1st dethatching job!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kmbeck, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. kmbeck

    kmbeck LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I got my first spring cleanup done to perfection yesterday. Now I did a quote for a cleanup with dethatching, as per costomer request. I have access to a dethatcher free of chrage, in fact I may buy it if the price is right. Now afor a few questions..... How can I dethatch properly on unlevel ground? I am quite afraid I will tear up the customers lawn too much. People have said just to set it low enough so it doesnt tear up turf, but at times it may not be doing much dethatching then. hmmm......
     
  2. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    It all depends on what you will be using to suck up the Thatch with. We don't have many lawns that are level and never have a problem. Just make sure you make two different angles before sucking it up.:)
     
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    What type of dethatcher are you using? Tine teeth? Blades? If you are using blades, I certainly wouldn't go very deep this time of year.
     
  4. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    A salesman told me that a bluebird would eventually level out a yard that is bumpy.
     
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    LOL! I guess in a sense, he's right. You go over it enough times, it would smoooooth it right out. You would have a perfect seedbed for a new seeded lawn, too.
     
  6. kmbeck

    kmbeck LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I am useing a dethatcher with vertical teeth. Not sure of the brand, its pretty old. Seemed to work well on my own lawn. I ran it on the highest possible setting. Then I picked it up with my mower. My mower is just a 33" Troy Bilt WB. I know, its not commerical grade, yadayadyada.
     
  7. Dweezil

    Dweezil LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    No joke, I have customers that do this on accident every year:laugh:
     
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Syart high and adjust down if you need to ....keep a close eye on it.If you tried it out on your lawn first..then you know what to do..do not be afraid.
     
  9. JCee

    JCee LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 113

    Hey Dcondon, I am new to the dethatcher too, I have the parker SpringTines.....What do you mean do two angles first....do you mean two passes?
     
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Yes, he meant two different passes at different directions. That all depends on the severity of the need, though. Usually, a light combing out is all it needs. This is really NOT the time of year to do a severe dethatching.
    Now, I have said this many of times, but I have never really explained why. Actually, there are a couple of reasons. First, (and this part was discussed just recently), is that when you strip[ that much out of the lawn, you leave alot of thinness. This is wider areas of basically bare ground (between the grass blades). Well, anytime you have bare ground, INEVITABLY you are going to have weeds germinate and grow there. Well, when we think of it, springtime (and late spring) is a HUGE time that new weeds germinate and grow. Much of that reason is because of the long accumulation of new seeds that are transferred AND new seeds that are resurfaces from ground change over the winter-spring transition.
    Now, the SECOND reason why spring isn't the most optimum time for actual dethatching. In the spring, as grass comes out of dormancy, it is weaker rooted, and doesn't hold into the ground as hard as it does later in the season when it is fully out of dormancy, better rooted and established, and is more vigorous. Example: If you were to take a rake out in the yard during this time of year (cool season zones) and do 6 to 10 strokes with a steel tine leaf rak, you will pull up x amount of debris. If you go out there and do the same thing in September, you are going to pull up much less. Much of the stuff you pill up in the spring - though it is brownish, is good healthy grass. It just isn't fully out of dormancy yet. Now, for a lighter raking or "dethatching", the results are pretty much always satisfactory. This is because after pulling all of that brownness out of the lawn (both dead and alive - mostly dead), the grass left over is always going to look a bit greener. Instant results! Now, the main benefit of these rake-overs is that it loosens up the matted grass, allows air to circulate through it, and most of all, allows sunlight to penetrate - thus allowing a faster greenup as well. This is without saying that it is a great moneymaker, too. People love that stuff.
     

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