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  #21  
Old 04-15-2013, 08:07 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humble1 View Post
Nutrient cycling grass clippings returns 1/3 of the N back to the plant however thatch is not made by clippings, it roots, rhizomes and tillers dead matter built up, heavily fertilized lawns will have a thicker layer, overseeding in spring isn't a good idea either IMO you can't get good weed control, try doing it in the late summer you will get better results
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Sounds like you have a good grasp on the cultural practices...

It is true that thatch has a dual definition... the main one is the living roots and stems growing above the surface of the soil and matting in with dead plant material...

It is caused largely by improper cultural practices,,, so the question I ask myself in addressing thatch is which cultural practices are responsible for causing thatch in the first place... then I counteract those all season long and aerate in the Fall... In most cases aeration isn't necessary either, but it doesn't remove OM from the turf and it makes the clients happy...

I don't believe that in most case the clipping even return 25% N to the turf, let alone 1/3, but I could be wrong about that... the important thing that grass clippings do is provide feed for microbes building soil structure and preventing our thatch problem...
Once wequit encouraging grass roots to grow upward and provide healthy water/air ration within the soil structure, we are half way home in dealing with thatch...

What do you see as encouraging the type of thatch discussed here???
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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  #22  
Old 04-15-2013, 10:30 AM
djagusch djagusch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CollegeMowers View Post
A customer calls us 1/10 thatching jobs (may be exaggerating) where they go out the next week with a rake and pick up a bag full of thatch. They then call, proceed to tell us the job we did was poor, and explain they shouldn't have to pay the bill.

This is EXTREMELY frustrating. Last season we decided that we were going to drop thatching jobs all together because of this exact scenerio but then decided to continue doing them this spring. I train my guys 1 on 1 and make sure every-job they do is 100% perfection. In fact I have them catalog with their phones how many yards/buckets were removed from each property.

I am frustrated because 1.) I am going to lose out on revenue that is rightfully mine. 2.) the customer is unhappy and will never use our services again.

What do you guys do about this bs
My sales for a dethatching call explains that we go over the lawn twice in different directions, and a third time if need be. Explain the jrco rake and we use the mower for bagging. Never had a complaint.
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  #23  
Old 04-15-2013, 10:31 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is offline
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There is another angle for real thatch reduction and that is the top dress effect from aeration and especially reciprocating aeration.

Multiple passes with either type of machine will cure the thatch in each core hole left. The dirt and soil from the plugs if not bagged by the client or mowing service is broken up by the mower blades.

For very thatchy lawns on my ap program I will do as many as 4 aerations bundled over the season.

It freaks customers out since many think it's excessive and not needed. Again the client will say, "...I had my lawn aerated a few years back and I should be good....right...?....".

The caveat is the added weed pressure from more aerations.
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  #24  
Old 04-15-2013, 01:48 PM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humble1 View Post
How do you do your spring cleanups without raking or dethatching?

Additionally the thatch layer is NOT beneficial a thick thatch layer is a breeding ground for disease and turf insects, at least in cool season grasses. If yolu have a thick thatch layer water and nurients as well as insecticides can not get down thru it...you might want to rethink your position on that one. ITS YOUR JOB to educate customers that dont know the hows and whys of this buisness its called customer service, its also why my company had 30 plus percent growth in a bad economy, and im the highest priced fertilization company in my area.....Education + customers= BIG Profits
You may want to do some educating of yourself. Smallaxe is correct, not many stands of turf truly need dethatching. If they do need it regularly, there is a good chance the problem is cultural.

Aeration is a far better solution to too thick a thatch layer than dethatching.
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  #25  
Old 04-15-2013, 10:23 PM
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humble1 humble1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes View Post
You may want to do some educating of yourself. Smallaxe is correct, not many stands of turf truly need dethatching. If they do need it regularly, there is a good chance the problem is cultural.

Aeration is a far better solution to too thick a thatch layer than dethatching.

A) I dont proclaim to know anything about warm season grasses, but cool season I know a lot, I fertilize, thats what I do, and my lawns are the bomb.

I would love to know what cultural practices you are talking about, mostly heavily fertilized lawns will have thicker thatch becasue it builds up quicker than it can break down thatch mostly made from dead stems, roots, rhizomes and tillers. Now when I talk about dethatching Im not talking about running your little jrco spring rake across it, im talking about flail blade dethatching or verti cutting. Clearly this isnt a practice that high production companues get into, due to amount of material taken out and labor hours involved. I wont dispute that aeration is a good practice you are absolutly correct, I have a z-plugger, a lawn solutions, and a tow behind. We do a lot of it. Here is the thing this thread was based on dethatching in the spring right, and someone not getting paid.

If you poke holes in the ground in cool season turf in the spring then you are an idiot, period. The worst thing you could do is open up the turf so that you cant get a good chemical barrier and you will have more crabgrass than you know what to do with. The time to do it would be at the end of the summer and we overseed at that time. So if you are gonna "school me" please be more specific in your responce
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  #26  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:12 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Note the cools season grass recommendation...

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/lawnchallenge/lesson5.html
* "As thatch levels accumulate to greater than 1/2 inch, lawn problems may begin, and the thatch needs to be controlled. Thatch may be torn out with a dethatcher or vertical mower, but will most likely return unless the cause is corrected. Mechanical dethatching is also very destructive to the lawn because roots are in thatch instead of soil, so plants tear out easily. Overseeding is usually required afterwards. For this reason, it's best to tear out thatch in late August for optimum reseeding timing. ..." *

It also has a clearer definition of thatch in this small article that discusses thatch being composed of LIVING and dead roots and stems... thatch is actually roots growing upward instead of downward...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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  #27  
Old 04-16-2013, 07:25 AM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humble1 View Post
A) I dont proclaim to know anything about warm season grasses, but cool season I know a lot, I fertilize, thats what I do, and my lawns are the bomb.

I would love to know what cultural practices you are talking about, mostly heavily fertilized lawns will have thicker thatch becasue it builds up quicker than it can break down thatch mostly made from dead stems, roots, rhizomes and tillers. Now when I talk about dethatching Im not talking about running your little jrco spring rake across it, im talking about flail blade dethatching or verti cutting. Clearly this isnt a practice that high production companues get into, due to amount of material taken out and labor hours involved. I wont dispute that aeration is a good practice you are absolutly correct, I have a z-plugger, a lawn solutions, and a tow behind. We do a lot of it. Here is the thing this thread was based on dethatching in the spring right, and someone not getting paid.

If you poke holes in the ground in cool season turf in the spring then you are an idiot, period. The worst thing you could do is open up the turf so that you cant get a good chemical barrier and you will have more crabgrass than you know what to do with. The time to do it would be at the end of the summer and we overseed at that time. So if you are gonna "school me" please be more specific in your responce
Tell you what, smallaxe posted one link about the causes of thatch, how about you find some links from university research that proclaim the praises of dethatching vs aeration. And the main cause of thatch.

Or how most universities are considering up to 3/4" of thatch acceptable now.

Besides, I never said one word about when to aerate.
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  #28  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:41 AM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Not sure what turf you guys are talking about, but 3/4 of an inch of thatch on sports turf is unacceptable. That stuff gets verticut yearly down here.
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  #29  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:55 AM
locallawncare.ca locallawncare.ca is offline
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I'm in the north but I typically run a stihl yard boss with dethatcher attachment for spring clean-ups. Its not a true dethacther in the sense, but it does a good job of lifting up the matted debris and dead grass the is stuck to the lawn and makes it easier to blow the lawn and suck up debris. Around here spring aeration is common, but does break the so called pre-em barrier of the turf, but lots of people get it done. I'm unsure of the true practice of dethatching which is very aggressive on the turf.
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  #30  
Old 04-16-2013, 09:11 AM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CollegeMowers View Post
A customer calls us 1/10 thatching jobs (may be exaggerating) where they go out the next week with a rake and pick up a bag full of thatch. They then call, proceed to tell us the job we did was poor, and explain they shouldn't have to pay the bill.

This is EXTREMELY frustrating. Last season we decided that we were going to drop thatching jobs all together because of this exact scenerio but then decided to continue doing them this spring. I train my guys 1 on 1 and make sure every-job they do is 100% perfection. In fact I have them catalog with their phones how many yards/buckets were removed from each property.

I am frustrated because 1.) I am going to lose out on revenue that is rightfully mine. 2.) the customer is unhappy and will never use our services again.

What do you guys do about this bs
My name is on the line I'm at every job during the job or sometimes after the job.
When the boss isn't around work don't get done the right way. That the facts of life.
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