Under normal conditions as least. Now is NOT the time to be opening up the lawn. Creates an all you can eat buffet for weed seeds.

mdb landscaping
03-23-2003, 08:57 AM
a powerrake will definately get up a lot of debris and would help justify your pricing. you may even want to consider raising the price if you are going to go over the whole lawn with a power rake.

Im confused by your statement fblandscape? why is dethatching in the spring bad? everybody and anyone who is a landscaper around here dethatches in the spring

Randy Scott
03-23-2003, 11:07 AM
First of all, your blower isn't removing "thatch". It's removing grass clippings and anything else that gets mashed into the lawn. Removing thatch takes a machine that cuts vertically into the soil where the actual thatch layer is. You are merely power raking the lawn.

Secondly, you don't just add services and expense before consulting with the customer do you? Try to sell them the additional work and why it would be beneficial to have it done. I personally wouldn't just do the extra work and then expect to have them pay for it. It's a tight economy and that would be a good way to piss the wrong person off on the wrong day.

03-23-2003, 11:52 AM
I'm not sure I/everyone else exactly understands the question.. Do you mean you'd like to use a spring tine de-thatcher instead of a rake????

If that's what you mean, why not try to tell potential customers that this is your method, and it is used to offer the most thorough cleanup in preparation for the growing season.

even if it's faster than your current method, you may get more $$ for a cleanup because of the additional service.

If the customer does not want to pay for de-thatching at that point... reduce rate and skip the raking.

I know that with the size of the props around here, if I had to rake and blow them, customer couldn't afford it!

03-23-2003, 04:02 PM
The reason I say the spring is one of the worst times to de-thatch a lawn (next to the summer of course) is because of all the weed seeds which are floating around. Best time to be opening up a lawn is in the fall (late august - late september) Not many weed seeds around at that time. If you do your de-thatching in the spring, you will up your pesticide requirements.

03-23-2003, 04:05 PM
I should specify more what I am talking about... in the sping if you run a tine rake over the lawn, no biggie... the main purpose of that is to pull up your big junk, and to fluff up the lawn so that it can dry out faster to prevent snow mold. If you are de-thatching you are gonna mess up a lawn pretty bad. Of course I am saying de-thatching in regards to when it is actually needed by the lawn, as opposed to the landscaper wanting to make some cash. Just because everybody else does it, does that make it right???? :alien:

03-23-2003, 08:50 PM
When I do a spring clean-up I have one guy using a push blower on the lawn, and another guy raking the lawn in front of the blower.........., As I do this, along with the sticks and leaves that come up out of the lawn, alot of dead grass also comes out of the lawn.

With that explaination of my service can I say, while I am doing the spring clean-up I am also dethatching?

Hope this was a better explaination

03-23-2003, 09:09 PM
To answer that, - no. You CAN say that you are giving it a rake-over. Actual dethatching lifts out an unbelievable amount of material. If you ever run a dethatcher (recommended to only be run in the fall, and only if it ABSOLUTELY needs it), you will see the difference You are just not going to get that with a rake. Now, what I do, and this is what I recommend to any and everyone who does turfsweeps, is use a JRCO rake on it. I have one on the front of a Gravely Promaster 3 wheeler which works excellent because I can reach up under things and lift the whole deck a bit to turn. I then use the Lazer and windrow the debris up to tarp. You can cover ALOT of ground FAST with this type of setup. The customers love this, because it gets the grass fluffed and breathing to let air and light to the grass, allowing it to green up a bit faster. ;)

03-23-2003, 09:49 PM
Now that Runner has touched on his "teenage wasteland", I can say I agree w/ his statement. We haven't yet purchased the JRCO tine rake(s), but are probably going to do so.
It is a good practice to either hand rake the lawn or use the JRCO attachment.

03-23-2003, 11:20 PM
The customers love this, because it gets the grass fluffed and breathing to let air and light to the grass, allowing it to green up a bit faster.

Runner, with this said why would you recommend NOT de-thatching in the spring? I have always included de-thatching with my spring cleanups, and never had any weed problems. First I like to do it in the spring because it gets out the dead grass, leave debris, sand, and eliminates the thatch layer. With the thatch layer gone spring fert takes less time to green up the grass. Plus it looks great compared to the dormant "flat" look. :cool:

03-23-2003, 11:49 PM
Need to define "thatch" again. The springtime raking with a spring tine rake, or a gas powered vertical flail reel is not a dethatching, because it does nothing about thatch. See <a href="http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22508">What really is thatch?</a>.

Best reason for spring "dethatching" was given here years ago. See Lazer's first reply here: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1846 . LOL. If you know a little about turf, you know that is the only reason for spring dethatching or powerraking. BTW, true powerraking is done with FIXED vertical blades, and it really is a very destructive operation.

03-24-2003, 12:05 AM
I would have to say that the reason why you de-thatch in the fall as opposed to spring is because of how much you remove from the lawn.
1) exposing the soil in the spring gives weed seeds an invitation to germinate.
2) the best time to seed is in the fall because the rate of Photosynthesis is going up, while the rate of respiration is going down, that means faster coverage.
If you are going to de-thatch a lawn you are going to have to dump out a whole heck load of seed.
On top of that, if you are going to put out seed in the spring then that limits you to what forms of herbicides you can apply.
Just things to think about.

The Lawn Boy Pro
03-24-2003, 12:06 AM
Customers DO like this (and so do I). It gives that "best lawn in the neighborhood" first look. If it's above 40 outside steadily, then its OK to thatch. Personally,Power rakes cost more money to use, an If you're on a tight budget, then you might consider doing what I do: If you have more than one mower (and one has a bagger) Put 3 thatcher blades on (If you have a ZTR or a 3 blade walk-behind mower) and thatch first, then bag the rest with a powered vac system. VAC systems work better because they suck deep down to remove all the excess junk like litle leaves and twigs that could promote fungus growth or rot which would lead to a bug problem. Blowing really only removes the surface layer of derbis.

03-24-2003, 10:31 AM
Lawn guys like spring "dethatching" because it is a great cash generator. And customers eat it up because you are "cleaning" their yard so well.

So there you see the two functions. As far as benefiting the turf, it is totally useless, unless you are doing nothing else to loosen turf areas packed down by winter. If you really believe you are doing something about thatch, you are just uneducated about thatch.